“I ask myself: are defeats necessary? Well, necessary or not, they happen. When we first begin fighting for our dream, we have no experience and make many mistakes. The secret of life, though, is to fall seven times and to get up eight times.”
Good morning, friends! Just for the record, my wife and I are opening up a limited amount of spaces in our ark. Availability won’t last long so secure yours now. We expect it to begin floating any day now. While we have time, let’s get to it.
I know, I know, another quote from Coelho. I’m reading his seminal text, “The Alchemist” and it’s a powerful thought provoker. So I’m provoked. What provokes me here is the perspective of the mystery of challenges and struggles. Have you ever considered that? If you have I’ll bet it was a fleeting thought. More often than not defeats (to use Coelho’s language) create in us either questions or flight. Neither of these attitudes helps much in personal pursuits.
I can think of no effort in my life that was easy from start to finish. Not one. Every effort was a journey filled with starts, stops, wins, defeats, retreats, advances, etc. What mattered was the commitment to finish, but what conspired was often a focus on the setbacks. Why did they happen? What did I do wrong? How can I prevent them again? Should I have done something else? On and on. Coelho reminds us that sometimes things just happen. There is no rhyme or reason. There are no questions to answer. The little and large defeats are simply happenstance and our job is to assess and keep going.
* Maybe the first, second, or third job didn’t pan out. So what? Get the next one.
* Maybe the workout ended way too early because of pain or fatigue. So what? Show up tomorrow.
* Maybe the naysayers were loud today, yesterday and the day before. Really? See what they have to say tomorrow, and the next day, and the next.
* Maybe the project hit a snag just when it seemed viable. Great. Work it out.
Jim Rohn, a fantastic motivational speaker from the previous generation, has a wonderful take on the parable of the sower in Matthew 13. With excellent seeds and a strong spirit a man went out one spring to plant his crops. Some sown seeds fell on the path and birds ate them. Did he quit, asking, “Why?” No, he said in his spirit, “Isn’t that interesting?!” and kept on sowing. Another handful of seeds fell on hard ground. With little water and no root depth the seeds came to nothing. Again, “Isn’t that interesting!” Another handful of seeds fell among the thorns and lost the battle for room. Once again, “Isn’t that interesting!” Finally, a handful of his precious seeds of excellent quality fell on some fertile ground and produced a bumper crop of immense proportions. Did he ask, “Why?” Not at all! He simple surmised one last time, “Isn’t that interesting!” If you are defeated by your defeats in your pursuits quit asking, “Why?” Who knows? I don’t, that’s for sure. I didn’t sign up for or take that class. It just happened. Isn’t that interesting. Keep going, keep sowing, keep trying and sooner or later you’ll find your fertile ground. Call me if you need help harvesting your successes! And have a wonderful week.