05 Sep 2016
Jason Bird You Can Do Hard Things

Perseverance (or why you can do hard things)

Do you ever feel like giving up because things are hard?

In the final standard print edition of MAGIC magazine, Rory Johnson interviewed me for the August 2016 25th Anniversary Issue. The article is a tale of where I’ve been, the obstacles and delays, the red lights when I was hoping for green lights. The truth is, there’s more to my desire to share my story than publicity, or relaying my 18 year trajectory.  There’s the Why factor that is the under current.  There’s the perseverance – no matter how great the storm or how tumultuous the ocean threatening to turn my boat upside down.  I’ve long had the persistent belief that my dreams and goals, my life even, are quests – things greater than myself that need to be created, accomplished, followed through with til completion.

A quest involves courage and bravery. It involves a tribe of fellow journeymen who can lift you when you fall, cheer you when your legs feel like jello after that bazilyionth mile, and offer comfort when all seems lost. Quests give meaning. Quests transform every obstacle into a blessing in disguise, there to serve your character, your greater good, to redirect you to a different possibility.  Quests also serve as anecdotes that are passed on to future questers who need courage and solid ground beneath their feet as they embark on their own personal journey.

I don’t know of one successful person who has enjoyed a life without failure and challenges. There will be obstacles and time delays. You’ll wish things had happened sooner or later or faster or not at all. You’ll consider giving up, as we all do at various junctures.  There will be moments when everything seems like it’s going your way, and in the next, you’ll wonder how you could have been so optimistic. You’ll wonder why you didn’t become an accountant or a lawyer or something other than the path you’ve chosen, and in the blink of an eye, you’ll receive a call which will reaffirm all of the reasons you chose your current path in the first place.

My advice to anyone who needs motivation to pursue a quest (or dream)  is this:

  • TRUST: If you have a dream, please don’t expect that it will arrive on your doorstep tied with a bow, at exactly the time you projected. Trust that things will evolve and occur as they will and the timing will always be perfect.
  • FAITH: Don’t judge your path by the trajectory of others in your field or who “have” accomplished things. Your quest is your own, and it’s magnificent and powerfully inspiring, and it is also your own. Yours to write. Yours to create. Your very own hero’s journey that is unlike anyone that has been or will ever be.
  • PERSPECTIVE: Don’t begrudge the painful parts or the obstacles. Learn from them.  Feel them. Evolve through them. Let them shape you, and fortify you, and sometimes redirect you.
  • GRATITUDE: Be grateful everyday for every tiny over looked thing in your life outside of your ambition – take time to notice your friends, the roof over your head, the comfort of your mom’s voice on the phone, the laughter of your three old, the meteor showers, and the miracle of the ocean.  Those little things are the things, that came free to you, are actually the most valuable, the things you neither created nor earned. And they are also the things you will miss the most, quest or not, were they to go.
  • TRIBE: You may or may not resonate with this word yet, and have probably heard it floating around in various master mind circles, or your new agey friends; but, it is a word that I urge you to get comfortable with.  Because you need a tribe. You need the pound of drums beating and their soulful support. You need the battle cries and the reminders from people that get you – YOU. The one with the quirks and the dreams and the shadows and the things that make you tick.  Find a tribe that raises you up. Find your people.  You’ll need them. And they’ll need you.

So if you’re remotely considering throwing in your towel, don’t. Not just yet. Take one more step. Try again. Be patient. You’ll get there.  You have a Quest. And the world needs you.

Be well on the journey, my friends,

Jason

 

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