Everyone faces mountains. Mountains sometimes represent insurmountable problems. Valleys, interestingly, are popularly used to communicate life’s low moments. Not the same meaning, but still thematically close to that of mountains. Regardless of the terrain on which you journey, there are bound to be some challenges. I would like to think February is usually the month where most people typically slack off on new year resolutions and hit walls of reality; facing both new and old mountains and valleys. Fortunately, having lost interest in plotting year-long strategies of fighting my greatest enemy–myself, I almost have no regrets from February. Well…maybe except not being able to check off all of my daily to-dos. But that is okay…I guess. I made some interesting re-discoveries last month about responding to uneven terrain that I would like to share.
grow a bigger vision
If your current challenge is disabling your senses then you are not thinking big enough. When faced with a force that challenges your current vision or dream, aim higher. This is obviously counterintuitive, but hear me out for a minute. This quote sums it for me:
“Ask God for a vision so big that without Him it is impossible.”
(bibleinoneyear.org | day 35)
Expand your mental capacity and grow a vision so big that you cannot possibly realise it on your own. This forces you to then trust in a higher power to make things work in your favour. I choose to trust in God and His omnipotence, and I ask Him for help every day. In other words, think bigger and use external resources in your arsenal to help you move forward.
work hard, be intentional
Do everything in your power and capacity to get results. Sometime last year, I told an interviewer about a difficult project I worked on and how I managed to make it successful. He commented that if it was not difficult then it would not have been worth doing. Reflecting on this memory over the past month, made me realised that even though I returned jobless from that interaction, I had gained something more valuable than employment–a renewed mindset. I need to embrace hard work and to be intentional about getting sh!t done, and done well. Hard work pays and what most don’t realise, and I usually take for granted, is that working smart is actually hard work. Do not downplay the importance of investing a lot of your energy into producing excellent results. If you put your head to it, the results will be smart.
fall forward, bounce back fast.
I have always loved Penn’s 2011 Commencement Address by Denzel Washington. Especially what he said about falling forward. It is not easy gauging where you fall when you fail. The pit of depression is a target that is really hard to miss. Falling forward is easy when you have a positive attitude of acknowledging the fall and noting the lessons. It is even a greater feat recalibrating your emotions and preparing for the next flight…or fall. I read somewhere that confidence is an effect, not a cause. When I see my failures as stepping stones for future successes, I gain confidence in my abilities and in the truth that I am getting closer to perfection.
Experiences, as uncomfortable as they may be, help refine your character and test your resolve. You learn to understand yourself a bit more. And history tells us that knowing and mastering yourself is one of the most powerful yet difficult things you can achieve.
So, when you pray for grit, pray also for understanding for this is the key to triumphing in the next terrain.