MoStory Posted By Dr. MO At the age of 40 Anthony Burgess learned that he had only one year to live. He was diagnosed with a brain tumor a told that it would kill him within a year. He knew that this was going to be the toughest time in his life because he was completely broke and didn’t have anything to leave to his wife, Lynne, who was soon to be a window.
Burgess had never written professionally in his life, but had always felt that he the potential to be a writer. So, for the sole purpose of earning money and leaving royalties behind for his wife, he decided to purchase a typewriter and begin writing. He had no idea whether anything he wrote would ever be published, but that didn’t phase him. He decided that there was nothing else to do.
“It was January of 1960,” he said, “and according to my prognosis, I have a winter and spring and summer to live through, and I will die along with the leaves in the fall”
During that period of time Burgess wrote tirelessly, finishing five and a half novels before autumn arrived.
That fall, when the leaves did hit the ground, Burgess did not die. His cancer went into remission and then later it disappeared altogether. He lived on for a long time and in his long and full life as a novelist ( he is best known for A Clock-work Orange), he wrote more than 70 books.
Without the death sentence that had been delivered to about his cancer, he may not have ever written..
I think many of us are like Anthony Burgess. We have greatness inside us, waiting for some emergency to call it into action. What can you do today to begin to express and live your greatness without the need for some calamitous situation to cause you to rise to the occasion?
Ask yourself, “What would I do, how would I respond if I found myself in a situation like Anthony Burgess’s life ending prediction. If I had just a year to live, how would I live differently? What choices would I make? What exactly would I do?”