The Strength To Do Great Things

I am a fighter. Sometimes I look like a warrior on a quest and sometimes I would remind you of a 3-year-old’s temper tantrum. Regardless, somewhere between nature and nurture, I discovered that I developed the fortitude to withstand and confront many obstacles in the way of my goals. However, as it turns out, I often used these strengths to fight battles I had no business fighting.

How many times have you found yourself calling upon your strength to endure monstrous storms of stress? How did you feel during those times? What were some of the outcomes of those efforts? My guess is that they were sometimes worthy, sometimes not.

Weathering negative circumstances is easy to praise. It is very commendable. Very impressive. Very American.

Well, I love America, and I discovered something else very American. The courage to go a different way and

develop the strength to do great things,
not the strength to suffer.
~Niccolo Machiavelli

A few years ago, I was fortunate enough to participate in a renowned life-coaching program as a student of exploration. In one of the group activities, I had to position other group members into a physical configuration that represented an obstacle.  I then had to instruct them to say and do things that I  would find difficult to overcome (this was on the California coast by the way, so we had to really get creative in constructing a believable negative obstacle amidst the blue sky and sandy beach).  When I said “GO”, they commenced with their jumping and yelling, scary faces and harsh words.

They had my attention.

I ran straight for them, because that’s how you face adversity! I tried to plow through them, though they were very tough and invasive of my personal space. I tried to suggest with a few weak gestures that I might go to the edges of their formation, but they leaped out and around to stop me. I was stuck.

Then, in what I thought was a weak moment, I glanced up at the sky and noticed the big expanse. Suddenly, their tightly woven stance seemed small and silly. I saw so much space, easily ran around them and started skipping towards the ocean. The world was big and right there before me. We all laughed and cheered and moved on. From that point on, I realized that I can sometimes get focused on unnecessary battles, and becoming aware of this has served me well.

I “stuck it out” in jobs, relationships, financial struggles, even seemingly small daily struggles.

What are some of your biggest struggles right now? Your biggest battles? Are these the battles that are worth your energy, heart and conviction? Is your time wasting away?

It is worth evaluating, as I discovered it is possible to use so much of your fire to attack a bad situation that you cannot see the greatness outside of the smoke and flames. Glance into the expanse. Is it possible that freedom is waiting for you elsewhere?

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