Adventures of the Mind
We often use certain words to describe how we look to the future, whether soon or distant. Words like: hope, goal, ambition, or even dream. As we embark on a quest to reach such a hope, goal, ambition or dream what are the key factors that lead to success or failure?
We could look at motivational theory, our needs that determine our hour by hour, our day to day priorities. If security, survival and acceptance would in any way become uncertain then focusing on meeting these needs may take priority. But how often is such jeopardy a reality? If we have a hope, a dream, an ambition or a goal that requires time and effort outside of our engrained habits then 3 factors will be our downfall, these are:
Distractions are plentiful when we set out on a road to achievement. Some distractions cannot and should not be avoided. For example distractions that would mean neglecting or discarding a higher value, a responsibility. Take for example the story Jesus gave when someone asked, who is my neighbour? A man who has been attacked and robbed lies by the side of the road, do we ignore him or go to his aid, no matter what may be our reason for being on that road?
Most distractions, however, are simple niceties that are given in to. They come as whispers.
Deceptions are by far the more serious obstacles. These question the very hope, goal or ambition we have in our dreams. We suddenly have doubts and sometimes fears regarding them, doubts in ourselves or in their virtue. These too come as whispers.
Discouragement is often what we feel because of the distractions and deceptions we give into. External opposition can also be very challenging and disheartening. But of itself discouragement also comes as just a whisper.
As I sit at my computer desk with the remnants of Christmas waiting to be stored and write this, a distraction arrives in the form of my lovely wife. I have not composed a new web page for months and early this morning, while my wife lay still asleep, I had the goal to do so. But she awakes and joins me. So after half listening to her she then takes a piece of paper in the hope of planning the day, but I ask her kindly,
“You are being a distraction; may I have half an hour before we plan? Of course she happily agrees.
The 3 Ds that take us a step nearer our goals, however grand or small are simply:
So, in all your virtuous hopes, dreams and ambitions, before beginning your quest, first weigh up the strength of your desires.
Then at each distraction be determined to overcome it and be aware of the whispers of deception and discouragement that will come.
Finally, doubt not, for all things are possible to he who believes.
I now have a satisfying feeling of success