“Heights by great men, reached and kept, were not attained by sudden flight. But they, while their companion slept, were toiling upwards through the night”.
It seems my best ideas and aha! moments happen for me when I’m tired, in need of encouragement and having some ‘self talk’ to get me through a rough patch (and these have been happening a lot lately!). I was musing over the fact that things are moving in a positive direction for me but its been a struggle to maintain this upward movement. With the success has come more responsibility and challenges and sometimes my knees (physically and mentally) buckle under the weight of it all.
So what do you do when you are getting your heart’s desire, but realize there’s way more to it than you previously thought? In Jamaica, we have a proverb, ‘The higher monkey climb, the more he exposed’. It means the more success you attain, the more you will be challenged and your varied weaknesses brought to the surface. They will come at you from all directions and you wonder what the heck is going on! What am I doing wrong? You ask yourself how do you adequately manage these challenges and minimize their [negative] effects?
Recognize that success is intentional: It’s hard work but you can decide to have fun with it along the way. Attitude defines your altitude and having a positive view of things will get you farther along than you focusing on the negatives. Success is an action word in every sense and is affected by your mental and emotional state as you traverse this path.You have to engage in activities that will take you where you need to be or to maintain that which you have attained. Success is lived every day that you don’t give up or give in. It’s lived when you choose to wake up so you can exercise, meditate or do whatever it takes to navigate your day purposefully.
It won’t be sudden: It will take some time – it’s not an overnight thing. The journey becomes less frustrating when you acknowledge this. Acknowledgement allows you to focus on what needs to be done and in identifying appropriate ways to address your needs.
It takes work and commitment: Some around you may be sleeping on their gifts but you have to decide not to be like them. You alone gets to decide on what you need, and so you should define it according to your terms,THEN work towards it. You won’t attain what you need by sitting down and complaining, hoping and dreaming. It’s not a wishy-washy thing where today you believe and tomorrow you don’t. Double-mindedness only delays what you are working towards. Decide what you are going to do and just do it. Everyday, without fail, until it becomes a habit.
It’s always darkest before the dawn: ‘Toil’, which I define as “Working extremely hard or incessantly”, speaks to consistently applying oneself to labour, physical or mental. To get what we desire we have to ‘toil upwards through the night’, through the dark hours of doubt, loneliness or exhaustion of varied capacities (money, time, skills, body, emotions). The adage, however, points to something important: they were toiling upwards. It means then that you will eventually be rewarded for your hard work and you certainly won’t always be where you are. Change is constant and an eventuality- you alone decides on the direction that it will take.
This is how you maintain your momentum. By daily applying yourself, living your vision and remaining focused. By not hurrying along and comparing yourself to those around you. By remaining mindful of your purpose, and engaging in activities that are geared towards accomplishing it.
Success won’t come overnight. But then, due to your significant investment, it won’t be as fleeting. You’ll appreciate it when it comes even more.