holding_back

I had a dream as a child.
My dream was to conquer the whole world. Was it also your dream, perhaps?

Of course I knew it might be difficult, perhaps even very difficult, but it sounded possible. Just as possible as for a boy, usually perceived as a stupid or incapable one, to become a king in a fairy tale.

I wanted so much out of my life. I wanted a happy family. I wanted to make great scientific discoveries. I wanted to teach. I wanted to support healing. I wanted to write meaningful books. And so on.

I wanted to create. Science. Art. Harmony. Balance. Love. And I wanted to make an everlasting impact. What about you?

How have I scored so far?

Well… far below my dreams and ambitions, to be honest. But I can say that, at least, I made little steps in every direction I dreamt as a child. More importantly, I’ve become a conscious person. And I know that I am the only one responsible in my life to make things happen.

What about you?

What dream did you have as a child?
Did you want to become a great engineer or perhaps a great climber?
Did you want to become a doctor?
Did you want to paint? Or make art?
Did you want to write bestsellers?
Did you want to travel the whole world?
What did you want?

If you are honest with yourself then you will recognize that you still cherish your old ambitions. They are not gone. They are hidden in the vast depths of your soul, where you hardly ever look at. And you find excuses not to shed light on them, given your current commitments, responsibilities and obligations. Surely, you most likely have a daily job to do. Surely, you may have small kids or growing-up kids. Surely, you have a household to take care of. Surely, you have a financial challenge. Surely, you have a health problem in your family. Surely, there is something on the way.

What is your excuse?

I would love to start my own business but I have a family to provide for and cannot accept the risks involved.
I would love to write a novel but I have no time as I work hard and long hours.
I would love to travel but I have little money to spend and a carrier to look for.
I would love to become a musician but I am not sufficiently talented.

I don’t have enough skills, money, experience, time, possibilities or support. I don’t know how to start. I don’t know whether I am good enough. I am too young or I am too old. I have too much on my plate. I have too many tasks, responsibilities and challenges. And so on.

Yes, there is always a “but” if you want to find one.

Is there any limitation that keeps holding you back?

Think of Ludwig van Beethoven, a great composer. His hearing began to deteriorate in his late twenties, until he finally become completely deaf. Did it stop him from composing, conducting and performing? Not at all. Many of his masterpieces were created at that time he was deaf. He heard music in his mind.

Or think of John Milton, an English poet. He became blind, possibly because of glaucoma. Did it stop him from writing? Not at all. Many great works were created, including Paradise Lost after him becoming blind. He simply dictated his words over and over again. What about you?

Is there any traumatic event that keeps holding you back?

Think of Aron Ralston, a heroic mountain climber. He survived an accident in which he chose to amputate his own arm with a dull pocket knife in order to free himself from a dislodged boulder. What a courage!

Did the accident stop him from climbing? Did it stop him from having a successful life? Not at all. Even more. Not only was he a climber but he became an inspirational speaker as well. Read his biography, Between a Rock and a Hard Place, or see the 127 hours movie. What about you?

Is there the attraction of the comfort zone that keeps holding you back?

Think of Joe Simpson and Simon Yates, two mountain climbers who survived a descent from West Face of Siula Grande in Peruvian Andes against all odds and circumstances. Simpson’s survival is perhaps the most moving life story you will ever hear. Their adventure is transformational. Please watch the movie Touching The Void or read the book. It will touch you.

Did the traumatic events and numerous injuries stop them from climbing? Not at all. They hardened them into the men of Spirit. What about you?

Is there age, “bad luck” or lack of an experience that keep holding you back?

Think of Daniel Defoe. He had a life of troubles, political engagement, imprisonment, being cast out from the country, and so on. Although he wrote many pamphlets during his life time, he wrote his major novels and works, including Robinson Crusoe, after the age of 60. Overall, he was a prolific and wide-range writer, delivering a few hundreds books and pamphlets during his life. What about you?

Is there lack of money or possibilities that keep holding you back?

Think of Maria Skłodowska-Curie, a pioneering researcher on radioactivity, the first female professor at the University of Paris. She lost her mother at the age of 12 while her family lost fortunes in national uprisings fought for the freedom of Poland. She had to work hard as a teenager. And she had to work even harder as a young adult to pay for her sister’s studies and later for her own.

Did it stop her? Not at all. She was barely providing for herself, yet she persisted in studying math, chemistry and physics at Sorbonne in Paris, being the first woman in Europe. Imagine her Spirit! After the marriage with Pierre Currie, she took care of two daughters and worked days and nights at the laboratory. She was the first woman to get the Nobel prize and the first person honored with two Nobel Prizes, being one of the two people ever to win this prize in two different sciences. What about you?

Are the unfavorable, chaotic or otherwise difficult life circumstances your excuse?

Think of Miguel de Cervantes who wrote the Don Quixote masterpiece while being in and out of jail.

Think of Nelson Mandela, a world class leader and peace maker. Did 27 years in prison (for political reasons) stop him from taking action? Not at all. He remained a person of high morals. He refused to compromise his political position to obtain freedom. What a Character! He preserved his goal-orientation, energy and love for the people.  After his release he plunged into action and become one of the most successful reformers and leaders in South Africa. What about you?

But I have my job

O.K., so you read the above and you say, “Yeah, this is fine. But I have my job and my family”. Well, have you ever heard of Dave Navarro? Did his full-time job and a family of three young kids stopped him from following his passion? Not at all. He built a successful online business at the same time and helped others to do so. He learned to take consistent action and organize from inside out. And he saw the results. What about you?

Do you think of yourself as physically handicapped?

I have news for you. Nick Vujicic is a men born with no arms and no legs. Just imagine the challenges he went through as a child, incapabilities, being all the time dependent on others, being bullied at or laughed at. Not even mentioning the challenges of growing up. Yet, he overcame his disability to live not just independently but a rich and fulfilling life, welcoming every day with a smile. Watch him here or read his book Life without limits to change the way you perceive your own problems. What about you?

Back to you

Think again about the precious ambitions and dreams in your soul. Then look again at the excuses which stop you from making them happen. Just recognize how false they are. Whatever it is, lack of money, lack of experience, traumatic events, misunderstandings, handicaps or limitations, these are merely obstacles to make your journey much more interesting and thrilling than it could have been otherwise. Simply start slowly, begin running and jump over the obstacle. And enjoy it.

Express your creative desire through your own creative activity. Allow it to flow.

You are the only person who holds you back.

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Photo courtesy Fe Langdon, available under Creative Commons on Flickr.

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Categories: BooksStoriesUnderstanding

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