Anytime you decide on the pursuit of an important goal, you’ll be faced with a series of challenges. Peaks, valleys and plateaus are par for the the course. But the thing that separates the people who make it from the ones that don’t is the courage to stay the course.
At the start of any new endeavor most of us look forward to every single day with a child like excitement. We see infinite possibilities and the future appears bright. It seems as though there is absolutely nothing that can get in our way. We feel almost invincible and the possibility of failure doesn’t even occur to us. We blow through every obstacle with a sense that we’re invincible.
Then we hit the first real roadblock. Our excitement diminishes and turns into frustration. The pursuit of that goal makes us feel as though we’re hitting our heads against a brick wall. We keep on hitting our heads until we realize that it doesn’t lead to anything other than a really bad headache, and the possibility of failure emerges. We wonder if maybe we should just quit in order to avoid the misery that failing will bring with it. But you realize deep down inside that anything worth doing requires the courage to fail. So you keep going.
In next phase of reaching that goal we hit what appears to be a plateau. It seems as though no real progress is being made. We go through the motions and everyday we think about quitting, but there’s a little flicker inside that lingers from the fire that burns so deep inside us when we want something so bad. We search for the courage to stay the course, and struggle to find it.
It seems like all we can really see is how far we still have to go. But if we take a look back, the view suddenly changes. Instead of seeing how far we have to go, we see how far we’ve come, and hope resurfaces. As a result we find the courage to stay the course and we keep going.
Soon, the voices of dream crushers, nay-sayers and self doubt emerge and we become tempted to listen. We start to wonder if maybe they’re right and that we are in fact losing this fight. But something inside tells us to drown at that noise and we find the courage to stay the course.
The finish line seems as though it’s nowhere in site and even the supposed light at the end of a dark tunnel seems to be a far fetched fantasy of wild eyed crazy dreamers. It doesn’t seem as though it’s too long before you really hit rock bottom. But there’s a beauty in rock bottom that gives you an opportunity to play the game as if you’ve got nothing to lose. So you look deep inside, and find the courage to stay the course.
It’s in those moments when you really want to give up that the biggest breakthroughs, flashes of insight and moments of brilliance occur. But there’s only one way to find out. That’s by finding the courage to stay the course.
|Written on 1/30/2012 by Srinivas Rao. Srinivas is the author of the Skool of Life, where he writes about surfing, personal development, and things you never learned in school but should have. If you’re ready to to become a student, check out his FREE course on the 7 most valuable lessons they never taught in school. You can follow him on twitter @skooloflife.|