Talking with people constantly about life, work and growth, I find a consistent thread—a loss of faith and a resignation to things as they are. Often powerlessness is self-perpetuated.
Examples of What I hear:
- I’m not where I want to be. I don’t know where I want to be it’s just not here.
- I’ve tried to talk to my worst employees, it’s no use.
- My boss won’t give me the time of day, I’ve given up.
- I tried to apply for a promotion and got nowhere.
- I’ve tried to get in shape but I hate working out and running.
Most people make an effort but look externally for results to their efforts and when they don’t see expected or anticipated results, they give up. Maybe what underlies quitting is a loss of faith. I suggest you try things you want to do or change and watch more closely for nuanced responses, changes and movement. Pay closer attention to the internal movement while keeping at least the idea going.
I recently had a profound experience with this very thing. Our daughter Anna Marie who has autism was just hired by AtlanticCare.
Doesn’t that huge step sound good? It’s so easy to digest that nice big result but the rollercoaster effort started way back. After finishing high school, Anna Marie got an internship at Jefferson Hospital in Cherry Hill, NJ. That sounds so positive, simple and easy doesn’t it?
The 55 mile commute, the hurdles, bad days and weak, sometimes inept support, was so palpable it almost outweighed the good people, the minuscule progress, the small steps that led to the big result. We never quit but that’s not to say we didn’t feel like quitting.
To not lose momentum, we kept our eyes on the light at the end of the tunnel…having faith that it wasn’t a train coming. What kept our effort from being “blind faith” was that from a place deeply internal, we knew Anna Marie could do it. We had faith in her deep-seated abilities, regardless of her outer diagnosis. We knew Anna Marie had the internal power to do it.
So I ask you, what do you know about yourself that can be a source of faith and energy to create your own big change? What do you know about yourself that no one else does?
What can you do to keep your effort going in the face of resistance or unexpected hurdles? One thing we learned is that it’s rarely always uphill. Sometimes you’ll plateau for a while before you climb again. Use this time to reflect, tap into your faith, be reminded that all power comes from within and prepare for the next climb. But keep climbing for sure!
Life is not a problem to be solved, but a mystery to be lived.–Thomas Merton