How many times do you think a steam train got the job done over the course of its service? Through rain, cold, snow and ice…No matter the conditions, it pushed through and got the job done.
I would hazard a guess that the challenging conditions far outnumbered the ideal ones. Yet it still persevered and got the job done. For me, a steam train (not this one in the picture, though, because that’s the Hogwarts Express) provides a perfect metaphor for a fulfilled and successful life.
There are going to be many, many times during which life will threaten to overwhelm or frustrate you. It’s easy to do what countless others do in these circumstances, and blame it all on unforeseen forces. If you do fall into this trap, you will find yourself asking questions like;
- Why me?
- Why does God hate me?
- Why does the Universe deny me?
- Why do I always have bad luck?
- Why does everything have to be so difficult for me?
- Why can’t I catch a break?
What happens when you ask questions like these, though? They create a feeling of helplessness, hopelessness and powerlessness. You start to believe that there is nothing which you can do to improve your circumstances, so you give up and quit trying.
How about the steam train? When faced with a challenge what does it do? Keep going and power through, or abort it’s journey? Exactly! It keeps going.
Please understand that you are sabotaging your progress when you indulge in this negative self-talk. Negative self-talk and negative thoughts only lead to negative outcomes.
All of us have been there…every single one of us. These, hard, difficult, challenging and frustrating times serve and important and practical purpose. They prepare, condition, strengthen and teach you about the responsibilities which come with the life you desire.
This is why success can seem so rare and mysterious to some people…because most people either don’t understand that tough times have many benefits, or are unable to summon the mental and physical strength with which to push themselves through the tough times.
What is the alternative, though?
Become a passive passenger? Sit back and let life just happen to you? Life will beat you down at times. Rather than despair or feel sorry for yourself, why not take advantage of the opportunities on offer to learn and grow? By developing a new skill or gaining knowledge with which to overcome life’s frustrations, you become better equipped for the rest of your life’s journey.
Don’t waste time and energy focusing on how hard life can be and what sacrifices you have to make, just accept that life is tough. Focus instead on your big goals and end results, and the daily actions which will get you there.
It’s always darkest before the dawn. If, however, you learn to persevere through the darkness, the light at the end of the tunnel becomes so much more meaningful and enjoyable.
So, like the steam locomotive train, keep chugging along