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Author and ex-creative director, Bryce Courten...

Bryce Courtenay (Photo credit: Yodel Anecdotal)

Last week, one of Australia’s great literary geniuses, Bryce Courtenay, sadly lost his battle with stomach cancer at the age of 79.

He was a terrific writer who had 21 books published, including his final novel, “Jack of Diamonds” which was published only weeks before his death.  Courtenay’s best known work was “The Power of One” and he sold 20 million books in all, a truly remarkable achievement especially when you consider that he wrote his first book at the age of 55.

I recently stumbled across a small book of inspirational and thought-provoking musings written by Courtenay in 2007 called “A Recipe for Dreaming.”

It contains these words:

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Castle Neuschwanstein at Schwangau, Bavaria, G...

Image via Wikipedia

Henry David Thoreau once said, “If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them.”

The “castles in the air” are your dreams, your aspirations, your goals.

They should be bold, grand and perhaps a little bit outrageous.

They should be something worth striving for, something that gets your heart racing.

They should truly be castles, not shacks or cottages.

But of course, bold dreams aren’t enough without action.

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Many years ago, three cedar trees sprouted in the once beautiful forests of Lebanon.  Cedar trees take a long time to grow, and these trees spent whole centuries contemplating life, death, nature and mankind.

One fine day, they decided to talk about the future.

“After all I have seen,” Said the first tree, “I wish to be made into the throne of the most powerful king on earth.”

“I’d like to be part of something that turns Evil to Good forever.” Commented the second.

“Myself, I’d like it if every time someone looked at me, they thought of God.” Replied the third.

More time passed, and some woodcutters came.  The cedars were felled, and a ship carried them far away.

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