“Nothing great is ever done without much enduring.”
-St. Catherine of Siena
There’s always a next level up we’d like to see in our lives.
More fulfilling career. Greater experience of relationship. Improved health and well-being. Fit finances. Ability to contribute and make a difference. Something to aspire to.
It’s the hanging in until we reach the prize that presents the rub.
A personal area for me has been the development of valuable content and offering helpful ideas to others in a social media world of lots and lots of noise.
You can’t look at Facebook without being barraged with sponsored ads. Since more people are online vs in front of the TV as in the past, the online world is busting at the seams with advertising.
So, bringing a new and innovative message out inside a room of louder and more experienced mouths presents its challenges.
We all know the story of Abraham Lincoln, and how many supposed “failures” he had to rack up before becoming President. We all know how many “failed” light bulbs hit the waste bin before one burned for Edison.
Throughout history, there are countless examples of how endurance paid off. This is what I remind myself.
Yet, when the seeming “Fail” button lights above any of our dream endeavors, what will make up the rope to keep us climbing?
Here’s a few strands of thought to consider:
One strand might be the palpable and visceral depth of the desire…which we don’t diminish just because we haven’t gotten there yet.
Can you imagine if Lincoln or Edison had made it mean something about them when they hadn’t “succeeded” yet? If either had gone the route of beating themselves up or just figuring that they are a loser, what would our lives look like now?
In The Back Forty, we say “you have yet to do what you came here to do”. If that’s the bandwagon you want to ride with us, then it means you must put all your past assessments of yourself and what you’re capable of where they belong: in the past.
A desire rooted in infinite possibility, vs already-decided determinations of our capabilities, is what will pull us.
Another strand might be the mindset that all of “this” is simply what there will be to look back upon after having succeeded. Remember: lost elections, dud bulbs.
Rather than looking at each “failed” attempt as an actual failure, what if it’s all research and development?
In The Back Forty, we actually propose that the whole first half of life is only R & D anyway, giving us laboratories and experiments so as to develop our own Formula of Unique Self Expression (FUSE).
So, with our past behind us and only research and development continuing ahead of us, we are unlimited in what we can truly accomplish.
A final strand may be the affirmative answer to the simple question: “Are you having fun along the way?”
Doing something because we love to do it, growing in the face of adversity and challenges because there’s no more fun game to play…those emotions keep us engaged.
If what we’re doing – whether we’ve found the “secret” to achieving our goal or not – is having us grow in the ways we want, there’s value. Regardless of the “results” showing up yet, if we’re whistling while we work towards our dream, the tune and tone of success is present.
So, I’ll keep enJOYing my Self as I put out my message, learning better ways to do it, and know that, if the intention to contribute is pure, the light developed in this lab will eventually burn for others too.
How will you braid your own rope to pull toward your next level up?
“I have discovered in life that there are ways of getting almost anywhere you want to go, if you really want to go.”
In The Back Forty, we say you have yet to do what you came here to do.
If you’re here to play a yet bigger game – no matter what you’ve accomplished thus far – it will take you learning, growing, enduring and enjoying in new ways and mindsets.
Our 3-Day Back Forty INFUSE Program Ignites a New Formula of Unique Self Expression within you so that you use your entire first half of research and development to point you toward a playful, passionate and purposeful second half.
Check out The Back Forty INFUSE Program and join us for our next course on August 18, 19 & 20th here in Los Angeles. Use Coupon Code “SUMMER17” at checkout to receive a $200 tuition discount before June 30.
It’s a pretty common phrase, right? But, like much of the advice I give out, it’s easier said than done. After all, how much of our lives do we spend waiting? Waiting to grow up, waiting to get a job that you actually enjoy, waiting to be able to afford that vacation, waiting to live in a bigger home, waiting for your relationship to get better, waiting for your kids to grow out of whatever stage they’re going through. The list goes on and on.
Now, let me be the first to say that I am far from blameless in this situation. I am the epitome of waiting. For years I said that I was waiting for my life to begin, then I was waiting to get married, then I was waiting for my husband to get out of the military, then I was waiting to own a home. For a large majority of my life, I have been waiting.
And that brings me to today’s quote. Take a moment to read it and I’ll meet you on the other side.
For example, my husband is getting out of the military in 6 months at this point. After he gets out, we are planning on moving across the country and buying our first home (military life doesn’t really give the opportunity to put down roots). So, I’m waiting. I’m waiting for my husband to switch careers, I’m waiting to move somewhere new, I’m waiting to put down roots. And I find myself trying to plan this future. I find myself “dreaming of some magical rose garden over the horizon,” just like Carnegie said.
Meanwhile, I should be thinking about how I only have 6 months left in this amazing place I already live. I currently am located in Colorado Springs and it truly is an amazing city. I have never lived anywhere with better restaurants; my husband and I have about 20 that we are absolutely in love with and when we move we will never be able to visit them again. The nature here is unbelievable, don’t believe me? Just look at this picture I took at The Garden of The Gods (only 10 minutes from our home)! Between the snow-capped mountains, the natural hot springs, the hiking, the local shops, and the amazing sights, I should be soaking it all in every moment.
So today my advice for you is as much for you as it is for me. Take a few moments to really see the “roses that are blooming outside our windows today”. After all, our experiences are fleeting and before you know it, that thing you’re waiting for will happen…and then you’ll have something new to wait for. So don’t waste your time waiting today, enjoy what is right in front of you instead!