Whoever tried to make us think that the road to reaching a goal is a nice, straight ribbon stretched out from ‘you are here’ to the finish line should be tied to a railroad track with the tangled, tattered remaining shreds of that ribbon. As the speeding Orange Blossom Special is bearing down on them, you get to stand beside them, shouting every motivational quote that you’ve ever heard, getting up in their faces and yelling, “Come on, you can do it, you’ve got what it takes”. I’ll let you decide how this will end depending on how you feel about having been lied to all this time as you’ve attempted to follow that stretch of highway with its hairpin turns, obstacles and the places where the road just drops off the map.
Excuse me while I untie myself from the tracks. Yes, I get to escape because at the last minute I saw the light. It was accompanied by a screaming whistle and a chuga-chuga noise. I will never again be that cheerleading, smug self-righteous bitch telling people how easy it is to succeed if they just make up their minds to do it. So, as I pick myself up from where I had lain in a heap at the bottom of the crevasse I stepped off into, the last of the smoldering cinders being stomped out as some grumpy ass bear in a ranger’s hat watches me do it, I begin to claw my way back up to the road. That winding, twisting, gully washed, rocky, pot holed road.
I have no idea what the hell happened. One day I was plugging away, vision board in full view, Magick rock in my pocket and offering my cheery rah-rah’s to every pain stricken face I encountered that needed my helpful encouragement. I feel so compelled to do this, that I can say without the least bit of reservation, that motivating people on this journey called life is my dream. Having been totally convinced by the people in my life, that being an underachiever was what I was destined to be, I had resigned myself to that. Then, one fateful night I saw the infomercial that would change everything. Yeah, you know it…Tony Robbins.
I ordered the tapes…yes cassette tapes, which I listed to all the time. I did the exercises and began to live life with intention and purpose and for the first time began to see myself differently. Taking a management job that I originally turned down because I didn’t think I could do it, I began to set goals and surpass them. Over time, I studied the works of other motivators and never stopped. Not only did I benefit, but I began to share what I learned from them and my own experience. Even now, as I write this, if I can inspire even one person to reach beyond their self-imposed limitations to live their dreams, I will be ecstatic! I want to excite people, fire them up and encourage them to take those risks and push through their doubts and fears because I did and it changed my entire life.
However, I never want to mislead anyone. It is not easy and it is not just a matter of mind over matter because that matter is ingrained. Habits and patterns become a part of you, the way you think and the way you respond and the way you behave. Yes, you can change that, but it takes work and perseverance and the diligence to discover how you will change it as an individual because this is not a ‘one size fits all’ kind of thing. The things that trigger you to repeat patterns that self-sabotage your efforts are unique to you and it’s a long, hard process of excavating the dark recesses of your mind and examining what you find. To tell you otherwise would be to outright lie to you and I make a piss-poor liar which is why I won’t even play poker.
Just as you can be driven to succeed by your own power to do so, you can also be driven to self-destruct. I would love to be able to tell you why this happens and how you can fix it, but that too, will be unique to you. I can only find the answer to that for myself right now. Making a change is inevitable, I know. Otherwise, I will only sink lower and making the required come back and save from this will be harder as old patterns and habits reestablish themselves as part of my life to the point that they become all that I know.
So, I will give myself the same advice I would give to anyone in this situation. Become the Fool. The Fool is the first card in many Tarot decks and just happens to be the one that I drew when I sought the answer to how to come back from this temporary fall from my own personal self-saving grace. The Fool excitedly begins his journey with his pack on a stick slung over his shoulder. He has no expectations except to move forward. He is on a high precipice and puts his foot forward, seemingly void of caution, because if he hesitated for too long or thought too hard about what might lie ahead he might change his mind and never take the first step.
The Tarot is all about the Fool’s journey. The jubilant and the desperate. It is not just a matter of one foot in front of the other on a seamless path to a joyous conclusion. I fell off the path and you will too. What you choose to do when that happens will be up to you and you alone and should never be influenced by anyone else. Not even some aspiring motivator like me telling you how easy it is if you just make up your mind to do it. It shouldn’t be easy because if it was, the next time there is a possibility of falling again, you would do less to prevent it.
Learn all you can from a fall and experience it fully. Allow it to hurt and drag you down until you hit the jagged rocky bottom because when you get up, dust yourself off and begin your ascent you will want to be even more determined to keep climbing and moving forward. You will need to. And if you slip back a step or five, you will have a point of reference that will keep you from falling all the way back down because the experience will be so painful that you will do all that you can to avoid it. If you get tired and you need to stop for a while, find a safe foothold and stay there until you have taken the time to look ahead and determine what the next step will be even if it’s just to the next ledge instead of the top. If you try to bolt too fast and too far, your expectations may set you up to fall all the way back to the bottom.
Just as you can underestimate yourself you can overestimate yourself. You may have never heard that from a motivator before…it’s called the truth. And from here on out, that is all you will ever get from me. It may not be shiny and rainbow bright all the time, but it will help you get to where you desire to go.
Today is a new day. Every moment is a new opportunity to discover what works and abandon what doesn’t. That’s how the lofty tower of success is built. If the foundation is not firm and the structure erected without forethought and consideration taken to anticipate what might go wrong, the whole damn thing has the propensity to topple over or implode completely until it’s a pile of burning rubble. The best way to assure that it will happen is to deny the possibility that it can. And that’s the truth.