I made myself a cup of tea yesterday morning. I wanted to have a relaxing start to the day and ease into the productivity to come.
My current favorite tea always has an inspiring saying on each tea bag. The morning’s message was “The greatest pleasure in life is doing what people say you cannot do.” – Walter Bagehot.
This little statement made me laugh.
The idea has been a recurring theme in my life. I’ll get a “wild hair” and decide to do something I’ve never attempted before and just go for it. Sometimes, ok, most of the time, I also ignore the thought of research and dive in headfirst.
A year or two ago I had this intense need to work on the labyrinth and walkway here at the studio. I knew we’d be rebuilding the space and yet I needed to see progress and feel as though things were moving forward, however slow.
I talked to a couple of landscapers and shared pictures to help illustrate my idea. One said it just couldn’t be done and the other “did some research” only to come to the same conclusion. The issue here was, I had pictures. I knew it could be done because it had been.
The lack of drive just wasn’t what I wanted to hear. In my head, this was a beautiful space and the project was absolutely achievable. I had Pinterest pics to prove it… and this would *not* be a famous Pinterest fail.
So I decided it was going to happen. I would be the one to build it and if anyone wanted to help they could. My mind was set and this was, without a doubt, going to happen.
And it did…
With a ton of help from several parts of my family, the labyrinth and walkway came to be. People jumped in and threw their ideas and muscle into the pot. With a “camp cook” keeping us fueled and many hands working on different parts, big and small, we succeeded.
One of the landscapers came by a few months later to see how we were doing and saw what we had done. His jaw dropped and he commented repeatedly on how “his guys” could NOT have done such a job. He was amazed.
I gained SO much pleasure from succeeding at that which people had told me I could not do. Thank you, Walter Bagehot, for so simply stating my inner feeling on the matter.
As I said before, this is a recurring theme. Decorating a home, learning a new skill, painting a mural, building a piece of furniture without cussing, the list could go on and on. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve heard “I never thought you could do this”, or “I’m amazed you could focus long enough for that”, or “I can’t believe you had this in you”.
Here’s the secret.
As long as I believed I could, I undoubtedly would. It’s how I operate.
Henry Ford said, “Whether you think you can or think you can not, you are right.”
In my heart of hearts if I know I can learn how to walk a tight rope, then I can. I have the ability to figure out the steps needed and grab that idea with every fiber of my being. It may take practice and yet, I will definitely be able to succeed.
In Peter Pan, J.M. Barrie wrote:
“The moment you doubt whether you can fly, you cease forever to be able to do it.”
You added doubt.
Perhaps you heard the doubt or judgment of others and decided to agree. Perhaps the idea of success was scary and you would rather stay small for a while longer. Any number of things can alter our focus and change our course.
Looking at your list from last week, is there a smaller thing you’d like to accomplish? Something easily achievable to give you a quick and simple step in a super positive direction? It doesn’t have to be big. And it can be “just for today”. Maybe it’s taking a short walk around the neighborhood to start getting a little more exercise. Or getting the family in on a ten minute tidy before bed so you sleep feeling more at ease and wake up knowing you’re not starting at a deficit from yesterday. Perhaps you set a timer for 5 minutes and take this time just for you.
Say “I CAN.”
As soon as you say, “The family won’t help with that”, you’re right. You’ve decided so before even beginning.
Or, “I don’t have time to exercise”, “I can’t take 5 minutes for myself”, you have created this reality.
Deciding you can is where everything changes.
Opportunities open up, the positive attitude carries over and you just created the magic to achieve whatever you put your mind to.
I can lose weight.
I can find joy.
I CAN live a life I LOVE.
And let me be clear.
When I refer to “those who say you can’t” I am including that little voice in your head. The one that likes to hold you back and keep you from trying. I challenge you to prove it wrong too. When that little devil shows up on your shoulder contradicting your hopes and desires, push back so hard it’ll take a while to clear its head and think twice about pulling you down again. Take away its power and fuel the positive.
You’ve so totally got this.
I believe in you, I’m in your corner and as the school mascot I was able to match volume with the entire cheer squad so I know I can help you drown out the naysayers;)
Stop wishing, and do it !!!
And as a side note?
This morning’s Quote was from Hellen Keller – “One cannot consent to creep when one has an impulse to soar.”
I pray you spread your wings a little and fly.
Do something you want, just because someone else said you couldn’t 🙂