Go On Anyway

March 27th, 2009

“Do not let the fact that things are not made for you, that conditions are not as they should be, stop you. Go on anyway. Everything depends on those who go on anyway.” – Robert Henri

This is the quote of the day or, well, the week for me lately. Sometimes words can help you find the courage to go on anyway, to be willing to come back again and again. I realized today as I continued to struggle with maintaining a positive mindset to the challenges in running a small business, that really if I could just apply the hard won lessons of how to sustain a relationship to my work, it might feel totally new or at least doable.

Learning how to stay when things are difficult in families is great practice for working though obstacles to other dreams. In the same way that I would never think of leaving my family, even at the most painful of moments, I long to have that same whole-heartedness for my work.

A lot of us live with one foot out the door in some area of our life whether it be personal or professional. The thought dancing behind every set back: “I don’t have to stay with this, I could be happier if I just quit!” For me these thoughts don’t happen much with my partner or my family anymore. Yet they are a reoccurring theme for my dreams of building a meaningful love business. This is definitely not good for employee morale and damaging to the efforts of building a sustainable vision.

I remember the years that “the foot out the door” was true in my marriage. This safety hatch actually is a silent destroyer. Relationships and dreams are not safe if failure and setbacks become the justification of endings. Thomas Edison said “I have not failed. I have found ten thousand ways that won’t work.” It is this kind of commitment to a process in building a relationship, a business or a dream that allows you to find the way to the light. Keeping one foot out the door does not allow you to ever fully give yourself to the process which can take you to the other side. To succeed, to sustain requires 100%. Doubt is not a leader.

And yet for not being a leader, doubt surely leads many of us away from our real desires and our sense of purpose. I think we don’t realize how we are all on the verge of making the slight changes in our life that would make all the difference. We are not quiet long enough to hear the courage in a quiet voice at the end of the day that says “I will come back tomorrow and try again.” We give up too easily on ourselves and our will. We are afraid to trust our own efforts as being enough.

Really the question of quitting or staying is always a question of love. Trusting in the strength of our own heart to keep going, while all the time being willing to fail and know that our heart is strong and resilient enough to try again.

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