Can You Carry a Message to Yourself?

Nora Sophia
5 min readMar 13, 2021
Photo by Andreas Wagner on Unsplash

First you must decide, then you must be willing. Finally, you have to remember where to find yourself.

“If men will not act for themselves, what will they do when the benefit of their effort is for all?”

Elbert Hubbard wrote,“A Message to Garcia,” in 1899. Hubbard gave us a dramatized version of 1st Lt. Andrew S. Rowan’s mission to meet with General Calixto García, commander of the rebel forces in Eastern Cuba, at the start of the Spanish-American war. The wisdom lesson, Hubbard’s call for personal ownership and individual initiative. The short essay was reprinted perhaps millions of times in pamphlets and miniature hardbound books and distributed far and wide. It proved to be resolute with multitudes. In fact, the phrase “to carry a message to Garcia” became a common idiom for fulfilling any difficult task and remained in use throughout the 20th century. The essay itself is still passed around in military circles today. You can find the essay in its entirety here.

As the story is told the mission was simple: carry the message to General Garcia, Rowan simply takes it and in 3 nights time delivers it to the jungles of Cuba. He is not told with specificity where Gen. Garcia is, in fact he asks no questions. Rowan is given the task and he simply goes and executes. He figures it out, sets his own path and commits to the mission. And this ask was not of personal benefit to Rowan’s life, yet Rowan carried this message to Garcia as though his life depended on it being done.

What does your life depend on?

What do you dream of doing but haven’t even tried?

What is so challenging in appearance you haven’t even started?

Can you carry a message to YOURSELF?

Neurological studies have shown we have 5 seconds to act when a thought comes to our mind. Five seconds for that thought to transform into more than just a fleeting word bubble in our head. Five seconds for that thought to be acted upon in some way.

Those five seconds could be the catalyst that changes your life.

Can you carry a message to yourself?

Too often when these creative treasures are announced in our mind, we have a built in idea…



Nora Sophia

Evocative. Unapologetic. Wisdom. Get your copy of my latest book, "Tapestry: Weaving the life you were meant to live" here: