There will be times in your life when there seems to be this wall in front of you. You have gone down the straight path all your life without ever looking around and suddenly you find that you cannot go on.
But it is in these times that you wake up from the trance you have been in and shake your head and suddenly you realise that you’ve been searching in the sand all your life for a drop of water, not realising that it was a beach and that there was a sea right next to you…
You see there is always a choice.
You can stare at this wall and think about how high it is, and how difficult it seems to climb, and that the ladder you had been on your whole life is now in tatters on the floor…
Or you can look around and realise that the wall is only blocking you from what is on the other side…
You see if you travel with a river, so that you swim along with it, you’re going with the flow and everything is moving with you…you are at rest.
It’s only when you try to swim against it that the water rushes against you and pushes you back…
And what happens to a river when it hits a wall? It simply flows around it.
As long as the river flows, that is as long as life flows, the water will always find another way.
There is always another way…
You only need know there is a way and you will inevitably find it.
And there IS a way…
This is the key.
So I took the money from the medical trial and the money from my redundancy settlement and I disappeared…gone with the wind…
I decided that I would do everything I’d always wanted to do. My old life had nothing left for me anymore and so I decided that I would find another way to live.
I had nothing to lose right?
So I went to visit my friends in Africa. They were living in a small house in Rwanda with no hot water, no cooking and barely any electricity.
Mike was a bicycle mechanic for the Rwanda cycling team and Melba was starting her own jewellery up-selling business.
I hadn’t seem them for years and they had been living the most extraordinary lives all over Africa, living from hand to mouth, from country to country, doing what they could to get by.
And I thought “Wow, how can they be living like this?”
So I asked Mike “Are you happy?” and he said to me “Dean, all I ever really wanted was for it to be warm.”
You see Mike has Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD. He get’s depressed in the wintertime, and on the equator there is no winter…
For him it was a choice as obvious as whether or not to wear a rain coat in a storm. He saw the problem and saw the solution.
Because you see a problem is really just a solution upside down…
Problem: you hate winter. Solution: remove winter…
Does anyone else have a problem like that?
Problem: I’m fat…solution: remove fat…
But these things can be difficult, as I’m sure we all know.
So the question really is ‘How?’ Right?
Wrong…the question is not how.
So you’re friend says “I’m depressed.”
You respond: “How will you fix this problem?”
“I will become happy.”
“I will think happy thoughts, and do happy things and pretend that everything is alright.”
Does this solve the problem? Does that ever solve the problem?
No. Because you never really find out what the problem is…and if you don’t know what the problem really is, you’ll never find a solution.
The question you need to ask is not “How?” but “Why?”
If you can find out why you are unhappy, why you are afraid, why you do the things you do, why you are at this wall, not how you got there, then you will be able to break free.
“How is it that you can do so many things?” asked the boy to the adventurer. “You can build a ship and sail it across the seas, and read the starts, and always find your way home. How do you do it?” pleaded the boy.
“It’s not how you should be asking” replied the adventurer sombrely, “but why.”
“Why?” asked the boy, confused, “but why?”
“Why do you do the things that you do?” asked the adventurer. “Why do you get up in the morning? Why do you eat breakfast, why do you look up at the stars and wonder what they mean?”
“Well…” hesitated the boy, “Well, I don’t know.”
“How comes after Why my boy.” whispered the adventurer with a secret smile, “It is his little brother. It follows him, learns from him and aspires to him. It grows to him, feeds from him and finds all paths that lead from him, no matter how hard or far: it always meets him in the end. So do not worry about How, find your Why and you will find your way…”
In Part Five…
In Part Five I’m going to tell you about The Question. There is a fundamental questions that lives in all our hearts, that guides almost every action we take: it is Your Why.
And if you know what your Why is then your How will become obvious.
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