When facing difficulties, you don’t have to think of them as setbacks; instead, think of them like labor waves. You are giving birth to a dream, and each surge of pain indicates progress, not failure. There will be hard times, and good times. Difficulties sometimes come in waves, but they always pass. It’s the rhythm of life. Listen to this audio to understand why it’s ALL good.
Background music: Brandenburg Concerto No4-1 BWV1049 – Classical Whimsical by Kevin MacLeod is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)
LESLIE: I believe the universe operates in a lawful manner. I believe that it’s God’s laws that the universe operates by and so when I teach you to set a goal and we use laws of the universe to help these goals come to pass more smoothly and a little more easily, it is in no way to discount that I believe God is the source of all blessings and that the universe operates by His laws. And so if it’s the universe that delivers the goods to me there is no argument there between the theologian and the scientist. I think that we live in a scientific world and I believe that God’s the author of all of it. So whatever your vocabulary is on the matter just translate where you need to be in order to feel comfortable with the way I talk about these things. But I think we all have beliefs that we can build on together.
So life does have ups and downs. It’s just part of life. If we didn’t have a down, we wouldn’t know what an up really felt like. We wouldn’t even know we were having an up if we hadn’t had a down. And that’s good. Even when we’re really focused and determined we will have what feel like ups and downs. That’s the law of rhythm. It’s one of those universal laws. There are seasons. There is the tide that comes in and out. The day: it’s night, it’s day. These kinds of cycles are natural and there are cycles in our own life that we will discover and we can experience whether or not we understand what’s going on. If we’re having a down we can expect another up by the law of rhythm. We’re not going to be down forever and as you start looking forward to the up, it puts you in a different state of mind to start noticing the little evidences that up is coming. And by noticing them you’ll start to take action on them and the up will come even faster.
We need to be positive minded and we need to be hopeful and when we have a hiccup and we’re feeling down, you know, experience it completely, feel it, do what you got to do but expect that the upturn is on its way. Expect that you won’t be miserable forever. Expect it. Expect it. Watch for the evidence because it’ll come. The discomfort that we feel in life comes in surges. It doesn’t come all at once and it doesn’t come eternally all bad. Truly, I know it may feel like that sometimes but you need to look at and appreciate those little breathers that life gives us so that we can come up for air before we have to go under again. We’re given breaks along the way. We have relatively better days in between and on the other side of the tougher days.
It’s like going through labor to bring a child into the world. The labor pains come in surges. The mother is given breaks to have a chance to gather her strength. Now does there need to be a struggle at all? You know I’m told that some women have learned the art of labor without pain or medication but I would guess their mental toughness was something that had to be developed and I don’t know how it could have been developed without opportunity to practice during some pain. The baby will come with or without the pain. Experienced midwife’s however will tell you that the more you fight the pain the worse it’ll hurt. The same thing goes with trying to give birth to a dream. Whatever your goals are for your family, whatever those dreams you have for your individual life, whatever it is you’re aspiring to achieve or experience or accomplish, there will be work to be done regardless. It hurts less when you don’t fight it just like in giving birth.
Progress happens better when you relax in spite of hardships and apparent setbacks which are really only setbacks as much as labor pains are considered setbacks. Think about it. A labor pain, is that a setback? In reality each one brings you closer to the goal if you could really see it for what it was. Oh, if you could just see what I see. You know you set a goal and you start feeling the labor pains. It’s so easy to interpret those pains, interpret those setbacks as setbacks, as something that’s keeping you from accomplishing your goal when in reality it is the experience that you need to go through to mould you, to shape you into the person that can appreciate and that is going to be able to receive the goal, the blessing that you set out to accomplish in the first place. It’s the truth.
Like I said, the baby will come with or without the pain and it hurts less when you don’t fight it. How do I deal with this? One thing is for sure is that the joy at the end always far surpasses whatever is required along the way. Keep your eye on the prize and remember that nobody was ever pregnant forever. I’ve used this comparison of giving birth to a child to giving birth to a dream and this analogy helps me comprehend how we could possibly know whether we’re close to finally achieving a goal or reaching our dream. If you want to know if you’re close, you know sometimes it feels like you’re never gonna get there, but think about the first struggles you faced after setting a big goal. At first the discomfort, as in labor, is just bad enough to get your attention but certainly tolerable. Near the end however the pains are, for many, as if you’re at the door of death itself. During that final transition the surges come so quickly and then last so long that it would seem there is no relief in the middle. You know, I can say this from experience. I’ve had seven children. And I know that it just gets to where they’re on top of each other and you feel like, where is the relief? I want out of this, you know. And I know that giving birth to a dream can feel the same way. Where is the relief? When is the breakthrough? How much longer do I have to experience these setbacks? Well, when those pains come in that way, fast and furious, back to back, it’s natures way of saying that it’s almost over. Each pain is associated with progress, though it often cannot be measured and sometimes appears fruitless. But it is, it’s almost over.
You know what though, you can stop this dream from coming to fruition if you see these pains and abort. Don’t abort. Don’t abort. It’s not over, and it’s closer than you think. So if you have a dream and things are looking really really bad, and you’re getting hit by one challenge after another, with scarcely room to catch your breath in the middle, you are posed for the most glorious success you can imagine if you just keep putting one foot in front of the other. Sometimes, the relief only shows up at the moment you have come to the absolute end of all you can do. So you simply cannot allow yourself to give up any sooner. Sometime it comes when you’ve cut off all possibility of retreat. A person whose has not experienced this level of commitment could never possibly feel the exhilaration of the victory that corresponds to it. There are no words to describe it. Although you may experience a degree of it vicariously through others who’ve had books or movies made about them like Rudy Ruettiger or Will Stoneman.
To wrap this up I love how this poet makes the point. He says, “When things go wrong as they sometimes will, when the road you’re trudging seems all uphill. When the funds are low and the debts are high and you want to smile but you have to sigh, when care is pressing you down a bit, rest if you must but don’t you quit. Life is queer with its twists and turns as every one of us sometimes learns and many a fellow turns about when he might have won had he stuck it out. Don’t give up though the pace seems slow, you may succeed with another blow. Often the goal is nearer than it seems to a faint and faltering man. Often the struggler has given up when he might have captured the victors cup and he learned too late when the night came down, how close he was to the golden crown. Success is failure turned inside out, the silver tint in the clouds of doubt. And you never can tell how close you are it might be near when it seems afar. So stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit, it’s when things seem worse that you must not quit.”
So now it’s your turn. Be the hero in your family. Don’t give up on the dream and show it by taking yet another step forward. If you’ve set a goal and it’s looking impossible to accomplish don’t give up. You do not need to know how it will all work out. You just need to keep moving forward as though it will. Even if you don’t know how things are going to work out say next Tuesday, there’s something that you can do today, and that’s all you need to do is today’s job. Today’s work, today’s effort. Just do today. Do what you can do today make that phone call. Prepare for the success you expect to enjoy. If you intend to sell a widget have you got the widget in hand ready to sell? If you intend to make a business deal do you know what you’re bringing to the table and what you expect to receive in return? Is it vague? Or is it in writing? Do what you can do today to prepare for the success.
There will always be something that pops into your mind of something you can do. Stop ignoring it as insignificant as it may seem, it might say, “step outside”. That might be as insignificant as it gets or “turn the corner here”. You never know who you might run into. You might run into the very person who has the solution to what you need. Get up and do what the thought says to do. That’s called learning to recognize and follow your intuition and trusting it. Whether you want to call it your gut instinct, inspiration, intuition or the inner voice, it’s time to start paying attention to it, in trusting that it’s leading you to where you decided to go when you set the goal. If you’re not getting any nudges one way or another then it’s time to set a goal. No more vague wishing. I’m talking about something you absolutely intend to accomplish no matter how long it takes.
What is it in life that you are that committed to? What does it look like for your family to accomplish the lifestyle that you want for them? And whether that means fancy cars, I don’t care. That’s not what it ever has meant for me. For me it equates to family time and being mom and being able to cuddle with my kids when I want to cuddle with them and not having to answer to anybody else or punch a clock or any of those things. It’s freedom to build your family, to strengthen those relationships and to be there for them when they need you. So you can expect those nudgings to come once you’ve made the decision of what specifically you intend to accomplish. Remember it’s always goal first, way second.
ANNOUNCER: This has been a little bit of wisdom with Leslie householder. Listen to her podcast and download her books free at ararekindoffaith.com