Turn the tide

The imagination that if all difficult patches got out of the way, you could easily do better, is an illusion. You are only one person on a planet of myriad persons, things and events, and hardly any of them answers to you. All of these persons, things and events are swilling and spiraling around and about you in their own directions, and they care very little about where you fit in the equation. In simple terms, you can never wait to exhale. Godot (of ‘Waiting for Godot’ fame) is not likely to show up.

No one can take you where you want to go unless you keep moving steadily. The strength to move on has to come from somewhere in you – that vision, that dream, that desire, that value, and that promise. You cannot put off planning and dreaming in the hope that perfect conditions will somehow align, because there will never be a perfect time.

Even worse, while they mill and push, any number of factors can touch and derail any part of your life at some point in time, because you do not live as an island. Wars, bad community leadership, or disasters such as fire or sickness could disorient you, shake your foundations and throw out the best-laid plans.

So what do you do in the swirl? If you go with the swim in order to have your peace, it will only make your head spin if there was no reason to go swimming. If you go against the tide without a strategy, you are more likely to be hit by oncoming traffic than anything else.

Do you curl up like a ball and find a hiding place, or do you stand with your legs apart, and scream ‘Hey, I’m also here’, hoping someone will stop and pay attention to you? I suggest you do neither.

Keep an eye on all those who are significant in the swell around you. Plan with people, events and situations in mind. Budget time and expense for the critical places where they will impinge on your progress, because they will definitely impinge. Ensure that you have made room for those who need to come and pass by you to do so, so they do not hurt you as they march into your space. But plan your life and prioritize your progress with as much independence of mind and focus on the variables as you can – for invariably, you must answer to your own dreams and those for whom you lead.

You have to focus on your goals at any material time, no matter how difficult the terrain, and mobilize every form of resource that can turn every tide in your favor. And you can turn the tide when the going gets tough – if you have studied the terrain, knowing where the hostile stones are, and the friendly chips that can make you win are lying.  Consciously, tenaciously, strongly, manage those things that cause blips and screams. Be as dogged as they also are, and put them in their right place. And run along…

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