Yesterday, I shared with you the story my coach taught me about the wrestlers who fell in the hole. We all fall into holes throughout our lives, sometimes big pitfalls and others small inconveniences, but eventually we all stumble and must struggle to crawl out. But like in the following story, we can’t cover our ass in denial…
One day a farmer’s donkey fell down into a well. The animal cried pitifully for hours as the farmer tried to figure out what to do. Finally, he decided the animal was old, and the well needed to be covered up anyway; it just wasn’t worth it to retrieve the donkey.
He invited all his neighbors to come over and help him. They all grabbed a shovel and began to shovel into the well. At first, the donkey realized what was happening and cried horribly. Then, to everyone’s amazement he quieted down.
A few shovel loads later, the farmer finally looked down the well. He was astonished at what he saw. With each shovel of dirt that hit his back, the donkey was doing something amazing. He would shake it off and take a step up.
As the farmer’s neighbors continued to shovel dirt on top of the animal, he would shake it off and take a step up. Pretty soon, everyone was amazed as the donkey stepped up over the edge of the well and happily trotted off.
Life is going to shovel dirt on you, all kinds of dirt, my friends. The trick to getting out of the well is to shake it off and take a step up, and use our troubles as a steppingstone. We can get out of the deepest wells by not stopping, by never giving up. Just shake it off and take a step up.
Remember the 5 Simple Rules to Overcome Challenges:
1. Exhale and free your heart from blaming others for your circumstances. No matter how unjust, it will be up to you to climb. You may have said, or you may not. You may imagine guidance where there isn’t, or assume support when none was intended. Either way, your foot must take the step. Be empowered by your autonomy, rather than dismayed by others.
2. Focus clearly on your objective and free your mind from worries. Most of your anxieties will never happen, and worrying about the others won’t help you address them when they come. Tenaciously concentrate on what you can control. Gracefully let go of what you cannot.
3. Appreciate what you have. All of the tools that you need will be at your disposal, but only gratitude clarifies where you can find your tools. If you don’t appreciate what you have, you wont see what you can do to address your challenges. Expressing daily gratitude is not some pop positive psychology. It is an inventory of everything you need RIGHT NOW to achieve your goals.
4. Give more. Whenever you feel that you’re not getting what you want from life, give. Abundance is a feed-forward loop. The more you give, the more you get. But if you give, purely because you want to get, you’ll miss the real beauty of life. I can’t tell you what to do, as I’m neither a preacher nor a saint. I’m merely a coaching standing next to you, but I promise you that when we realize how much we have (#3) we discover we are over-equipped for our challenges, and can not only meet our own but help others as well.
5. Expect less, for as soon as we realize how much we can give (#4), we discover that we do not need to wait for support or guidance or abundance, we create it. When we stop looking for the light at the end of the tunnel, we realize we are the Light.
Positive messages stated, let’s cut back to the “ass in the hole” story above…
The donkey later came back, and bit the the farmer who had tried to bury him. The gash from the bite got infected, and the farmer eventually died in agony from septic shock. Moral of the story? When you become so stressed out and overwhelmed that you try to cover your ass in denial, it always comes back to bite you.
Bruce Lee advised, “Empty your mind, be formless, shapeless like water. If you put water in a cup, it becomes the cup. You put water in a bottle and it becomes the bottle. You put it in a teapot, and it becomes the teapot. Now, water can flow or it can crash. Be like water.”
So often I hear people complain that they need more time in the day, and that it feels like everything they do gets sucked into a bottomless well, which they cannot fill.
We can’t create time, but we can prioritize it by starting with the big rocks. Imagine your day as a large pit and your busy schedule is represented as rocks of various sizes: from grains of sand to pebbles, to small stones, all the way up to big rocks. The Big Rocks symbolize your highest priority, high payoff important events which only you can define.
Most of us fill in our Well with the closest, most convenient, and least priority: like throwing handfuls of sand in the Well. As a result, the big rocks, your highest priority, won’t fit unless you begin with them, and only after, do you place the gravel and sand around them.
The corollary to this is that if you find yourself overwhelmed, and you feel that you cannot fit any of your big tasks in your day, then start the excavation process: even if only one handful of sand at a time.
As I learned in martial art, life is often a process of subtracting the non-essential, rather than adding the superfluous. Remove that which is unnecessary, even if only a seemingly insignificant burden: the accumulation of removing these small things, can eventually move a mountain of debris. If you begin, be consistent and be diligent.
Then, as you add your big rocks to your day, more flotsam will surface for removal: A continual process of adding the essential and subtracting what is not.
Certainly, we would all agree that the above would improve our quality of life, but the challenge is in the doing of it. How do we see clearly through the darkness of our Well, when we feel overwhelmed, and excessively stressed?
I have a few simple tools to share with you, if you haven’t already gotten them. It’s a free book and video that I have written to “pay forward” to everyone because of all of the incredible teachers who’ve given me so much assistance, support and guidance to illuminate the dark circumstances of my challenges.
You are reading this for a specific reason: firstly, because you have the patience to suffer my stories; and secondly, because you have specifically brought yourself here to unlock these tools for yourself. You cannot see what you don’t have or discover what hasn’t always been in your possession. The most powerful techniques for addressing the challenges you are facing, you’ve already experienced, but, like myself when my teachers reflected them to me, have not yet applied them consciously.
For a few more days, I’m making www.breathinggift.com available for free. My ISP has been crushed with the number of people downloading my book and video, so I won’t be able to do this indefinitely. Grab it now, even if you cannot read it or watch the video immediately. You can peruse it at your convenience when you get a moment to breathe, but go download your copy now so you don’t miss out.
Thank you for allowing me to give forward what I’ve gotten a thousand fold from my teachers…