Ever have those days, weeks or months where you felt like throwing in the towel and giving up? That is me right now. I’ve got too much stuff that has been added to my plate and my helpers are dropping like flies. And I’ve been under the weather for a while. So things haven’t been getting easier. It seems like giving up and walking away would be much easier right now. I’m not through it yet, but in times like these, I’m reminded of some pretty powerful stuff.
The Lesson of the Kingfisher. I read a story about a Kingfisher that was trying to catch a fish and couldn’t get it. The author started the story after watching this bird try 26 times and fail. The first few times the bird was trying for the fish seemed normal, but as the author sat watching the bird he became more concerned and a little worried for the Kingfisher. After time 17, 18, 19 – the author was intrigued. What was driving this bird to keep going after so much failure?
This story has stayed with me for more than 20 years because it reminds me that it’s not always easy, but it can be worth it. After watching the bird for some time, we realize that this bird must keep trying to survive and will do what it takes to make that happen. And then – just like that – try 27 becomes the lucky one and the Kingfisher gets his fish. I always wonder at what point I’m ready to give up. Did I try one time? 10 times? one year? Have I been working on this for 10 years? What if it did take 27 tries to make it happen? The lesson of the Kingfisher comes bubbling to the surface.
Tough times make you realize what is important. It would be fair to say, “I’m over it” because really, I’ve decided this in many areas of my life. It’s funny what becomes important when you are frustrated. I’ve learned to start making tough decisions when I’m in this mode because I’m less tied to unnecessary things that are bogging down my life:
- Clean out your closet: Right now is a great time to clean out your closet. I just did it this weekend. And I was so ‘over everything’ that I got rid of everything that didn’t fit, I didn’t like and was falling apart – enough stuff that I could barely carry it down the stairs dragging it behind me in giant bags. And guess what, I really like what I see in my closet now.
- Assess your task list: I have lists and lists of things that I want to get done – but I don’t seem to have time for anything right now. What have I done. I’ve stripped the lists down to what MUST get done and am only doing these things right now. Everything else is being saved for later in a place where I don’t have to think about it. And now I can see the progress I’m making on the necessities. I may just be whittling things away as slow as molasses, but I’m still making progress and it’s heartening.
- Empower others to help you: My new projects at work have eliminated any down time that I once had and it’s frustrating because I can’t get anything done. I just run from one meeting to the next. But I have great people around me and the busier I’ve gotten, the more I’ve had to ask for help. And they’ve risen to the challenge. The best part? Things are getting done and I’m impressed with the results – when you trust others, you often get to be pleasantly surprised with the results!
Big-time goals sometimes take big time. Earlier this year I decided I wanted to start writing and sharing my organizational success with others. And eventually, I’d like to be an established organizational or lifestyle expert. It’s been exciting to see this goal evolve over the course of this year. There have been great times and there have been really difficult times. Like right now. I’ve been questioning my original goal because I’ve hit a wall. I’m worn out and I’ve lost my feeling of having enough time to get this goal done. Plus, I keep trying to expand my reach, but I’m not getting any takers – frustrating! But I’ve got a plan, I’ve got good ideas and I know that success will come when the time is right – I just need to make sure I’m ready.
I think success often comes down to confidence in yourself. You have to believe that you can do it. Others are going to ignore you, reject you and question you. But you know that you can do it – I know it too. Sure it’s going to take time, effort and get frustrating. You may even want to give up. But if it’s worth it, you need to stick with it. Even if it takes you 27 tries.