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Whispering Silences

Archive for the tag “determination”

Searching for that lost…thing

motivation catWhen your personal trainer tells you “good job” you’re motivated to last a little longer, to try a little harder, to take your limits a bit further.

We all need that encouragement. It’s a boost to reach further than you think you can.

But, similarly, we all need the acknowledgement of a job well done. A recognition of your efforts, be it in the form of a verbal gratification, a written thank you or a monetary compensation.

We need the demonstration of feelings to be satisfied with our own selves. Because just as we often cannot hide what emotion is overwhelming us, in the same context, we would like to be shown that we are admired, sympathized, liked, loved, or even despised. But we want to be clear of what we have to face.

Once in a while, it happens to all of us, though. Losing your motivation or will to do anything creative. And no matter where you search for it, one thing is certain: you’ll never find it unless it comes from within you. Unless you start to do something that’s yours, that expresses you and fulfills you.

Remember, you only fail when you stop trying.

Drafting sorcery

claire-fuller-8

©Claire Fuller

Jack was in a hurry. Rather, he was in a tremendous rush, overtaking other pedestrians like a formula one car drafting its competition. He had only four hours to find all the ingredients on the sorcerer’s list. But where would he find corals from seas with turquoise waters and white sand, leaves from ever-blooming trees, and centuries-old wood bark untouched by fire, along with a line of other equally rare paraphernalia?

It was a seemingly unattainable mission – his only hope of reviving Selina, of waking her up from the coma. He had promised her he wouldn’t let go. Ever.

 

Also part of Friday Fictioneers

Determined to succeed

https://pbs.twimg.com/profile_images/378800000386057424/700b2ca43fd3ddec52c8adb98e8f7f8d_400x400.jpegIt takes a lot to wake up in the morning with a goal in mind. Heck, it sometimes takes great effort simply to get up in the morning, let alone set targets to achieve.

Albert knew it well. He battled his bedcovers every day for at least fifteen minutes, before he garnered the willpower to get out of bed.

The day usually proceeded smoothly after that – well, after a couple of hours, a good breakfast, strong coffee and a very slow easing into the day’s workload. But at the end of the day, he would also return to his bed satisfied with what he had achieved. He was a person who believed that you had to manage to do something that pleases you each day. Be it mastering something outside your comfort zone, perfecting a skill you already have, or simply expanding your horizons. Either way, 24 hours were enough to make you do something that would lift your spirits.

But there were days when even Albert could simply not get out of bed. Those days when he just wanted to be lazy and stay under the covers, hoping everything would disappear and he would continue to live in that hazy world he was dreaming of.

It was exactly those days, however, when his grandfather’s words sprung to mind, like Yoda appearing to instruct a young Jedi: “The difference between the impossible and the possible lies in a person’s determination. You can’t expect to accomplish something without putting some effort into it. The secret to achieving success, is not that because you are destined for it, but because you are determined to. Because in order to make those dreams a reality, you need to replace excuses with effort, swap laziness with determination, and be able to self-discipline yourself. Everything else will fall into place. Having determination is harder than it sounds. It is not enough to say that you’ll do something. The hard thing is to do what needs to be done, even when you don’t feel like doing it. You see, you can always find inspiration from others, but determination, that is solely your responsibility.

That would usually be enough for Albert to jump out of bed and not let another day go wasted. Even if it would be spent simply sitting on the couch and thinking about nothing and everything, he would be satisfied that at least he did something that calmed him and restored his mental balance. The next day he would be ready to conquer the world. At least the one he had constructed in his mind.

“Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving” – Albert Einstein

 

Also part of Daily Prompt: Purpose

The agony inside

http://www.downgraf.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/Inspirational-Portrait-Photography-3.jpgThere is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you,” said Maya Angelou. We all hold a story within that we are yearning to unleash. It is the need to express our thoughts, our emotions, our dreams and our ambitions. To feel that we are supported and encouraged in every way.

We have become so used to valuing appreciation by the number of “likes” we receive on social media, by the “sympathy count” of our digital existence. But does this really matter? There are so many voices nowadays out there, that the world seems to be a cacophony of opinions – about anything and everything, no matter how important or how meaningless these are. Everyone has the right to be heard, but not many listen. So, if you are certain of the power of your own words, and by the belief that they do touch people anyway, making a difference, isn’t that more important? Isn’t that the point of it all?

The world will change, they say, one person at a time. And as James Baldwin wrote: “A country is only as good… only as strong as the people who make it up and the country turns into what the people want it to become…We made the world we’re living in and we have to make it over.

It is a great strength to feel something so deeply that it becomes a passion. And you should never underestimate the power of such an emotion. Because it takes more than passion to follow your dreams. It takes courage too. And the confidence not to underestimate your potential. You can do more than you think. And you can reach further than you see. You just have to believe it too. And feel it with all your heart.

Like Baldwin adds, the “collision between one’s image of oneself and what one actually is is always very painful and there are two things you can do about it, you can meet the collision head-on and try and become what you really are or you can retreat and try to remain what you thought you were, which is a fantasy, in which you will certainly perish”.

There are too many inspirational sayings rampant, stating that if you want something, go do it. Most are right. Don’t tell people your dreams. Show them. And certainly never underestimate the determination of a quiet person. One who keeps an untold story agonizingly locked inside.

 

Also part of Daily Prompt: Underestimate

The bold and the audacious

https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/236x/98/ff/73/98ff73fde916d7ecdb795ed80abdd9d0.jpgAnts – yes, those little creatures we so recklessly step on so often – are acutally astounding mechanical systems, in that they can lift up to 5,000 times their own body weight. But it is not only that which makes them admirable, it is their ability to work so effectively in teams – and even if acting alone, do so for the benefit of all – a trait the human race has yet to master.

You see, humans have an intrinsic underlying weakness: selfishness. The main goal it seems for many is how to gain power, to rise up above others, to stand out from the crowd, often in any way possible. They easily become intoxicated with the supremacy of power and get caught up in a vicious circle from which there is no escape.

When you spend an entire weekend watching Frank Underwood crush anyone who interferes with his plans for power, then it is only reasonable that you’ll begin to understand how being so relentless and emotionally unattached to anyone and anything can serve your own ruthlessly selfish ambitions.

It is not only about having power, however, and the means you use to acquire it. It is mainly about knowing how to use it right. That is what makes all the difference. And it is what sets people apart, either in a positive or negative light. It is the road you choose to take that will determine the legacy you leave at your footsteps.

It is the difference between being bold and being audacious.

There is a saying that “the doors will open to those who are bold enough to knock”. It takes courage to do so. Robert Frost had said that “freedom lies in being bold”, because that is how you chase after your ambitions. But that thin line that separates this fearfulness and daring nature from being reckless and uninhibited is reflected in the words of some of the world’s most prominent figures: “fortune favours the audacious”, said Desiderius Erasmus, and Benjamin Disraeli agreed, saying “success is the child of audacity”. Even Winston Churchill prompted, “the first quality that is needed is audacity”.

It seems it’s not the bold who get what they’re after, it’s the audacious ones.

And in the societies we’re growing up in, rife with conflict and controversy, people need to develop another characteristic: the ability to observe the world around them and distinguish between those who are after something for themselves, and those who are there simply to be. Those who stand by others, no matter what, and those who are only after their own interests. Those who empathise and listen when you’re unwell, and those who only selfishly care to have a good time when you’re in the mood too. Those who would do anything to rise above others at present, and those who would work to make things better for those to come.

What matter in the end is the intelligence of knowing how to wield the power the comes with power and the audacity to do it for the right reasons, no matter if you’re a lone ant, risking to be squashed.

 

Also part of Daily Prompt: Fake

The unlikely bull-fight

http://kassowal.com/wallpaper/Sport-Wallpaper/Bull-Fighting/15.jpg«If you could go back in time and relive one moment, so you could do it differently, which would it be?” Mike asked his grandfather a question that he had thought about a million times before. It was a seemingly easy question; one which, however, was very difficult to answer. Because, really, if you were given the chance, would you want to have a do-over?

Grandfather Joe thought about it for a few minutes before answering.

“I’ll tell you a story,” he said.

“There was once a young boy. He was raised in a poor family and began to work from a very young age. He was imbued with the mentality that that is what people should do – earn their living in any way possible. So he worked in various jobs – from farming, to sheep-herding, to a cabin boy, to a waiter, to a teacher, to an office assistant. He did whatever he could find, because he believed this was the best way to earn experience.

One day, a renowned matador came to his village. He offered a bull fighting show, which gathered the entire village into the town square and at the end of it, he made a very interesting proposition. He said that he would give a tonne of gold to the person from that village who would be able to subdue the bull. Everyone had seen that the bull was very aggressive, and indeed very tough. No-one deemed themselves capable of such a feat. But the young boy stood up and declared he was up for the challenge. “I’ll do it,” he said decisively. The villagers gasped. They were certain he would be devoured by the bull in no time. But, at the same time, they were all intrigued to see what would happen.

So the boy stepped into the middle of the town square. He took the matador’s symbolic red cloth and waved it in front of the raging bull. The latter was snuffing air out of its nostrils, shaking the ground as it prepared to attack. The boy swerved as the bull scraped past the cloth. The animal became angrier. It missed again and again. Its rage increased with every miss. But the boy remained composed and continued. To the audience’s amazement, he then dropped the cloth and allowed the bull to run straight into him. But the minute the bull lowered its head, protruding its horns, the boy swiftly grabbed them and in an acrobatic move jolted himself above the bull’s head and onto its back. The bull-fight quickly turned into a rodeo contest with the bull kicking and screaming angrily at the unwanted rider. But the boy then struck a nerve on the bull’s neck with a sudden move of his right hand, and the rage abruptly ended. The village square sunk into silence. The boy climbed down the bull’s back, as if he was dismounting a horse. He approached the dumbstruck matador and asked calmly “may I please have that tonne of gold now?”.

The matador was amazed. The villagers broke into loud cheers and applaud. The matador was forced to keep his word and handed over the tonne of gold, but he asked the boy the one question that was on everyone’s mind: “how did you do that?”

The boy responded calmly, “I have done so many things in my life, things which many consider are demeaning or unworthy, but I regret none, because everything has taught me something and most of all I have learnt that you need to grab every opportunity that presents itself at that precise moment because it may never come again”.

“So,” concluded the grandfather, “to answer your question, if I lived again, I don’t think I would do anything differently. It’s not about regretting the things you did. It’s about regretting the things you didn’t do when you had the chance”.

 

Also part of Daily Prompt: If I could turn back time

The secret dream

http://www.mywearingideas.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/dance-shoes-4.jpgIrina had a secret dream. It was one of those things you never told anyone, but kept it flaming up inside of you. She was too afraid to express what it was because she was surrounded by realists; people who believed it was best if you had both feet on the ground and thought logically about everything. Irina wasn’t really like that, but was not bold enough to disagree.

So she grew up following all the rules – going to college, getting a degree, doing an internship for experience, accepting minimum wage for a start, gaining more responsibility the more time she stayed in the company, tolerating wage cuts that blamed the financial crisis, and carrying on with what realists believe was life – working to gain a living and if you had any free time left, you could actually live too.

But that was not enough.

It somehow never was.

Inside of her that dream was pushed aside by all the obligations and responsibilities that came with adult life.

It may have faded but it had never disappeared.

It came back out of coincidence and a mixture of boldness and stubbornness. She could not accept that she would never be able to even touch her dream. So she tried her best to change circumstances. On the spur of an impulse she made all the necessary contacts and enrollments. It was never too late, everyone said, and she believed it to be true. Because all it really takes to achieve everything you want is passion. And perhaps a little determination too.

Irina was to become a dancer. And in less than in two years, she would have grabbed hold of her dream. And it would not be a secret anymore. Only she wouldn’t need to tell anyone. She would simply show them.

Decisions, decisions…

DecisionsThe problem with being indecisive is that you don’t know what to do. It’s normal when you are faced with a tough decision that will affect your life. But when it concerns a seemingly easy decision, like for example what ice cream flavours to choose, then it becomes a problem, particularly because by the time you finally make up your mind, the ice cream parlour has closed and you are left with no ice cream.

Or for example when you go out to shop one thing and see a million others that you would like to purchase. Not being able to decide instantly means you end up with a large shopping spree and an often (over)charged credit card. Sometimes even without that one thing you had gone to buy in the first place.

However, things change when there are important decisions to make, such as where you want to live, for example, or what you want to do with your life. Lack of determination means you are forced to cohabitate with a confusion constantly stirring inside of you; one day it will erupt and it won’t be pretty.

Indecision is a torment. They say it is preferable to make a decision, no matter how wrong it may turn out to be, rather than not take any action at all. When you lurch from indecision to doubt of whether you’ve taken the right decision, to changing your mind, and eventually never deciding, you are in essence living in a nightmare, where in the end you end up exhausted by the internal struggle that is wearing out your psyche.

It is actually harder than it seems to make decisions, maybe that is why policy-makers are so highly paid – they have to decide for the fate of so many people. It takes strength, courage and a bit of audacity to state a choice and stand by it. It takes even more boldness to decide on something and then make it the right decision.

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