MC's Whispers

Whispering Silences

Archive for the tag “determination”

Roundabout questions

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So, what do you feel like doing tonight?

It’s a question that entails the freedom of decision, the willingness to abide by it, while also placing the ‘burden’ of finding something to do on the other person.

For indecisive people, this is a challenge.

“I don’t know, perhaps see a movie? We can either go to the cinema or order in and watch one at home”.

He smiled. She wasn’t finished. So he held back his reply a little longer.

What do you prefer?

The question-bounce-back, that returns the responsibility of choosing an activity to the original question-setter. Like a boomerang returning to the one who threw it.

If the person who initiated the conversation continues the questioning of the type, “whatever you want” or, even worse, poses another option, their indecisive interlocutor becomes lost and even more agitated by the daunting task of having to pick an entertainment. And doing something fun suddenly becomes a chore.

Let’s go out. I know you want to see the latest blockbuster and go for a stroll around town tonight”.

And just like that, peace is restored, tranquillity reigns and the smile returns to her face.

He was used to reading her mind even when she herself couldn’t.

Conserving the summer vibes

©MCD

It isn’t really the return that hurts the most. It’s the crash landing that you feel you subject yourself to when the holiday ends. Because now you have to return to everything you were trying to escape from, to hide from, to pretend they don’t exist. You have to garner the strength to face it all. The reality, the routine, the “normality” you allowed to fade away while you were enjoying the sun, the sea, the fun, the new relationships and experiences the season brings.

We easily fall into depression when the summer ends and we are forced to return to our “ordinary” lives with whatever that entails. Because “normal” has a different definition to each person.  And we strive, at least for the first couple of days, to maintain that optimism and joy the sunlit weeks brought upon us. We struggle to maintain not only the memories of the most enjoyable season of the year, but the mood it brings along. We hope it won’t fade as soon as our tan-line does.

But the thing is, every season has its perks. There is something to enjoy every month of the year – every day, even. We simply need to have the determination to put all those dreams we make when we’re relaxed into concrete actions at any time. Our goals aren’t really seasonally. We can dream and make plans and set targets all year round. And if we’re decisive and courageous enough to take the risk, we can make them happen. We may even be able to conserve that summer optimism and cheerful mood.

Only out of place

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A pessimist forgets to laugh. But an optimist laughs to forget”. He was of the latter type. You never quite knew though what he was trying to forget. He wouldn’t let you in. Perhaps he was afraid of what you would find. Or that it would ruin the image you had of him, of the person who was positive about everything and who always found a silver lining behind every cloud.

He was sort of like that magical nanny Mary Poppins who was “practically perfect in every way” and who brought excitement and thrill to everyone around her.

He too believed that there was no better time than today. There was no reason to complicate things and agreed that “anything can happen if you let it” because “everything is possible, even the impossible”.

One day his wife found him sitting in silence staring outside the window into the rain. She asked what was wrong. He answered “nothing”. She was shocked. Nothing is a word that can mean anything and everything. And it is never what it connotes – it is never really nothing. So she decided to follow his path of thinking. “Nothing is ever truly lost or gone, it is only out of place”. She stopped and saw him sigh. “When the world turns upside down, the best thing to do is turn right along with it” she uttered. He immediately turned his frown into a wide smile. He was touched that she had adopted his mentality when he needed it the most.

He believed that there is always a different point of view to things if you simply change your position and look further. After all, wherever you stand, there is “nowhere to go but up”.

Blank pages

https://i.pinimg.com/originals/ba/28/60/ba2860f4ea87cf3aae1e15aab7ffb8a8.jpgWriters know it best that it is always difficult to face a brand new blank page. It is imbued with so much potential that it is sometimes frightening. Because you fear you may not live up to the expectation that lies within that blank page. You fear what you will write will not be good enough. But you will never know unless you try. Unless you write that first word and let everything else just flow onto the page.

Just like that, in life too, we need to be bold enough to take risks, to make new decisions, to change things. We will never be able to reach our true potential if we are too afraid to change even the slightest in our routines, to make new opportunities a reality. It is only when we exit our comfort zones that great things will come. And we will realise what we are truly capable of.

Just hours away from a new year, perhaps this is the time for reflection – of how the 365 days that passed were filled with moments of happiness, laughter, love, excitement, new experiences, but also of remorse, sadness, of wanting to painfully creep under something and disappear. This is the time to fill ourselves with determination and hope to make the New Year the best one yet. To make it the one that will improve our lives and of those around us. To eliminate as much as possible those bad moments that overshadow all the good and be decisive enough to make those moments to come ones branded only by smiles, laughter and happiness.

Make this start one worthy of who you are and the goodness that lies within you.

Happy New Year everyone!

 

Also part of Daily Prompt: Almost

Autumn walks

©MCD_Autumn walks - Karpenisi

©MCD

There is something soothing about a walk in the park, surrounded by the colours of autumn, the falling orange-brown leaves and the crackling sound of them under your feet. There is something even more calming when you are accompanied by people you hold dear in your heart; more so when you’re holding hands transferring the warmth of love with one cherished.

Autumn walks help clear your mind. Because for those valuable moments you are lost in the footpath, your mind drifts among the crispy leaves, the fallen chestnuts, the tall trees of shades of yellow and brown. The tranquillity touches upon your soul in ways that only nature can. And you return somewhat changed, more serene, ready to set and accomplish new goals.

In a season of change, we need the escape to rethink our own paths in life and be ready to take bolder steps.

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

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©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

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