By Wayne Brown
"I wish I could find a way..." Have you heard someone say that? Like me, you probably have. Like me, you are likely guilty of offering up that same comment. We all wish we could find “a way” as we ramble along life's path. I call it "thinking out loud". That's what it is...the blurted outcry of one looking for the answers that gnaw at the souls of all around us. We want to find the "way", the wisdom of the soul, the light that will lead us all home. A "way" will bring joy...relief of the surrounding stress; a solution to the strife.
Is it not interesting how the words are phrased in the statement..."I wish I could find a way"? On first impression, it sounds noble and perceptive. If we look a bit closer those qualities begin to fade and give way to the true statement....."I wish". Our noble ambition is now reduced to two words that seem so self-serving of us. When we look at it in this manner, the search for a solution disappears from the statement. The term "I wish" shines light on our own selfish nature that desires to be recognized by others. Why do we wish for the ability rather than providing it? Do we see ourselves in that light because the answer is not so easily forthcoming? Do we expect that achieving that ability will provide us reward from those around us? Does the statement not truly bare our soul in the manner such that it reads: "I wish that I could find a way before you do"? One can only wonder.
Whether we are of a competitive nature or not, life brings forth an element of competition in that we all desire some level of attention from others; some form of recognition by others; some degree of measure for what we accomplish in life. We see others desiring the same things and, in that sense, we are in a competition to see who gains the goal whether we want to look at it in that way or not. If we are not careful, we can get so caught up in this perceived competition that we lose sight of ourselves; who we really are, and most of all what is really important in this life…to love ourselves and make the best of what we have been given from birth.
How do we stay on the right path in this process of life? I believe the simplest answer to that question is to know that we have replaced desire with determination, and ambition with focus. We have to move to a place in which we are not “in competition” with others but, more so, in competition with ourselves. The fallacy of competition with others is that we never have a clear picture of the baseline of measurement really is. In the case of competing with ourselves, we become the baseline. When we review the results of our efforts, it becomes very clear as to whether we have indeed made progress. In this case, the pie becomes infinite…no one has to lose ground for you to win it and that eliminates much guilt which can be associated with success in our lives.
Is there an ultimate goal for us? Maybe not! Maybe the only thing we need to seek in life is continuous improvement over what we once were. Some of that occurs naturally as we age, gain life-experience, and wisdom. Some of it is earned in the form of education and training. Regardless, all of it can come together in a synergy of sorts to make us more than we believed that we could be in the beginning. All things are possible to those who invest in themselves. Continuous improvement becomes a “life-strategy” as opposed to a personal pressure. It is not a destination so much as it is a journey to be experienced as we climb to higher levels and achieve greater plateaus in life.
We should never make the mistake of under-valuing self-achievement and its impact on our self-esteem and self-confidence. Once we realize that we truly can succeed and achieve things for ourselves, we transform to a degree and that transformation grows and expands exponentially each time we repeat that process. We take the “mights” and the “maybes” out of our vocabulary and replace them with words like “will” and “can”. In doing so, we replace the look of self-doubt on our faces. We replace it with new-found confidence that we gain from knowing that we are capable of achieving beyond the realm of our own expectations. The high derived from that awareness exceeds any other that we might find in life.
We put a lot of energy throughout our lives into futile attempts at being who we are not yet we put seemingly so little energy or time into being who we really can be. Why is that? Is it possibly because we get caught up in the downstream flow of the crowd and allow ourselves to drift along down the river with them at the same speed? Are we allowing “the crowd” to set our goals in life; to define our achievements; to decide whether we are happy and confident in ourselves? Maybe more of us need to drop the "I wish" from our statements and begin to say things like "I will find a way..." Do you see the difference? It is the difference between winners and losers in this journey we call life. You do have choices. You should choose to be a winner and not just “wish it”.
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