“You will be tested at every corner,” she had stated as we sat discussing certain spiritual practices. For us simple humans living our daily lives, “success” seems elusive and is described as a path full of hardships. “Successful” people are described as those who kept at it with dogged persistence, yet we do not quite understand the struggle. Grass always seems greener on the other side.
The Grand Battles
Our lives are stories, and once we start telling our story to the world – there are elements of heroism, stark grit and sudden realizations. That’s how stories are told. The best parts are remembered, the worst parts are forgotten. Only the bard knows the real pain behind his tale, the audience cheers the brave soul reciting his own wondrous fable. They feel the bard is special to have this adventurous life. The bard knows that his life in its simplest form was still an adventure. What he did with it makes for the tale. Battles and struggles are never really glorious, they become so once the victor comes out unscathed, and lives to tell the tale. If the warrior dies, the tale is buried with him. Every opportunity that life gives us – might that be a wild email popping up or bumping into an old acquaintance – has the potential to be converted into something way bigger. It only depends on an individual’s enterprising nature.
Hurdles to Jump On
There are no problems, only hurdles. “And jumping on hurdles is the only way to build muscle.” This eloquence was shared by one of the most infamous of dictators. It makes complete sense, and continues to inspire. Fear is imagined, and problems are issues we dwell on to make them bigger and uglier. Taking a step back and analyzing a situation with detachment always helps. As the Bhagavad Gita puts it – turning away from the winds of your karma will only ensure that you’re pulled in, and pulled in how! Having unshakeable faith in the Universe, we ought to step into the storms we have created, for there is nothing that life gives us which we haven’t subconsciously asked for. Challenges make us stronger, they make us who we are by putting our mettle to test.
I had written about shedding startup shells earlier, where we end up building a shell through every tough situation but have to give it up as we move on. Failure to do so results in emotional baggage that can kill. Failure to move results in being stuck in the past. Stepping out of shells is not easy – for we are always raw and shivering, not knowing how to fend for ourselves in the new reality, the new rules. These new experiences help us build the new shell which helps us survive till it becomes obsolete, once we are ready for new lessons in life.
Path to Glory
Life is a journey, full of hurdles and tough situations. Our experiences are built on how we deal with these storms and tantrums. The more frequent the challenges, the more grateful you ought to be. For that means that you are graduating out of shells faster than usual – which also means that the learning curve is unusually steep – always a good sign. It is easy to get bogged down under pressure and blame the outside world. It is crucial to look inside in the face of fear, know that every challenge is only but a calling to prove your mettle and face it with a smile. You will be tested at every corner, let there be no second thoughts about this. But the more hurdles you cross, the more you grow as a human being.
Dogged & Evolutionary Perseverance
It is admirable for a caterpillar to stay put on its route to travel an entire path from one end of the jungle to the other. However, it might also be unwise considering that the risks far outweigh the gains. A wiser caterpillar might take a halt, evolve into a butterfly and fly the distance. While the risks still exist, they are far lower than the earlier scenario. Almost all challenges require a drastic change in perspective. While perseverance is a quality to note and appreciate – it ought to be evolutionary rather than dogged. Constantly reevaluate your strategy by staying in touch with the latest trends and the real problems on the ground. Staying informed keeps your feet on the ground and helps you stay focused on the war despite lost battles.
Living Every Day
Understand that every single day is the best day of your life. Thank the Universe for the people around you, for the love you can spread and folks you can help. Thank them for creating the challenges for you to surmount, thank them for making it so easy, and so tough. Always seek opportunity in adversity, because nothing was ever gained by crying on split milk. If one well doesn’t strike water, you have to dig another, and then another. Dig well, and wisely. Giving up is never an option.