DISCOURAGED? FEEL LIKE A FAILURE?
You're working on a project... You've been working on it for weeks - months - perhaps years - forever and ever...! But still, the screenplay, dissertation, house building/decoration, knitted afghan, novel, epic poem, book, is still not done - not complete - not ready to roll - you can't believe it's still not done! - accomplished! - finished, already! - LAUNCHED, for crying out loud! And maybe people are criticizing it/you - maybe there are new obstacles to overcome every day and they're not getting overcome - YOU'RE getting overcome - not the obstacles!
It can be soooo frustrating working on a project you care about! And you can get discouraged - badly discouraged.
We're going to assume that this is a worthy project that you're pouring your time, energy, heart and soul - and other resources - into. Of course it is! If it weren't, you wouldn't be doing it, right? You'd have stopped a long time ago. You'd stop right now, right?... So of course it's worthwhile. And sometimes the most worthwhile projects take forever and ever and ever to get done! It's just one of those truisms. And the obstacles can be enormous. And new ones can keep cropping up! And meanwhile, maybe you're running out of funds! - which could be disastrous!
We can appreciate the situation. We've been there many times - (and we're not kidding!) But you can't let any of the above stop you - because you've got to get your project DONE. You feel it's worthwhile - and so we accept that it is worthwhile - and therefore you've got to hang in there and keep going - even though it's a slog.
Sometimes you've just got to put one foot in front of the other and keep going - even though it's tough - boring - hurtful - maddening - frustrating - upsetting - depressing - distressing - all the above - And still - you've got to hang tough and keep on truckin' - cause that's what you gotta do to get the thing DOME!
We sympathize. And empathize. And we try to remember what we once read on an embroidered pillow in a fancy Madison Avenue shop window on a cold, snowy night as we passed by, feeling quite down:
PERSEVERE - Nothing in the world will take the place of perseverance. Talent will not - Nothing is more common than unsuccessful people with talent. Genius will not - Unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not - The world is full of educated derelicts. PERSISTENCE AND DETERMINATION ALONE ARE OMNIPOTENT. Written by Calvin Coolidge. (How 'bout that?!)
And you know something? It's undoubtedly 100% true. Try to bear that in mind.
Another thought to bear in mind is:
Even a journey of 10,000 miles begins with one step.
So true! And that's similar to this one: It's a cinch by the inch - But hard by the yard.
In other words - you can only accomplish things one step at a time. That's how pretty much everything gets done - rather than in giant leaps. So - you're stuck with a project that takes time - because the steps take time - and overcoming each obstacle that's thrown in your path takes time. This is just how it is! It's the nature of life - things get done in tiny steps.
Sometimes when we walk to our appointments in Manhattan (something we do often) we see the Empire State Building ahead of us - oh, so far away! - but near our destination. It seems amazing that we're going to get there, by foot, within the next 20 minutes. But we do - one step at a time...
Try not to get bogged down in discouragement. Try to keep your eye on the ball - on the horizon - on your destination - where you've pointed yourself - and where you wish to go...
It's no doubt a worthy goal and so it's worth your taking the time and energy to encourage yourself. Why not pat yourself on the back for all that you've accomplished so far? Sometimes we've got to remember to do that! That's a crucial step - it helps to feed us energy. If we self-denigrate, we take away precious energy from our core soul. That's no good. You've got to give yourself the energy to slog on.
One way to do that is to be SURE to pat yourself on the back from time to time - and stop to praise your work - and give yourself a rest - and a little reward occasionally - maybe a long-distance phone call to a warm, supportive friend - or an afternoon at a museum - or just a cup of herb tea with honey - or a good old film on tv - or, if you're lucky and have a willing lover (or the money to pay for a pro) a great massage! - All these can help to keep you going.
You might also try our segment on USING PRAYER TO HELP. Even if you're not religious - not a believer - you might be surprised at how helpful prayer can be - and at how beautiful some of the old psalms are that were composed by David, our biblical hero, as he struggled to accomplish his goals, despite terrible obstacles.
FEEL LIKE A FAILURE?
Sometimes the brightest, most talented, most accomplished among us feels like a failure! Kind of funny, huh? Well, not really - if you're the one who feels that way. Life can be tough - as we frequently observe. And there can be upheavels and reversals and all kinds of things you didn't plan on when you were young and vigorous and ambitious and optimistic. But, of course, that doesn't mean that you're a failure. Being "a failure" means you're comparing yourself to something - maybe other people - or, maybe just your own potential. But we urge you to be gentle in your judgement of yourself. If you knew someone in the same situation you're in, would you judge them to be a failure? We bet not!
Try to remember the tremendous number of people - talented, successful, admirable, famous people - who only accomplished their goals late in life. There's still time for you - there is always time to move towards worthy accomplishments. For now, check the navigation bars to the left, for more help with getting to sleep tonight. Or, think about this poem by W.H. Davies:
What is this life, if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare,
No time to stand beneath the boughs
And stare as long as sheep or cows.
No time to see, when woods we pass,
Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass.
No time to see, in broad daylight,
Streams full of stars, like skies at night.
No time to turn at Beauty's glance,
And watch her feet, how they can dance.
No time to wait till her mouth can
Enrich that smile her eyes began.
A poor life this if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare...
We wish you the best. Sweet dreams and good night, for now...
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