When we witness someone achieve personal success in their lives, sometimes we genuinely feel happy for that person, but sometimes a part of us is envious, and thinks, "I wish I had what they had. I wish I could do that." Sometimes we even go further and think all kinds of unpleasant thoughts that really don't serve any purpose but just make us feel not very good about ourselves.
What if we were simply to think, "Wow.. if she can do that, maybe I can TOO!" One of the biggest differences between people who achieve and between people who don't is that those who achieve simply TRIED. Yes, sometimes there are other factors, but that person simply TRIED (or asked, or put himself out there, or worked hard, etc, etc.) And he knew that there might be failure, there might be rejection, but he tried anyway. In fact, real estate entrepreneur/base-jumper Thomas McPherson (who I recently interviewed on my new podcast, The Courageous Path - stay tuned for that interview soon to come!) said that he views failure as an opportunity to learn. Pretty amazing right? And he clearly learned from his failures since he has achieved great success in his life.
So many of don't achieve what we might secretly dream of achieving simply because we don't put out the effort. And why? Not because we're lazy, often just because we think (often subconsciously), "if I don't try, I can't fail." If I don't try, I can't be rejected. If I don't try, they won't tell me "no." If I don't try, they can't say they don't like me.
I admit that I have done this unwittingly many more times than I care to admit.. not even trying but instead using all kinds of excuses to mask the real reason I didn't want to try (fear of rejection/failure/exposure). I recently decided to stop doing that, and instead to face my fears and to just try (I recently applied for and thankfully was accepted to do a Pecha Kucha presentation ). To just try and see what happens and be open to failing. To just try to see if I can learn something new, to just try a different way next time if it comes to that.
I watched my sister become a doctor today - and she graduated at the top of her Tufts Medical School class. At the TOP. And I was genuinely so very proud of her. I have seen her work for many, many hours over the past 7 years (4 pre-med in college, 3 in med school, and then at least 5-6 more in her residency to come) to get where she is. Studying constantly, working in hospitals for long shifts, coming home to sleep a few hours and maybe eat and getting up all over again early the next day. And she is saving people's lives. And sometimes witnessing their lives end. Healing, curing, researching, proposing, accepting.
At the graduation ceremony, as people's names were called, pockets of cheers would erupt from various parts of the fieldhouse. The loved ones of that newly-minted doctor were totally focused, in that moment, on the achievement of the graduate. Just so happy for that person. Flashes of pure joy for another - like watching a soldier greet her family in the airport after a long time apart, meeting a friend's new baby in the hospital, witnessing two people committing their lives to each other in marriage - these are the moments that make us human, and that display the innate goodness of our souls. For in that moment, we share in another's elation in the most pure of ways.
We are, in fact, connected to each other through our energy, through love. My joy is your joy... your pain is my pain. My success can be your success. We often only notice this in these brief moments of emotional connection (until our thinking, critical mind takes over). Maybe, then... let's try to prolong these connections, let's bask in our elation for each other. Let's share in each other's successes; let's CHOOSE to think that if another is blessed with success, then maybe it's that much more possible for you. It just feels a whole lot better that way, anyway, doesn't it? This has been said before... but it rings true... we will NEVER know... until.. we... try.