God only requires that you tryNov 21, 2016
~ Mother Teresa (now Saint Teresa of Calcutta)
I used to lay in bed thinking to myself, ‘I wonder what I’m capable of if I really threw myself into something with all my might?’
And it was a comforting thought for a while. It took me away from the humdrum of my daily, disappointing existence; but inevitably I had to return at some point.
The interesting thing was that I somehow thought that the only requirement for my dream life to unfold was for me to be discovered, that someone would spot my genius and then everything would be alright! How can you delude yourself to that extent?
Eventually I came to the realization that nothing is going to happen unless I make it happen. No one is going to discover you, no one is going to make it easy for you, no one is going to take away the pain. You have to do it for yourself.
For some people that might be bad news. But when you think about it, it means that your new life can begin any moment you choose. You are not waiting for anyone.
Your life may be dark and disappointing, but hope begins in the dark.
You may be worried about failing. You may be concerned about being disappointed if things don’t work out as you want it to. Well, you will be disappointed, because you will fail. But failure is temporary if you keep going. And what’s the alternative? You are certainly doomed if you don’t even try.
You may be worried about what other people will say. And it’s true, you may well be in for ridicule and criticism from those who lack your courage not to settle for a stagnant life. But those who never made a mistake never tried anything new. And there is only one way to avoid criticism: do nothing, say nothing, and be nothing. And it’s obvious where that will lead.
You may berate yourself for not having started all this years ago, surely it’s too late now. But no matter how old you are, you have the rest of your life ahead of you. It is pure folly not to go after a goal because of the amount of time it will take to achieve it, because the time is going to pass anyway!
Maybe you could have started years ago. Perhaps the very best time to begin would have been ten or even twenty years ago. But you didn’t, so the second best time is right now. It’s never too late to become what you could have been!
Why don’t more of us go for it then? My friend Les Brown says that too many of us are not living our dreams because we are living our fears. (He also said that the tiger doesn’t concern himself with the opinion of the sheep, which although it doesn’t fit here, I love it!)
We just can’t afford to allow fear to hold us back. We have to find a way to go after our dreams, because if we don’t, then we will spend our time working for someone else, building their dreams for them.
We don’t need to be a genius and we don’t need to be an overnight success. It doesn’t matter how long it takes us or how slowly we go, as long as we don’t give up. As long as we don’t stop.
We need to find the motivation to keep moving forward, to go from one failure to the next with no loss of enthusiasm.
The more we persist, the more we develop character. And character is ours to keep.
If we are going to be successful in living out our dream life, then we have to stand up straight and look life in the eye. We need to take part. We need to go out and make a mess!
Probably the happiest I’ve seen our children is when we walk the dogs up the lane outside our house after it has been raining and watch them jump in the puddles – or ‘splashing in cuddles’ as Louis says. The sheer delight in their faces is beyond the comprehension of the adult mind – at least it is mine. They would jump in those puddles for hours if we’d let them. And when we drag them back in the house because they are soaked and cold, they cry because we’ve ruined their experience.
How do we become so paralyzed and unadventurous in adult life? Why are we so worried about messing up, making mistakes or appearing foolish?
As my mentor John Maxwell says, no one is good at anything the first time. So if we are going to try new things, we are going to mess up.
And that’s ok! That’s good!
I’m talking about being something different tomorrow than you are today.
But more than that, evolution is continual transformation, and that’s what we need, continual growth. Continual change. Continual transformation. Continual evolution.
I believe that’s why we’re here, to experience life and to learn and grow from our experiences. To grow physically, mentally and spiritually.
I adopted my ‘mission’ in life from a mentor of mine several years ago – to be all that I can be for myself, my fellow man, and for God.
And I firmly believe that the only way any of us can do that, is by living life to the fullest – by going out and making a MESS!
I believe that is our responsibility, to live. And we don’t need to worry about doing it perfectly.
We can’t control a great deal about the world and all the other people in it, but we can control our own efforts. We can all do our best, and that’s all it takes. We are responsible for the effort, not the result.
Good luck and may God bless you on your journey. Start now and go as far as you can see. When you get there you’ll see how to go further!
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