Everything Going Against You
“When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it.” Henry Ford
When everything is going along smoothly, you feel like nothing can stop you.
The True Test
The true test of success comes when you run up against challenges, or people who put roadblocks in your path. How do you handle them?
Some people never reach the end of their goal no matter what it is. Why is that? It is because they come up against a roadblock or obstacle and can’t figure out how to get over or out of the problem. They become stuck in the problem. Unfortunately, with these types of people, they conclude that it is not possible to overcome the challenge and end of quitting.
For other types of people, they start out with a burst of energy and the longer they travel forward the less their commitment. Oftentimes, these types of people fizzle out never finishing what they started. So, why is that? For some, it is simply a matter that they become bored, or that they see no real value in continuing. Could it be that these types of people never really wanted what they dreamed about badly enough, or what they dreamed about lost its significance. Maybe, it is that they were simply looking for the right thing and thought they found it but the further they went, the less the desired goal was right for them.
For other people, their commitment is so strong, their passion so deep that it wouldn’t matter if a thousand roadblocks were cast their way they would succeed in completing their goal. For these types of people, there is never a problem that cannot be surmounted; never an issue that is too big to climb over; or never a doubt that they will accomplish what they originally set out to do.
When Beethoven was 26 years old, he started experiencing hearing problems which later became total deafness. Yet, Beethoven went on to compose some of his greatest accomplishments after his hearing loss. He had a strong passion for music, and even though everything seemed to be going against him, he showed tremendous determination to overcome his challenge and fulfill his desire to compose.
Small Steps Lead To Big Gains
One issue that seems to prevent some people from succeeding right at the outset is the apparent size of their goal. They become overwhelmed by the scope of their project or goal and often fail to even get started. On the other hand, there are people who see the big picture, stand back and divide it up into little bite size chunks and get going on their first bite. They never see a huge task before them but, instead, only see one small step at a time.
Here is an example that some of you reading this story can relate to. If you can’t relate to this example, I’m sure you can come up with one that will serve the same purpose.
Let’s take a home owner who contract for a tree removal company to come to his home and remove two very old rotten trees that are about to fall down. The tree contractors arrive with their large equipment, spend several hours and remove the two trees including all the limbs and debris. However, when they are finished, you end up with two large holes in your lawn where the root system formerly occupied. The only solution is to call a local landscaping firm and order enough top soil to fill in the holes. But, there wouldn’t have been a problem if the trucks had been able to back up and dump their load directly into each of the holes but they couldn’t unless you accepted the fact that their heavy load and wide tires would chew up a major portion of your yard.
The only solution was for them to dump their two loads into one pile right beside your driveway. As you stood looking at the huge pile of top soil all you could see were hours of backbreaking work armed only with a shovel and a wheelbarrow. As you stared at the huge pile of soil, one could see the mountain of dirt that had to be moved one wheelbarrow at a time, or you could see one wheelbarrow at a time minimizing the work that you would still have to do. In other words, if you approach the pile with only the task of having to take one wheelbarrow away, you have succeeded in dividing what may at first appear to be an insurmountable task down to bite size chunks that it is much easier for the mind to comprehend. In addition, this positive view means that for every wheelbarrow of earth moved, you are one step closer to your goal.
Or, here is another example that demonstrates the power of breaking down a goal into bite size chunks. Take, for instance, the old car enthusiast who loves to buy old cars and restore them to their former glory. Let’s say that you have traveled to an old farm and found a very old pickup truck. After examining it, you realize that it is badly rusted, has a multitude of dents in its bodywork and is without a motor. The good news is that the old farmer just wants to get it out of his driving shed and offers it to you for nothing if you arrange to cart it away. While it would be easy to pass on this deal because of the extensive work that is required, even if it is free, you can see beyond the hours and hours of detailed and sometimes exhaustive work it would take to restore it. However, if you see bite size chunks of tasks to do, the project has just become manageable.
The best thing to add a continuing spark to your life is to really find what really excites you; what is your greatest passion and it need not be something that you already know how to do, or are currently interested in. There are many things that you could do and it is only a matter of deciding, making an informed choice and then go after it as if your life depended on it. Truth be told, it is a matter of life because without a passion, you will simply move through life with a weight on your shoulders and a boulder in your pocket constantly dragging you down further and further. Don’t let setbacks get you down. Studying successful people will show you that they did not attain their success without first overcoming challenges.
Challenges are not the issue; it is your individual response to those challenges. If a challenge is seen as an insurmountable roadblock then that is what it becomes. But, if the challenge is seen in terms of finding a solution, then you are on your way to further your goal.
Remember that nothing ventured is nothing gained and nothing gained is worse than never living to your potential.
Inspirational Quotes for Reflection:
“Obstacles cannot crush me. Every obstacle yields to stern resolve. He who is fixed to a star does not change his mind.” Leonardo da Vinci
“The things you want are always possible; it is just that the way to get them is not always apparent. The only real obstacle in your path to a fulfilling life is you, and that can be a considerable obstacle because you carry the baggage of insecurities and past experience.” Les Brown
“Nothing is given to man on earth – struggle is built into the nature of life, and conflict is possible – the hero is the man who lets no obstacle prevent him from pursuing the values he has chosen.” Andrew Bernstein
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