Until one day, I learned to step back (well, I was feeling miserable and close to giving up) and decided to take a good long hard look at how I was doing with my perceived feeble efforts. Only then did I finally get to see that I was doing some progress after all, small as they may have been in part and portions, but progress it was. Progress! And those small advancements or movements added up to one big achievement that finally got me to the top closer to my goal.
A ladder, whatever its kind and size, has rungs or steps we put our foot on alternately to get to the top. Such too is the so-called ladder of life. It is the ladder of life we’re climbing with our dreams, ambitions, and aspirations and we do it one step at a time or one rung after the other. And if you’re smart, you will step back once in awhile and check how you’re doing. You’ll be rewarded with the fact that you have made progress as you see yourself higher and farther from the bottom rung you started with.
So this is what it means, that without losing sight of your goal you take on the hurdles one at a time, one step at a time, and one day at a time. You can’t bunch them all in one big duffel bag and strap it over your back and trek down the road less traveled with its weight, so to speak. It will surely wear you down even before getting half way down the road or up the ladder of life. You’ll be giving up sooner than you should you’ll soon enough discover.
Learn to be kind to yourself. Pushing yourself too hard will only serve to dry you up quickly and sooner. Pace yourself and give yourself credit for whatever you have accomplished, big or small. Don’t let distractions or problems derail you – keep on track, move slowly but surely. One thing at a time is the way to go.
"If you're climbing the ladder of life, you go rung by rung, one step at a time. Don't look too far up, set your goals high but take one step at a time. Sometimes you don't think you're progressing until you step back and see how high you've really gone." -Donny OsmondSo what's your story. I'm sure you have one to share :-) Let's hear about it.
I have a dream, it’s a tiny one kept here in my heart. It’s been there for many years and maybe many more I don’t know. But what I do know is that this tiny spark within keeps me focused on one bright hope that someday I may yet have that dream come true. So my everyday becomes a trek towards it. But there are no illusions set on that journey because I know very well that it’s not a smooth paved road I’ll be traveling on. I’ve been told that all roads leading to one’s dream is always beset with stones, gravel, steep hills, thick bush, and strange creatures lurking on the side. Of course you know that I’m referring to the difficulties and hurdles one usually come across on that road less traveled. But that’s okay; I will take it one stone, one hill, one bush, and one strange creature at a time. It may hurt me some and may even be coming out of it much battered and bruised but… as long as I keep my feet standing above ground and not buckling under, I promise that I will be slugging my way through and up. Time? Oh I don’t know for how long but even if it would take all of my life working towards a dream, you will still find me there throwing my best punches till the sun sets so very tired of me. :-)
You see, life is primed for making things tough for us. Primed but we know for a definite reason and we’ve taken this up in earlier blog posts. But if we learned our lessons well and take the bull by its horn, tough times certainly can’t hurt us. We remove its capacity to hurt us by taking charge of our life instead of meekly following behind hanging on to its tail.
There are many I see around me doing the good fight. They trudge on in many diverse roads and in creative ways that would shame a lazy bum simply content watching on the sidelines. And if that wasn’t enough, these unproductive dark creatures would taunt or belittle the efforts put in by those who strive and struggle to make their dreams come true..
I’ll put my foot down on that one. Don’t let those types block you from taking that road and making good progress. But remember too not to fall into the trap of reacting to them on that same turf they’re operating on – negativity. Better yet stay clear out of their way; leave them where they want to stay and where they belong in their own dark realm of unenlightened understanding of life’s rules and laws, one of which is that ‘in life you move with the flow of the universe… or be left sorely behind’. And if you have the mind for it, use their negativity to fuel your fire or drive to push you farther and faster towards your goal. Funny but sometimes it works that way – a slight irritation can push you out of there quicker in a way working to your good advantage.
And to those you make it through to its successful end… great job, great YOU!
“Keep away from those who try
to belittle your ambitions.
Small people always do that,
but the really great make you believe
that you too can become great.”
Imagine yourself going about your day with a long face or a boring expression or with a lifeless look in your eyes… and… your feet feeling like a ton of bricks. Have you noticed too how you are affecting those around you or people who happen to cross your path in that day? Notice what comes out of your mouth when you talk – negative static and unenthusiastic talk? Sense people slowly steer themselves away from you or put in a marked distance between you and them?
Unhappiness causes all that. But unhappiness is not the cause of your feeling that way. You don’t say that you are that way because you are unhappy. But rather that you are unhappy because something going on is not right with you or in your life and this in turn is causing you some misery.
That something may be failed expectations, disappointments, loss, grief, broken promises, betrayals, or even a status quo where you had hoped there would be some movement or progress.
But it’s not healthy.
The thing that we should note is that we have full control over it. Two things we can do --- one is to stay or wallow in misery and the other is… to decide to pluck some bits of joy in our midst or from within ourselves.
Life does not offer us a basket of difficulties alone believed by most of us. But it offers us a good mix of both joy and sorrow. It’s right there in the same basket. All that we must do is learn to do some picking for stuff which would make us happy. You’ll be surprised to know that often those things are the trivial bits around us which we often ignore or neglect –
a lovely sunrise, a poignant sunset, the cool drops of rain, intriguing cloud formations, the deep blue skies, a bud transformed into a beautiful flower, a statuesque tree silhouetted against the sky, tree tops dancing in the wind, gurgling waters flowing merrily down the stream, a baby’s small fingers clutching your thumb, the deeply lined face of a bent elderly woman smiling at you, the gentle hearts of good friends, the love of your family, the adoring eyes of your sweetheart, a rainbow in the sky, or God’s treasure of blessings pouring down into your day and life -- And many more.
Have you ever stopped to enjoy these things? There is no reason to be unhappy for long. Maybe you will for awhile as the unpleasantness of that something is touching your life, but not for long because you can change your attitude towards it and turn your negative feelings into one of wise tolerance and acceptance and understanding. This will help you see things in a much better light and even feel appreciation for the presence of good and better things in the midst of misery. Happiness therefore is already there for your easy picking, if you would only stop awhile to see it and enjoy it.
Plenty of people miss their share of happiness,
not because they never found it,
but because they didn’t stop to enjoy it.