Starting is both exhilarating and terrifying. There’s a voice in our head asking ‘How great will it be if I take on this journey? How great will it be if I succeed?’ But it’s often drowned out by a louder voice, questioning ‘What if I fail? What if I stumble? What if I give up and can’t do it anymore?’ Little do we know that mistakes, failures, setbacks, they’ll catch us whatever we do – wouldn’t the biggest mistake be not trying at all? Nowhere in its definition does starting have an expiration date. It’s not only available in the New Year, at the beginning of the month or on a Monday. We can start whenever we want, we can start again as many times as we need, and we can change our path along the way. It doesn’t matter how many times we fall down, as long as we pick ourselves back up again. Don’t let that loud terrified voice drown out the exhilarated one. Today is the day to take that step towards something great.
In life, we’ll face setbacks, obstacles and injustice. But don’t give up on life. Never stop fighting for what you believe in, for what is right, and never stop believing it can come true. What doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger. And love will win against hate.
The words ‘setback’ and ‘downfall’ illustrate our fear of regression. We don’t want to stumble backwards or fall behind. And therefore we decide to give up to avoid running off course. But we need to realise that regression can be progression. Sometimes there are times when we need to take a break from our plans or reschedule our plans. Sometimes it’s unexpected and other times it’s essential. But just because we jump off the treadmill doesn’t mean we can’t get back on. We might have to start again or run slower, and it might seem like we’ve regressed from where we were before, but that doesn’t mean we should give up. The real regression is standing still. Let’s choose to keep moving and keep picking ourselves up, because moving backwards in the grand scheme of things is still moving forward today. And today is all we have.
It can be easy to give into failure and to be discouraged by road blocks, but the truth is, every ‘no’ is one step closer to a ‘yes’ and every ‘no’ is actually a ‘not yet’. J.K Rowling’s Harry Potter was turned down by 12 publishers before it was picked up by Bloomsbury. Similarly, 27 publishers rejected Dr Seuss’s first book To Think That I Saw It On Mulberry Street. Steven Spielberg was declined from the University of Southern California’s film school twice. Walt Disney was told he “lacked imagination and had no good ideas” and Albert Einstein allegedly didn’t learn to speak until aged four. Those who we admire and who carry great success have been rejected, fired, replaced, insulted and deemed incapable. What if they had given up, been defeated and resorted to something else? Our culture wouldn’t be the same. We need to start looking at our setbacks as steps forward rather than backwards. Don’t deprive yourself and the world of your success. You can achieve greatness as long as you pursue, persist and persevere. Keep your chin up.
Every adversity, every failure and every heartache carries with it the seed of an equivalent greater benefit – Napoleon Hill