"You may have a fresh start any moment you choose,
for this thing that we call 'failure' is not the falling down,
but the staying down." - Mary Pickford
I recently came upon this quote and felt it couldn’t have been timelier then if it had been a sign smacking me in the face. So often we become discouraged when life doesn’t go the way we want it to, or when we expect to get immediate results from minimal effort.
The people who are successful at their dreams and who are happy as a result are not because they tried once and got lucky, they are both because they persevered and they didn’t give up, they didn’t settle.
To follow your dreams even when life throws you failure after failure is what gives us the ability to succeed, as Pickford’s quote states so eloquently, it is the staying down that causes us to not attain our dreams.
Perseverance Pays OfF
If ever you needed a story of persistence and a reminder to not give up and follow your dreams, then Wayne Campbell, the founder of Urban Fit Yoga, will be the one to inspire you. Originally a runner and a dancer, he injured his tailbone on a concrete pavement after he over-flipped a backflip.
Unwilling to give in to the unyielding pain, after receiving minimal help from professionals, he turned to a path of yoga and massage and developed his own Campbell Flex Method to heal his pain. Since then, he has spent over 20 years refining his techniques and helping others through his tried-and-tested methods.
Currently, he has triumphed in the world of yoga and his efforts and persistence have resulted in Wayne becoming the 2017 USA National Yoga Champion in the Men’s 50+ Division. As his dedication and hard work continue to pay off, he will represent the USA at the upcoming 2018 International Yoga Championship.
Finding the Right TimE
Having a fresh start is available to us at any time, as Wayne has shown us, it can sometimes come from unfortunate circumstances. But I will admit that there is something special about starting a pledge to follow your dreams in the New Year. The key to making it work, however, is not to let failure take over if you find that you hit a few bumps in the road along the way.
Ultimately, whether you decide to go after your dreams at the beginning of the New Year, the beginning of the week, or in the middle of the year on a Wednesday afternoon, so long as it feels good to you, and you feel inspired, then it is the right time for you to follow your dreams.
Recognize What Inspires YoU
First, the key is to identify your goal or dream and to set up a plan. Picking smaller goals that will lead you ultimately to the fulfillment of your larger dream is a great way to start, but always keep your ultimate goal in mind.
A great way to do this is to create a vision board. This can be done traditionally with a board filled with clippings of inspiration, or in a more modern way, by using a site like Pinterest to help you create your board. Simply pick an image or a hundred, Pinterest is like that, that resonates with you, something that inspires you to do more, to be more.
From these images, sparks of inspiration will often follow, but be careful not to drive yourself crazy if it doesn’t seem to be working instantaneously. And don’t become frustrated with your current life if it feels like you are not on the path you want to be right away.
When you pick an image that resonates with you, this is your mind’s way of identifying a (possibly hidden) passion, interest, or dream. Have you ever watched a movie and then after it was over wondered why it stuck with you so much and even has become a favorite of yours over the years?
It took some time, but I had this realization when I started to notice a theme in some of my favorite books and movies, strong female characters, following their dreams, often within a creative field. Anne of Green Gables, Eat Pray Love, and Little Women, all come to mind when I think of some of my favorite stories.
You may already know what your dream has always been, or you may just be discovering it for the first time, either way, you need to put your inspiration for this dream somewhere you will see it daily. It then becomes a subconscious reminder to your mind, even if you don’t think of it consistently.
Use Other Accomplishments to Propel You ForwarD
Think back to the first time you ever set foot on a yoga mat, chances are you weren’t the most advanced yogi in the class. But you continued to go, continued to learn, and continued to persevere. You didn’t let a little thing like inflexibility or imbalance get in your way. If you couldn’t perform an asana, you took a modification until you were more skilled and able to move forward.
Many of our life goals can be approached in the same manner; they may not be attainable right away, but if we modify them slightly and keep pushing forward they are within our reach. Sometimes education is needed, often money, and most definitely time, so long as you are moving forward, step by step, you are closer to reaching your final destination.
Set Your Goals and Stick to TheM
Remember that vision board we talked about? Well now, let’s try a planner. Whether you purchase a yearly planner, use an electronic organizer, or write down your goals and pin them to your vision board, make an effort to work your way through each step.
If I were to advise someone on the steps they need to do in order to reach a yoga-pose goal, let’s say crow pose, I would advise the practitioner to first focus on arm and core strengthening poses. I would also say that falling down, losing your balance, and having limited focus are all parts of the learning process; the key is to stick to it.
Now, let’s take this same idea and apply it to a career goal. If someone wanted to become a professional chef, the first step would be to tell them to cook every day. The next step would be to have some professional schooling, then to work in an environment conducive to learning and cooking. I would also say that burnt sauces, deflated soufflés, and cut fingers are all part of the of the learning process; remember every dream will have bumps along the way.
The Road Is Not (Necessarily) A Straight One
I have learned over the past few years that the road to reach your goals is not a straight one, and that’s a good thing. It may sound discouraging, but not everyone is going to accomplish their dreams at a ripe, young age, but before you throw in the towel, think about this.
Sometimes, all the bumps in the road are not bad things. Bumps can be relationships we have built with friends and lovers, they can include children, moving, traveling and experiencing the world, and even bumps that have led us to re-evaluate old dreams and discover new ones.
Sometimes, a bump is just a way of telling us that that isn’t the right path for us, not that we aren’t meant to follow that dream, just that our dream is meant to be realized by taking a different route. Or maybe, that bump is telling us that we just aren’t ready for what awaits us down that road, yet.
Some of my bumps include a decade of working with some great people, developing my passion for food, a marriage and two beautiful children, new friendships, and a reawakening of a lost dream.
My path has definitely had a lot of great experiences along the way, even if I haven’t been as single-focused like a bull to a red cape, it may sound clichéd, but it truly is about the journey and not so much the destination, and I’m okay with that.
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Urban Fit Yoga posts relevant, inspiring, and nourishing tools to support you along your healing journey. We believe that the benefits of yoga can extend far off your mat and we want to help!