Paulo Coehlo, author of ‘The Alchemist”, shared the following thought from his blog here:
In the middle of a storm, a pilgrim reaches an inn and the owner asks where he is going.
“I’m going to the mountains,” he answers.
“Forget it,” says the innkeeper, “it’s a risky climb, and the weather is awful.”
“But I’m going up,” answers the pilgrim.”It is my dream”.
“If my heart got there first, it will be easy to follow it with my body.”
The five simple lines of this antidote capture a very powerful truism. If your heart is not fully in something, ultimately you are not likely to be successful. At some point along your journey you will be dissuaded by some adversity or perceived obstacle. This can be applied to any aspect of one’s life: Career/work, family/relationships, athletic endeavors, etc.
Bill and his Dad, Sheldon Frye in 2001
Less than 2 weeks from now I will run with my friend, Bill Frye, as he runs 59 miles to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the passing of his father. When I met Bill back in January the farthest he had ever run is 13.1 miles at White Rock. It is a big leap to go from 13.1 to 59 miles. The thing that struck me the first time we met to talk about this was that his heart was 100% committed to climbing this mountain. I had no doubt at that moment that he will stand on the top of this mountain on April 19th. Since January he has endured inclement weather, knee problems, and other discomforts along the path of this journey. Because his heart is already there his body must follow.
Do you have the courage?
The question one must always ask yourself is: What is truly in your heart? What are you passionately committed to? Too often we fail to follow our heart and our passions, only to wake up one day looking up at a mountain of regret instead of basking in the sunshine at the summit of one of our dreams. The surrender happens slowly and the ground is given up without us even noticing most of the time. What keeps us from following our heart and ultimately pursuing our dreams? Fear. Sometimes rational, but most of the time it is not. I personally believe that most people give up on their dreams because they seek acceptance and approval from others first and foremost. So what if your idea of success and happiness does not conform to some perceived social norm or standard!
Sometimes the journey is long with ample opportunity to quit.
Only you know what is true in your heart. Which version of you will be the one your true friends and family want you to be? The one who gave up on your dreams or the one who blazed forth on the trail that your heart told you was true? You will always know the people in your life who are the ones who care the most about your happiness and fulfillment. It is easy. Just tell them your dreams and aspirations. One group will scoff or look at you like you are crazy. Odds are they have already fully surrendered. Your true supporters will cheer you on as you pursue your audacious goals and pick you up when you fall along the way.
So fear not. The true joy in life is for those brave souls who have the courage to follow their heart and live their life on their terms. A few Tuesdays from now I get to help a friend stand on a mountain top. The view will be spectacular and hearts will soar!