Archives for Courage category
Posted on Jan 25, 2013 under Attitude, Be the Change, Challenges in Life, Choices in Life, Courage, Dealing with Adversity, Dream, Dyslexia, Fearless, Inspiration, Life, Mary Oliver, Perseverance, poem, Reflection, The Journey |
“Risk anything! Care no more for the opinion of others … Do the hardest thing on earth for you. Act for yourself. Face the truth.” – Katherine Mansfield
No one might have known it better than Daniel Eugene “Rudy” Ruettiger about acting for oneself and facing the truth. Rudy harboured a dream to play for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish football team, despite being merely 5’6″ and 165 pounds – an undersized player, and lacking the grades – because he was dyslexic – and also lacking the money necessary to attend Notre Dame. He prepared to settle down with a job at a local steel mill like his father, but when his best friend Pete was killed in an explosion at the mill, Rudy decided to follow his dream of attending Notre Dame and playing for the Fighting Irish.
He went on to fulfill his dream to attend Notre Dame and to play for the Fighting Irish at home as defensive end against Georgia Tech on November 8, 1975, in his final senior season; achieving all these despite being constantly mocked at, disbelief from even people who are closest to him – his family, and numerous rejection from Notre Dame. Not only had Rudy achieved his dreams, he had also gone on to achieve the dreams of his father and to inspire the people around him.
Haven’t we received countless advises from family and friends when we voiced out what we want to do? That we cannot do this or do that. No doubt they are concerned about our well-being and yet these well-meaning advises can kill our dreams even before we start. After all the wet blankets that were thrown to us, we were somehow convinced, “Yes, they are right, we could’t do it. It wouldn’t work.” As much as we must not become overly stubborn and persistent towards the pursue of our dreams, we must be prepared to stand up and believe in our dreams.
However, in the pursue of our dreams, we must be mentally prepared to go on the journey alone at times and it will be a bonus if we happen to have anyone walking with us. We must be determined to do the only thing we could do – determined to save the only life we could save.
Journey by Mary Oliver
One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
their bad advice –
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
“Mend my life!”
each voice cried.
But you didn’t stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations,
though their melancholy
It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.
But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do –
determined to save
the only life you could save.
Photo Credit: Andrew S. Gray Photography
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Posted on Jan 17, 2013 under Appreciation, Attitude, Challenges in Life, Choices in Life, Courage, Dealing with Adversity, Dream, Empowering Ourselves, Family Relationship, Gratitude, Happiness, Health, Inspiration, Joseph Campbell, Lesson in Life, Living, Passion, Patience, Randy Pausch, Reflection, Steve Jobs |
Joseph Campbell said, “Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors where there were only walls.”
Then Steve Jobs said something about loving what you do, “Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking. Don’t settle.”
And Francois Marie Arouet (Voltaire) put it very simply, “I have decided to be happy because it’s good for my health.”
Joseph was right when he said that the universe will open doors where there were only walls and might I say that we need to have strong faith, courage and trust that it will all turn out great too; because more often than not, we need to walk through the wall or to knock down the wall to build the door. The universe favours one who work hard and there is always delay gratification. Patience. Why you may ask? As the saying goes, “Easy comes, easy goes.” And so it will be with the gift bestows to you from the universe. Thus, it is necessary to prepare one mentally to receive that greatest gift of becoming the person we were born to be. In fact, we are already that person, waiting to be let out of our heart.
The preparation could have come in the form of lessons in life and work. Steve Jobs mentioned that work is going to fill a large part of our life. So doesn’t it make sense to do work that we love, work that bring out our best potential, work that we are naturally good? It certainly makes a lot of sense. As the saying goes, “When we love the work we do, then we don’t have to work anymore for another day because we will be playing everyday.
That happiness found in work will surely overflow to the other parts in life; affecting first and foremost the relationships with our family and friends. Don’t we all know of someone who is everyday complaining about work? It is rather sad actually to see someone we care about going through the unhappiness. Yet I think Randy Pausch put it best when he said, “Too many people go through life complaining about their problems. I’ve always believed that if you took one tenth the energy you put into complaining and applied it to solving the problem, you’d be surprised by how well things can work out.” Are we also falling into such a cycle? A gentle reminder to myself, “Acknowledge the challenges and then to focus on the solutions.”
Acknowledging the challenges is important as we cannot change that, which we are not aware of and it is for one very good reason that change must come through. Being happy – it’s not only good for the people we loved and cared about, most importantly it is exceptionally good for myself! Are you joining me in this happiness journey?
Photo Credit: http://www.vladstudio.com
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Posted on Jan 11, 2013 under Attitude, Courage, Gratitude, Inspiration, Lesson in Life, Letting go, Moment of Realisation, Quotation, Quote, Reflection, Steve Jobs |
Steve Jobs said, “Every once in a while, I find myself in the presence of purity – purity of spirit and love – and I always cry. It always just reaches in and grabs me.”
Have you ever come across such moments in your life where the lessons in life just came knocking on your door and without even waiting for you to answer, they came through that open door right into your heart and entered your soul; becoming a part of you and you knew that your life was enriched? That, I called my ‘Moment of Realisation.’ The first time I read the above quote by Steve Jobs, I was travelling on the bus.
In that moment, I felt the lumps in my throat. I have had moments like that before but it wasn’t until I read the quote that came close to describe that strong feeling – purity of spirit and love. I believe that most of us have moments like this, if only we listen more to that voice within us; I am learning to tune in more to it.
There are a lot of lessons in life that we have learnt when were young, even when we were just babies. No? Just a while ago, when I was reading a quote by Karen Kostyla, “Sometimes I wish I could just let things go at the end of the day … Lord, please help me to let go of the junk I keep in my life and to focus on the beauty You place before me each and every day … Your Love Amazes Me!“, a thought came to my mind suddenly.
We were never created with the intention to hold on to things; that was also never the true purpose of the pair of hand that was given to us. In fact, one of the very first few lessons we learned was on ‘opening our hands and letting go.’ Just in a quote I came across from Lao Tzu yesterday, “To hold, you must first open your hand. Let go.”
Have you ever observed that most newborn babies have clenched fist? According to an article in livestrong.com by Candice Hughes, “Through the first few weeks of life, newborn babies often will retain the position they were in while confined inside the uterus. They will keep their arms and legs close to their bodies and keep their hands clenched. It will take weeks after she is born for your infant to begin opening and closing her hands.”
The newborn babies learned to open their hands and this also open up a whole new world of excitement for the babies. The baby has learnt to let go of the familiarity in a matter of a few weeks and to embrace the exciting uncertainties ahead. I have once forgotten this lesson bestowed upon me since I was a baby and am learning it again: To open my hands and to let go – to let go of the familiarity and to embrace the exciting journey ahead. What is past is gone, now I must journey on. Have Faith and Trust that when things are falling apart, they are also falling into places.
Would you open your hands and journey on with me too?
Photo Credit: Dynamic Graphics/Creatas/Getty Images
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Posted on Jan 09, 2013 under Attitude, Challenges in Life, Choices in Life, Courage, Dream, Edgar Albert Guest, Empowering Ourselves, Fear, Inspiration, It Couldn't be Done, Lesson in Life, Moment of Realisation, poem, Reflection, Regret |
George Bernard Shaw said, “But I dream things that never were; and I say, “Why not?””
Indeed, ‘Why not?’ Two simple words with a question mark, open up a whole new world of possibilities – if we will only take a moment to look deeply within ourselves. The first and foremost reaction of most, including myself at times, is to shoot off a idea and to deem it not possible on the first time we hear it. Negativity kicks in for most people and the pessimist in us said, “It couldn’t be done.” Really? Or to be honest with ourselves, are we fearing the hidden growth or the butterflies in the stomach? The nervousness that speaks to us, “Hey, I haven’t done this before.” Tune in to the optimist inside us and let us ask ourselves, ‘Why not?’
Lessons come to us in the most unspeakable hours; they hit you when the time is right and it sure doesn’t matter whether we are expecting them. That, I called it ‘Moment of realisation’ – a moment of lesson learns in life. This particular lesson came to me when I was lying on my bed last night, fiddling my Xperia P, and checking on my page in Facebook when I read the poetry ‘It Couldn’t be Done’ by Edgar Albert Guest.
Whenever we have an idea and we are all excited to share it with the people around us, guess what? We are being shot off, fall flatly on our face, and the next moment the doubt will creep in to claim its land. We told ourselves, “Maybe it is not such a brilliant idea after all.” We trust the opinion of people around us instead of ourselves. They have successfully ‘killed’ our idea with one shot. Remember the ‘crab mentality?’
Love the doubt that creeps in. Yes, love it, as it may be true sometimes. However, we should be trusting our own intuition more. Ask ourselves this, “How many times we had great ideas, and we shared with people closest to us about these ideas and suddenly they made us feel like they are not such great ideas after all.” Then one day, we overheard that someone else had made great use of our idea! ‘If only,’ we told ourselves. Let us face this, a lot of time, the people who are closest to us, they are the greatest ideas ‘killers.’
However, we have to take full responsibility for that as we chose to ask them in the first place; we can’t expect people around us to know everything especially with things they have not done before. We chose to listen to their well-meaning opinions. Sometimes, we have to take the road less travelled or even to create new trails for others who follow after us.
The next time when someone told us, “It couldn’t be Done,” let us answer them with a smile, and say, “Why not?” We’ll do it anyway and let our action doing the talking for us.
It Couldn’t Be Done by Edgar Albert Guest
Somebody said that it couldn’t be done
But he with a chuckle replied
That “Maybe it couldn’t,” but he would be one
Who wouldn’t say so till he’d tried.
So he buckled right in with the trace of a grin
On his face. If he worried he hid it.
He started to sing as he tackled the thing
That couldn’t be done, and he did it!
Somebody scoffed: “Oh, you’ll never do that;
At least no one ever has done it;”
But he took off his coat and he took off his hat
And the first thing we knew he’d begun it.
With a lift of his chin and a bit of a grin,
Without any doubting or quiddit,
He started to sing as he tackled the thing
That couldn’t be done, and he did it.
There are thousands to tell you it cannot be done,
There are thousands to prophesy failure,
There are thousands to point out to you one by one,
The dangers that wait to assail you.
But just buckle in with a bit of a grin,
Just take off your coat and go to it;
Just start in to sing as you tackle the thing
That “cannot be done,” and you’ll do it.
Photo Credit: whendreamstakeflight.wordpress.com
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