A farmer was out walking in a field. He looked down and saw a tiny pumpkin growing on a vine. Nearby, he spotted a small glass jar. The farmer reached down and placed the tiny pumpkin inside the small jar. The pumpkin continued to grow until it filled the inside of the jar, beyond which it could not grow.
This story was told by American author Earl Nightingale.
Too many of us go through life like that tiny pumpkin. We limit ourselves and refuse to stick our necks out for even the smallest of risks. We never truly test the strength of their abilities. You will never get to second base if you keep one foot on the first. Too many of us go through our entire lives playing our cards close to our chests like poker players. We rarely step out and bet on the surest thing in the world... ourselves.
A risk by its very nature inevitably requires that we turn our backs on what we are comfortable with as normal, safe and secure. Evidence throughout history and events in our present show that high-level goal achievement comes as a result of risk. Usually, the larger the potential gain, the greater the risk necessary for its realisation. It means putting ourselves in scary and vulnerable positions that most of us would rather die than face. Unfortunately, one cannot almost take a risk. You have got to go the full nine yards.
“You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face.”
“Cannot” is a word that nips any goal-oriented process in the bud before it even begins. This seemingly harmless word if allowed, has the power to switch your mind into the most negative of frequencies.
From there on, all you see, hear or think about a potential winning idea becomes heavily covered in seemingly impenetrable layer of perfectly plausible reasons why you “cannot”, “should not” and therefore unfortunately will not even take the first step towards an endeavour that you sincerely want to accomplish. It does this by paralysing the potential achiever. effectively turning him or her into a chronically self-doubting loser.
Well, whatever you think; you are right. The universe’s job is not to argue with you. The universe only exists to reflect your image, thoughts and energy right back at you. Therefore, it you think that you “can”, you are damn right you can. If you think you “cannot”, you are right too. Your thoughts are yours to do whatever you want with.
Reaching the goal, however impressive it may be, is not in itself success. To begin with, success is whatever you make it out to be at any given time. Success is moving towards the goal. My success today is writing and submitting this article to my editor before his strict deadline. When I pulled out my laptop from my bag, I was jumping over the hurdle of my fatigue at the end of yet another long day. I was pulling at every bit of strength still left in me to keep my mind working long enough to do this. I was giving it everything I had at the time to honour my commitment to deliver this on time.
Battling to keep my eyes open, my fingers moving and my mind directing all of that at 2.00am after a full day can hardly be considered failing. “Cannot” did not come into play except for the purpose of reminding me that I cannot dishonour my commitment. I cannot disappoint my editor and I cannot fail you, the reader who would be positively impacted by this message.
Seraphine Ruligirwa-Kamara is an expert on Attitude and Human Potential
[email protected] | @SRuligirwa