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This Is Not The Period of Your Life

This is an excerpt of my book Creative Faith. Thought I would share this today not only for you the reader but as a reminder for myself to get this book properly published. It is easy to put things back, procrastinate, and wait. If we are not careful we will grow roots in places we were never meant to be planted.

Hope you enjoy:

“Never give up on something that you can’t go a day without thinking about.” - Sir Winston Churchill

Sometimes life just seemingly sucks. I know that's not proper language, but that is just the way it is. Sometimes so many things are coming at you, going wrong, that life seems to suck. You're buried under a mountain of debt with no end in sight. You are trying to pursue goals that seem too big. Money's tight. You're not eating healthy. Exercise? Too tired, or too busy. Things start weighing you down and you think this is it. This is the sum total of my life. You have made too many mistakes, missed too many opportunities. You had talent but you failed to pursue it. Maybe you can sing, or write. Maybe you’re an illustrator or photographer. You wanted to pursue it. Maybe as a profession, or maybe as a hobby, but you didn't. Too many real life issues to pursue dreams. Too many excuses. Now you watch as people pursue and achieve their dreams, while you watch your dreams for life pass you by.

It's a bleak outlook. On the surface it seems hopeless, or does it? The good news for you is that this is not the period of your life, it's just a comma. Every person who has ever pursued a dream had to go through a crisis to get there. Everyone had to face a financial crisis, mockers, health problems, and depression. They all had feelings of self-doubt, self-incrimination, and rejection. In fact, some of the greatest creative minds that you see as a success have often failed miserably at the very thing you think they are successful for. 

Jack Canfield is a motivational speaker and author. He is co-creator of the Chicken Soup for the Soul series. These books consist of short inspirational stories. When they presented their idea to the publishers they were rejected, not once, not twice, but one 140 times. Publisher after publisher rejected the book saying people would not be interested in a random collection of short stories. Jack and his partner did not quit. They did not lose hope. They persisted and kept submitting the book until finally the book was published. Today the series consists of over 200 titles, has been translated into 40 different languages, has sold over 112 million copies in the US and Canada alone, and has earned in excess of $2 billion dollars in sales. The biggest accomplishment is that the books have touched and inspired millions of people. 

Ever hear of Mickey Mouse and Walt Disney World? Walt Disney is the creator and dreamer of this great family entertainment, but he was fired from the Kansas City Star newspaper for a lack of imagination, and for not having new ideas. He went on to work in commercial art, specifically animation. Here, he started creating animated films, but his money started running out and he was on his way to being bankrupt. He kept pushing forward going to Hollywood with his films and dreams which landed him a job in the motion picture industry. Here he created Mickey Mouse in the film "Steamboat Willy." He began developing color cartoons and held the patents for about two years. Yet, still, tragedy struck with the death of his mother, followed by the start of World War II. It wasn't until in the mid-twentieth century that he began to realize his dream of an amusement park. Even when he faced challenges after the park was rejected by the city of Anaheim. Today Walt Disney World is recognized all around the world as the place where dreams come true. So why did these people succeed? Did they have some special quality known only to a select few? Were they endowed with special power to accomplish the impossible? No and no. They simply refused to quit.

They decided that despite the hardship, the disappointments, and the pain, their life had not ended with a period. Instead, they discovered that they had more story to tell. More things to accomplish and more dreams to fulfill. If this holds true for them why not you? Doesn’t the ability to do great things exist in you at this very moment? Why can others accomplish great things, yet you are trapped by circumstance? If circumstance was the deciding factor in success or failure, no one would succeed. 

I often tell my sons when things go wrong, "Life happens." It really is that simple, life happens. Things go wrong sometimes. Even in the midst of great things happening, bad things can occur. The question is ‘where is your focus?’ Where are you looking? At the problems? The failures? Your fears? What is it holding you back? Is it people? There will always be people to try and stand in the way. Go around them. Move past them. If one says no, someone else will say yes. As Les Brown says, "Make no your vitamin." Choose to take each no and let it create fuel for the fire to move ahead. There are over 6 billion people on Earth and you’re going to stop after one no? Two? Three? You keep going until you get a yes. Sound simple? That's because in principle is. It's not rocket science, you just don't quit trying.

Living out this attitude is different. If you focus on the negative events, the negative agendas, you will give up before you even get started. You will accept failure as your position. So let me remind you, you’re not a failure. You only can fail one way, and that is by never trying again. You were given something special. It is yours and only yours. Of all the people past, present, and future, you are unique. What was given to you was meant to be shared. Shared to inspire. Shared to give hope. Shared to bring joy. Your gift was not given to you bury or hide, it was given to be developed and used for a purpose. Les Brown said, "You don't have to be great to get started, but you have to get started to be great." You owe your talent to those around you. Just because you face circumstance, doubt, and fear is no reason not to share what you have within you. The circumstances do not define you, but your reaction to the circumstances do. 

In every aspect of life, you have the choice to roll under or run over. Inside of you is the greatest potential to not only pursue your dreams but to also achieve them. As you pursue your dreams, you’re going to have more circumstances stand between you and them, but it is not the circumstance that will define you. How you decide to respond to the circumstances will. You can choose to move towards the goals and dreams of your heart. Then when you have achieved the dream, when you have reached what had seemed impossible, you will discover that what you have achieved is not nearly as valuable as what you've become through the process.


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