“We should be taught not to wait for inspiration to start a thing. Action always generates inspiration. Inspiration seldom generates action.” — Frank Tibolt
If you’re reading this, chances are you are someone with goals worth striving for.
Success requires setting goals and creating an action plan that propels you towards them. But when you are on your path to success and feel stagnant or stuck in the same spot — what do you do then?
How do you navigate your way forward when nothing seems to go to plan?
There’s an old song which echoes the lyrics: I Never Promised You A Rose Garden. When I hear it, I’m reminded of the sentiments in the song line that we are not promised optimal conditions throughout our lives. There is no Santa Claus handing out our desires on a silver platter.
Life will never be as we hope for and we must come to terms with that. Things that we don’t plan for happen unexpectedly. Things don’t go as planned, and it’s important to know that despite this, we will be ok. Life is a wonderful journey despite the setbacks, failures, trials and temptations.
Author Mary O’Malley explains in What’s in the Way Is the Way: A Practical Guide for Waking Up to Life: “Everything in your life — especially your challenges — is tailor-made to help you see your stories of struggle. Whatever is in the way is the way!”
Nothing is permanent expect your thoughts about a situation. All things have a used by date. Even your struggles and pain have a finite life, unless you give them more energy than they deserve.
I recall speaking with a respected child physician when my nephew was hospitalised for pneumonia. He observed that children have amazing healing abilities because they don’t add meaning and context to their illness, like adults. While they feel lousy one moment, they bounce back just as quick, since they don’t ruminate on their illness which slows the healing process.
We should take a leaf out of their book and step back from the chaos of our lives, so we can also recover quickly from our setbacks.
“Remember, people will judge you by your actions, not your intentions. You may have a heart of gold — but so does a hard-boiled egg.” — Author Unknown
I enjoy the statement: “Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass; it’s about learning to dance in the rain.” Learning to dance in the rain should be our objective because if happiness and inner peace is what we want, it is still possible despite outward circumstances.
In the statement, the rain symbolises trials, setbacks and frustrations. Therefore, don’t focus on what you cannot control, but lean towards joy instead. It is about persevering through unfortunate circumstances and choosing to enjoy the present moment.
“Serenity comes not only from accepting what we cannot change but from giving up trying to be in control,” states psychotherapist David Richo in: The Five Things We Cannot Change: And the Happiness We Find by Embracing Them.
Life is what you make of it.
I’m not announcing something new, but reminding you there are two ways of looking at your circumstance, yet we focus attention on what is wrong instead of what could be right.
It is about optimal growth.
“The only man who never makes mistakes is the man who never does anything.” — Theodore Roosevelt
Life is full of twists and turns, some of them contain unexpected situations where you struggle with: frustration, sadness, and hopelessness. Don’t be discouraged when they show up but learn to weather the storm.
Things will not go as you expect, keep moving forward, anyway.
“If you rise from a fall once, you become that much more confident you can rise again,” reminds author Sam Weinman in Win at Losing: How Our Biggest Setbacks Can Lead to Our Greatest Gains.
There will always be something not right where you are in your life. If you focus on what is right or what you’ve accomplished, your attitude will be better. You will be grateful and content no matter what surrounds you or how long it takes to reach your goal. You will be happy instead of disheartened.
Don’t lose heart.
“What would life be if we had no courage to attempt anything?” — Vincent van Gogh
Goals are inspiring. Every person should create short term and long term goals to work towards. Besides, it is important to create an inspired action plan that will help you attain those goals.
By inspired I mean pursuing a cause that means something to you. Take inspired action towards your goals so you create momentum and move towards them. As you take the smallest step forward, your energy propels you in that direction, and the momentum carries you over the bumps in the road.
Founder of Mindvalley Vishen Lakhiani writes in The Code of the Extraordinary Mind: 10 Unconventional Laws to Redefine Your Life and Succeed On Your Own Terms: “Have big goals — but don’t tie your happiness to your goals. You must be happy before you attain them.”
As you go to work, universal intelligence brings forth your desires and dreams. No matter the circumstances, inspired action should be taken so you are progressing. The right conditions to thrive and prosper reside in your thoughts, not in outward circumstances. If your attitude is in alignment with your goals, you’re well on your way to accomplishing them.
“Always do your best. What you plant now, you will harvest later.” — Og Mandino
Is it taking longer for you to accomplish your goals? Just keep taking the next step.
Are you frustrated with obstacles and setbacks?
Trust the process and the journey that is unfolding. It is leading you somewhere but not where you imagine. You won’t know until you get there, so for now release your worries, judgement and frustration and settle in for the ride. Enjoy where you are, on the way to where you are going. Take heart, knowing you will accomplish your goals in due time.
Think of a garden. It’s important to have good soil to produce fruit, but the soil need not be perfect to bring forth a harvest.
The same goes for you.
Your life doesn’t have to be perfect or problem free to reach your goals, or enjoy happiness now. Authors Todd Kashdan and Robert Biswas-Diener remind us of this truth in The Upside of Your Dark Side: “Unfortunately, avoiding problems also means avoiding finding the solutions to those problems.”
Focus on what is good and what is going right and continue to take inspired action towards your goals.
Afterall, just do it no matter what the conditions and you will achieve something meaningful owing to your commitment and perseverance.
Originally published at medium.com