The Last Attempt
The development of your Spirit is shown by its ability to motivate the body and the mind until the final victory when they refuse to continue.— Sean Dragon
A True Story
Sweat was trickling down his face. His veins were standing out on his temples because of the force he exerted to loosen this... blessed bolt. Nothing, though. It did not turn at all. He took the key off the bolt's head and sat down on the edge of the pavement, sighing and wiping the sweat from his forehead with his sleeve. His son, who was watching him all this time, said:
"Daddy, nothing is done. You have tried a hundred times so far. It does not matter, I'll ride the bicycle with a broken pedal, I'll manage it, I'll do it, you'll see. You tried, though; you have done the best you could."
His father looked at him, took a deep breath and said:
"No, obviously I have not done my best. If I had, I would give it up, but I have another try. I've got it; I know this."
The boy shrugged his shoulders almost with chagrin. His father put the key back on the head of the bolt again. He used all the strength he had, whatever had remained to him after all his previous efforts and... the bolt twisted!
"Yes! Yes! Yes! I knew it!" He shouted as he unbolted it quickly now. The boy started to jump up and down and shout:
"Super daddy! You are the best! So many failed attempts, but the good one came at last."
His father stopped, looked at him thoughtfully and said to him:
"My boy, listen to me. My previous attempts were not failed, they were the ones who prepared the last move. Without their own contribution, the bolt would not twist, and you would have a bicycle with a broken pedal. Remember this in your life. Before abandoning any effort remember our today's success. Think how many times an athlete will make efforts that will be considered unsuccessful until the record comes. How many mistaken efforts a scientist will make until he finds the solution to the problem. The last effort that gives the record or the solution is no more important than all those which preceded, and they have prepared it. Respect them all, and so you will find the courage to continue until the final victory."
There is an ancient command I always loved because it helped me walk the path of my life safely.
"Do not make false gods."
Unfortunately, for us humans, this was one of the flaws we showed very early in our history, and apparently, that is why we were given this command. Think for a moment how many gods and demons we have created, that domineer our lives and deprive us of happiness.
One of these false gods, who control us, is Success, and one of the worst demons that causes nightmares to us every day is Failure. If it sounds odd to you, consider how important we have made the concept of success - to the point we have deified it - to any part of our lives and how much we have demonized the failure. The first is our daily goal and struggle and the second our daily fear! And finally, our happiness is lost somewhere between.
Even when we manage to achieve our goal, there will be emptiness and an incomplete joy, since success can never replace all that has been lost on the road to its achievement when we reach it without balance and Love in the Heart, without acceptance and respect for any difficulty which helped us get to it. We have to face them this way because I think the obstacles and the difficulties are our assistants and not enemies, and the failure is a teacher, not a demon.
You can never truly appreciate a success that has come without effort; its pleasure is superficial and transient as an accolade that you know you do not really deserve. And if you failed because you dropped out your attempt because of the difficulties, believe me, it is not theirs to blame but the fact that you did not really want it, you did not long for it with all your Soul and Heart. You probably have to thank the difficulties and failure because they apparently saved you from a "wrong" success.
Same as in many other situations in our lives, we forget to enjoy "the journey" focusing only on "the destination". But surely happiness is also on the journey, and many times more of this happiness is hidden in it!
So the next time you fail on something, remember all these. Find the lesson which is hidden in difficulties and failure and use it to become stronger and wiser. With these new attributes, restart the effort and claim a success that will respect all the process, from start to finish, and will be full of fair gained joy and happiness.
Be grateful for failures and difficulties as well as success; they are all significant for your life. They all come from the same Source. They are all pieces of the One God of Love!
I always remember that failures are preparing my success.— Sean Dragon
© 2018 Ioannis Arvanitis