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Posts Tagged ‘Perseverance’

Not surprisingly, this time of year brings a lot of emails and newsletters that talk about spring and new beginnings.  Perhaps that is why I feel compelled to talk about the death of spring.
 
I am not referring to the season itself, but rather the internal spring we each hold inside  . . . hope.  In the book, If God Twittered, I wrote the short but poignant thought: “A soul filled with hope enjoys an eternal spring.”  When someone is filled with hope, everything about their body and body chemistry changes.    They smile more.  They have more energy.  Colors seem more vivid.  They are happier and possess a sense of optimism.  They are focused on the future and the possibility that future holds for them. 
 
There is no doubt that hope is a powerful instrument that inspires people to believe in their dreams and take action.
 
But there are many forces in the world that steal that hope and kill the sense of spring.  It could be a negative comment someone makes.  Or a parent or friend that judges you.  It could be a general sense of fear.  Or the constant barrage of bad news.  It could be your own doubt and uncertainty. Or a lack of trust.  Whatever it is, the forces that can kill one’s hope or dream far outnumber those that give it wings.  And the death of hope in one’s heart is one of the saddest moments someone can experience.  Their soul withers, their passion disappears, and they begin to float aimlessly through life.
 
That is why with the arrival of Spring this year I ask you to do three small things to become an agent of hope.

  1. Reignite a belief and hope in one of your dreams.
  2. Take one small action to breathe life into it and move it forward.
  3. Fan the flame of hope for another person’s dream by saying some encouraging words or doing one thing to help their dream become real.

You will be amazed how these small acts ignite their heart and yours!

  

Hope is like a path in the countryside:
originally there was no path

– yet

as people are walking all the time,
in the same spot,
a path appears. 

                   – Lu Xun 
                                   

Never, ever, ever give up on hope or yourself.  Over the past 10 years that I have been coaching, I have seen countless examples of the power of the human spirit powered by a dream.  It is hope that gives rise to perseverance, and perseverance that gives rise to success.  Keep walking the path and trust in the direction hope leads you.

 

What one step will you take today to ignite your dream or the dream of another?

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AcadiaIf I had to guess, most of us are worrying a lot more these days. That’s not good. Not because that worry is indicative of a lot of “bad” things that are happening in the world, but rather because worry actually serves very little purpose in our lives.

Worry is an agent of fear that often causes paralysis of thinking and action. It is energy that is expended over something that has not yet happened. Essentially, we worry about things that are mostly made up, or to borrow from our kids, it is “make believe.” The truth is, we often worry about things that don’t actually exist . . . kinda like the scary monsters underneath our bed.

Much of our worry is fed by the unknown. And over the years I have found that not knowing is worse than knowing. When we are in the space of not knowing something we tend to be held victim by worry. The undefined unknown controls us and creates “boogie monsters” in our mind that have us stop in our tracks, or worse, retreat.

Worry does have one redeeming value, though. It is an emotional flare the soul sends up telling us we must take action in some area of our lives. And not surprisingly, taking action is the key way to rid ourselves of worry or fear. That action may be anything from a peaceful prayer or taking a breath to actually doing something . . . anything.

So if you find yourself in the grip of worry, ask yourself two questions. First define your scary monster by asking, “What is it that I am truly worried about?” Next, break the inertia of paralysis and fear by asking, “What is one small thing I can do about that?” You will find that answering these simple questions suddenly give you back your life, power and hope.

What is it that you are worried about and what is one thing you will do about it?

 

(Photo: © Brian Reitenauer. All rights reserved. To see more of Brian’s spectacular photos visit – www.pbase.com/breitenauer)

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army4The endless line of men drilled tirelessly. Clad in their green uniforms they marched in single file, resembling a caterpillar inching its way along the training grounds. They were preparing for war. Hundreds of thousands of them called into service to fight the enemy that had threatened our freedom at Pearl Harbor.

It did not take long before the drill sergeant barked out his all too common complaint. “Largman. Stop bouncing!” That command was directed at my Dad of course, not me. It seemed that my Dad had this bounce in his step, causing his head to pop up unevenly above the other men. For the most part, the sergeant was just looking out for my Dad, not wanting him to get his head blown off once they were in enemy territory due to his lack of conformity with the rest of the platoon.

Thankfully, my Dad survived 3 years in the army, his bounce still intact upon his return to America’s shores.

I love that story and the beautiful metaphor of life it represents for my Dad.

Over the years my Dad has endured a lot. Stock market crashes, numerous wars, putting 4 kids through college, surviving a fire in his home, watching his wife die of breast cancer, surviving cancer himself. Yet through it all, that bounce remained. The travails of life did not stop him from quenching his never-ending thirst for education, eventually getting a PhD in chemistry. Nor did it stop his drive to succeed, earning over 35 patents during his career. And even after the love of his life left him, and he wondered how he might continue, he somehow managed to recreate himself and become a successful artist producing amazing, thought-provoking works of art. (See them here: http://www.teleazer.com)

To tell you the truth, I’m not sure if that bounce in my Dad’s step is the result of a bad hip, one leg being shorter than the other, or some other physical condition. Personally, I like to think that the bounce is a result of what is in his heart and spirit, for as far as I can tell, that is the conclusion his amazing life seems to support the most. Whatever the cause, I can only hope that for as long as he is alive, that bounce never leaves him.

What challenge(s) have you overcome to meet with success and inspire those around you? 

(Photo courtesy of the Virginia Historical Society)

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