I suppose somewhere on the road to acceptance, we learn that rejection is part of the game. The same goes for the road to success. I say this because somewhere along the road to success, we understand that failure is part of the plan. Otherwise, how else do we learn? The rest of the plan is resilience, endurance and our ability to continue even when we’ve lost or fallen down. Along the way to wherever it is our destination says; we rise and we fall. We live and we learn. We love and we lose but above all, we find out that hardships are also part of the trip.
We are bound to make wrong turns. We are bound to find dead-ends and hit bumps in the road. At some point, we are bound to realize the simple truth. Not everything in life is smooth—and if it was, would we even know what it means to work hard? Would we ever understand the struggle if everything came easily? Or better yet, if everything came easily, would we know the value of what we have or what we’ve lost?
I say this now and I’ll say this on my last day, I am not interested in the social editors or the critics. I am not interested in the disruptors of my paradise nor am I interested in those who attempt to keep me from my path. They are not my business—and even if they make me their business, they’re still not mine.
More and more, I understand that people are only a distraction. Hardships are distractions—and pain? Well, pain is what trains us to anticipate. The anticipation of pain is what makes us flinch. Pain is a memory. Pain is a link towards the internal ideas of rejection and yet, there is a great, big world out there. There are so many opportunities and for some reason, we find ourselves locked in the thoughts of opportunities that never worked out.
We are all historic in the sense that we tend to regard our background more than our future. We look for the cracks and the warnings; and all the while, literally endless opportunities will pass by without our attention because our attention is elsewhere. It’s easy to see the scars and feel the remnants of our history. It’s easy to hear the old thoughts or the old internal dialogue. This is normal and par for the course. This is the mind screaming out about the thoughts and emotions from the past. This is a normal reaction. However, reactions can lead to overreactions, in which case, we allow our emotions to shape the failures of our expected outcomes.
No one sets out to fail. Nobody wants the aches and pains that come with growth, but yet, this is part of the path—and seldom does one come without the other. In fact, one could argue that no one would know how amazing our achievements are without understanding the contrast of what it took to get here. And without rejection, how would we know how it feels to truly be accepted?
There is no way for anyone to avoid life nor is there a way to avoid disappointments. This is life; however, along the way, we can do one of two things: We can learn to think forward or we live with what’s behind us.
Either way, the choice is ours.
So, what is this?
Is this motivation?
No, this is just truth.
If rejection and failure are part of acceptance and success, the question is how do we navigate through the troubled times? How do we look ahead when our past is still calling for our attention?
What does forward thinking mean?
How does one navigate this way instead of living their life in the rearview mirror?
Forward thinking is to favor the future. Look for innovation. Look for the opportunities instead of the falls. Look for the possibilities, but more, forward thinking is also understanding when to move on. This is how to achieve a forward motion when something else is pulling you behind. Besides, it’s easy to hurt; and I say this because pain is one of the most noticeable sensations. Fear is equally easy because fear is prevalent. However, fear can also be an excellent motivator. Fear is often our teacher; however, not every lesson we learn is helpful.
It’s simple. There are going to be days when life hurts. There will be days when it seems that everything is wrong. There will be days when fear takes over. There will be days when heartache takes the dominant role. It is best to understand that this is par for the course. It is even better to understand that this is part of life, but fortunately, this is only one part— the rest is up to us.
Pass or fail, good or bad, there is always a pathway to personal improvement. There’s always the soul’s right to breathe and the right to improve. No one can ever stop this.
This doesn’t mean people will be helpful.
In fact, let’s put life into perspective:
People have their own agenda. And guess what, so do we. It would be inaccurate to believe that everyone will be all smiles and open-arms. To be clear, not all smiles are friendly and not everyone who greets us with open arms is helpful.
At some point, we will trust someone who did not deserve us. At some point, we will invest in people and come up short. At some point, we will learn to realize this is part of life. Rather than take this personally, we will learn not to personalize our distractions and instead, we will keep them in perspective.
I am a fan of the work by Robert Fulghum in which he writes about the old saying, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.”
Fulghum explains this differently.
He says, “Sticks and stones will break our bones but words can break our hearts.”
And I agree.
This is true. I say that a word can cut deeper than any blade. I get that. I get that emotional pain does not always heal quite the same as a bump or a bruise. Sometimes the scars can seem to last forever. Sometimes the scars tell stories and sometimes they tell lies.
Part of my trip has been more beautiful than I could put into words. Part of this trip has been exciting and amazing. Part of this trip has been upsetting and off-putting. But I know that the best is yet to come. I know this because I am not done. And since this is true then it is also true that I have more to see, more to do and more to learn. This is why I am up before dawn. This is why I take the bumps and the bruises. This is why I dust myself off when I fall—and this doesn’t mean I don’t hurt or my heart doesn’t break. It does and it does this frequently; but with all of my heart, my one best quality is my ability to endure. I have spent decades perfecting this, which means no one can stop me from moving forward
Unless I let them . . .