“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.
As we were settling in into our new condo, Darrell and I decided to buy a little corner bar. One of those cool pieces that look built in, only they’re not.
Purchasing most of the other furniture came easy: we researched, found what we wanted, and bought it.
After two months of relentless searching for the right one, it was nowhere to be found. We spent hours searching online. We looked at several dozen different models. We went to stores and talked to salespeople. Nothing worked. Nothing came close to what we thought would be perfect.
I was resigned that we wouldn’t find the perfect piece. Darrell was frustrated that nothing we saw was good enough. Actually, truth be told, Darrell is a bit less particular than me, and could have been satisfied with a lot of these earlier options. I’m more of a stickler for the exact fit.
Last week while taking an evening walk, we talked about our seeming inability to find just the right bar.
I said, with an intention to make us feel better, “It’s ok. I always thought that the bar would be hard to find, and that it could take a lot of time and be pretty expensive.” That was true – deep in my mind I was always convinced that finding the perfect bar would be a difficult and time-consuming project.
Darrell paused…and said, “Do you know, with that belief, it is no wonder we can’t find anything that will work for you…”
In that moment, I got it. He was right. In my mind, I created an idea that the perfect bar would be hard to find and expensive. Therefore, the Universe was proving me right: it was. With that mindset, no wonder we couldn’t find what we wanted.
“Would you be willing to give up the idea that it will be hard to find?”, Darrell continued. Convinced as I was in the rarity of the item in question, I was willing. I do enjoy a good game of mind control and miraculous manifestation.
That night, after his regular few minutes per day of searching for a perfect bar, Darrell showed me a picture of something that looked ideal – a perfect fit, and at a fraction of the price I had expected to pay. Although it was about an hour drive from our home, we decided to call them up and discuss it.
With what sounded like a description matching the picture of perfect fit, we gambled with renting a truck and drove up the next day.
It turned out to be true: the only bar in two months that came even close to what we wanted.
As soon as I gave up my (very unhelpful) mental idea, we found a perfect piece…easily and somewhat effortlessly.
This gave me another perfect opportunity: to look where else is my mindset in the way of my getting what I want in my Back Forty, my second half/best half of life.