All too often in life we tend to move in the wrong direction… or at least we tend to think we do. Sometimes we think that because we are only looking at things from a narrow peephole, that of our own perspective. The truth is that our actions are determined by a plethora of things and their consequences are often many more than we consider.
For instance, I have a craft project that I have been working on for several years. To be certain, it is a large project and there are others who have taken just as long to finish or even longer. I am really concerned with them, however. All I tend to consider is how often I have put off this project. I end up thinking I have failed because there is still much to do on it. What I am not taking into account is what I have done instead of working on this project.
In that same time that I did not complete this project, I did complete many others and most were for charity. I also helped teach others in making their own projects as well as over twenty hours a week on doing other charitable work. I simply did not sleep through those years. I was busy and productive. I may not have finished that specific project but I did complete many others.
This series is about living the light that the last holidays of 2016 proclaimed and be learning to be the light ourselves. When we consider how we can be a ray of light, hope, or joy to another or to the world, we tend to become bogged down in self-doubt and guilt. The two most destructive words in any language become an active part of our thinking: “I can’t.”
As long as I think I can never finish my craft project, I never will. It doesn’t take a magic crystal to see into the future to know that is true. As long as I continue to focus on what has not happened – i.e., finishing the project, I never will make it happen. What will guarantee me success is to focus on what will help me move forward. The first step towards making that happen is for me to decide I am not going to let the project remain unfinished. It does not really require anything but a conviction to move and make that movement forward movement.
But what if I fail? I know you are thinking that. Victor Kiam had a simple answer to that self-doubt that tends to creep in all our minds: “Even if you fall on your face, you’re still moving forward.” The key to success is to move. Henry Ford believed that “If everyone is moving forward together, then success takes care of itself.” We often forget that learning truly occurs when something unexpected happens. What might seem like a failure often is the key to future success.
When we move, we are making things happen. Not everything happens successfully but everything provides a lesson and those lessons will ultimately lead to success. Ghanaian writer Ernest Agyemang Yeboah explains it this way: “A step from the past always demands a step in the mind backed by a robust action. The very place you fall is the very place you make the first move to move.”
Today I will schedule time to work on my project. Because I want to be successful, I will move toward that success. No one else can do it for me. “No one gets ahead in life by living a backward life.” Edmond Mbiaka, A New Yorker said that and I believe it to be true. We need to move forward and be the light the world needs from us. After all, everything I do or do not do has a consequence. I would rather leave a trail of productive things in my wake than negative ones. We all have a choice: Will we spend our energy on lamenting doing nothing or by moving forward?