I’m beginning to be one of those “old” people who tells you the same stories over and over again. But in my defense, I keep figuring out new ways to apply the old stories.
Several years ago I moved in to a new condo in Florida and a friend had given me a sofa to put up in my rather large bedroom. Yeah, I know, I just recently told this but listen up. I had no one but myself to get this sofa from point A, bottom of the stairs, to point B, the top of the stairs. All I had was myself, and my damned stubborn determination.
Sure I could have waited to find someone to help carry the sofa up the stairs over the next few days. But I didn’t want to wait a few days. I wanted to do it right then. So, I did. Somehow I worked the sofa on to the stairs and then one step at a time with my back pressed against the sofa and using my dancer’s legs, got the sofa to the top of the massive staircase. All the while a cat was riding on top of it like a scene from The Ten Commandments.
It took me a while. I’d stop and catch my breath. And there was a sharp turn at the top with a balcony to the living room below. So lifting it and twisting it in the right direction could have gone one of two ways. I could throw the sofa from the second floor to the first or, I could make the turn and move it the rest of the way to my room. Fortunately, the latter happened.
But this is how it always goes.
Once, one of my dear friends who is a life coach was speaking to a group of people. She said pick up your water glass. And we all did. She said ok, put the glass back down. Now this time “try” to pick up your water glass. Um, what? To quote Yoda, “Try not. Do or do not. There is no try.”
What are you “trying” to do in your life? Then just stop. I won’t be so predictable as to employ the Nike slogan here, ok, maybe I will. But there’s something to be said for “just do it”. It applies to almost all things. Are you “trying” to find a new job? Are you “trying” to get away from that abusive boyfriend? (You know who you are, and I love you, you need to just get out.) Are you dreaming big and “trying” to start your own business? Are you “trying” to go back to school? Are you “trying” to be a better friend, parent, son or daughter?
Then do it.
There’s lessons in the sofa pushing. First of all, I knew clearly beyond any shadow of a doubt what I wanted.
Secondly, nope didn’t have the first clue how I was going to do it. It was only when I started taking the first steps that I learned how I needed to adjust and change and find solutions as I climbed the stairs.
Thirdly, I knew there was going to be a problem at the top. But I didn’t sit and fret and worry while I stood at the bottom as to the what and how I was going to deal with the top. I stayed in the moment and I dealt with the top when I got there.
It’s two steps forward. One step back. There was a couple times I was pretty convinced I was about to be crushed by a sofa only to be found days later with my cats still perched above my dead body, with the smug look of “we tried to tell her she couldn’t do it.” And that’s the other lesson. People will tell you, you can’t. They will come up with a bazillion reasons why you can’t. Which is fine. It’s when you start to tell yourself that you can’t that is the problem.
Raw determination and laser point focus is really the only thing you need. Abraham Lincoln even said, “Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any other.” I have that quote on my desk. I don’t know why I ignore it so much.
Decide what you want to do and then do it. And don’t stop until you have. Period. And don’t listen to that stupid quote about shoot for the moon and if you fail you will land among the stars. What crap. First of all the closest star is the sun. And secondly, it’s like someone is saying oh well, you failed, so sorry. But now you get to burn up in the atmosphere.
Determination trumps all. You do or you do not. There’s no middle ground. And you would be completely surprised how much you can accomplish when you simply decide to.