Tell me why?
Why do you doubt yourself?
Why do you believe you can not soar with eagles?
Is it because you’re afraid to try something new?
Is it because others say you can’t do it?
Is it because you are afraid of failing?
Is it because you tried before and failed?
Do you even know, or do you just accept that you can’t do it?
Greatness is never just handed to someone. The truly great learn from their failures and forge ahead. They do allow themselves to be discouraged; they pay no attention to those who are quick to point to their failure as a reason to give up hope. They are not afraid to get back up and look for a new way to succeed because they believe that they have it within themselves to achieve anything that they put their minds to. With each lesson learned, they add another rung to the ladder, a ladder that eventually will take them to their desire destination. A ladder that will lead them to a place where eagles soar.
So I ask again tell me why you can’t soar as well?
Perfection is something many of us strive to achieve. But we are only human, and we were not meant to be perfect. We will stumble, we will fail, we are flawed. Does that mean we shouldn’t strive to reach perfection? That it is an exercise in futility to do so? Of course not, Those of us who accept this reality persevere and keep marching forward undaunted. Perfection may be the destination, but our journey is just as if not more important. Along the course of our journey, the experiences, successes, and even our failures, we meet with, if embraced and learned from, will allow us to become better than before them. No human is perfect, but we can still strive for perfection.
As I sat on my deck, I noticed a gentle mist had started, but I didn’t get up. Instead, I sat there admiring the trees and grass. When I was young, there were no trees, no grass to look at. It was just block after block of concrete. That time seems so long ago now, I guess I thought to myself, as the mist turned into a drizzle, I made it. Everyone thought I was living in a dream world, that if I didn’t give up these crazy dreams, I would never amount to anything, and they were all too quick to point out each time I failed, and I failed a lot. But there was one person who believed in me, kept pushing me, and encouraging me never to stop chasing my dreams. That person was me.
For as long as I could remember, I believed that I was born to be unique, to stand out from the crowd. While the masses would march to the drummer’s beat, I would salsa to Tito Puente’s rhythm. Now ironically, the same people who told me I would never make it ask me what my secret of success is. I laugh to myself and tell them I always knew that greatness was in me I just had to work hard, push myself, never give up, reject the fear of failure and not let anyone take away my dreams. Right then, my 6-year-old son called out to me, “Daddy, it’s raining. Come inside.” I looked at him and smiled as I said, “it’s ok, your Daddy never gets caught in the rain because he learned how to soar above the clouds.”
Anyone who has read my blog knows that I love The Matrix, and one of my favorite characters Morpheus, has uttered many quotes that we can use in our everyday lives. Two that I especially relate to are “There is a difference between knowing the path and walking the path.” and “You have to let it all go, Fear, doubt, and disbelief free your mind.” In many ways, we know what we must do if we want to make our dreams a reality, but we fail to act. We fear failing, doubt ourselves, and disbelieve in the possibility of success. In many ways, our minds have been conditioned by society to be practical, to color within the lines. Conditioned to believe that if we simply blend in, we protect ourselves. But imagine what we could accomplish if, as Morpheus says, we let it all go and free our mind If we dared to color outside the lines. Suppose we stopped being afraid of failure and embraced the possibility of success. We may just find that we will never again get caught in the rain because we would have learned to soar above the clouds.
We gather here today to say goodbye, but we do not grieve their departure; we look back fondly and remember that were it not for them, we would not possess the strength and the courage to tackle all the adversity we have encountered and to overcome the many obstacles that have been placed in our way, to move forward with determination and a belief that we will get it done. So while fear and self-doubt are no longer with us, we can now appreciate while we may have been afraid of failure and didn’t believe we could achieve something, we tried, and when we failed and didn’t succeed, we didn’t wither away. We simply tried again, and with each attempt, our fear and self-doubt faded until it had birthed within each of us a belief that we are fearless, and we have no doubt in who we are and what we can achieve.
In the Broadway play, Hamilton Alexander Hamilton sings I am not throwin’ away my shot. In life, too many of us throw away our shot more fearful of the consequences of failure than we are possibilities of success. So we sit on the sidelines and let life dictate our futures instead of taking hold of life and making our futures what we want it to be. Our time on this Earth is but a blink of an eye, and our opportunities are finite, but our possibilities are endless but only if we take our shot.