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Gandhi's secret to success

Updated: May 19, 2020

Do you have what it takes to get what you want? Listen to this from Mahatma Gandhi:

I claim to be no more than an average man with less than average ability…I have not the shadow of doubt that any man or woman can achieve what I have, if he or she would make the same effort and cultivate the same hope and faith.”

Do you hear what he is saying? No matter who you are or where you are coming from, no matter your talents and abilities, no matter your financial status, the opportunity of success is open to all of us, if we are willing to exhort the effort.

Unfortunately, this is the issue with most of us (myself included). We are great starters, but terrible finishers. We love to dream, to break our dreams into action steps and to get started. This is all very exciting work. Yet, once we’ve been going for a little while, we become less motivated. We lose the excitement of the dream and can easily be knocked off our path and then simply give up.

Think on it – how many dreams have you started and not finished? How often have you gained the motivation to start, but failed to keep going after starting? I cannot tell you the number of times that I’ve failed at trying to memorize a quote or scripture daily. Every time I finish a great book, I get motivated to start writing my second book, but only have a few pages to show for it. Heck, I even made a promise to all of you that I’d be posting a video every week. I started wonderfully well and now, halfway through the year, I’ve only made a handful of videos!

Being persistent is tough work and that is why we don’t have that many Gandhi’s in the world. Most of us give up too early and don’t “cultivate the same effort and cultivate the same hope and faith.”

As I’ve been pondering this, a lesson came to me from the most unusual place – my garage.

You see, earlier this spring a robin had started to build a nest in our second garage. And not just anywhere, but smack dab on top of the garage door opener! This crazy bird would fly in anytime we’d leave a door open and work on her nest.

After cleaning up the droppings on my car, I thought “This bird’s got to go.” There was no way she was going to be able to hatch babies. It just wasn’t possible. She’d need 24 hour access and our doors are not open all of the time. So, being a reasonable person, I climbed up and removed her nest and the one egg she had already laid. “Go make your nest somewhere else,” I thought.

However, just two days later she was right back at it. “Uh, you ridiculous bird! Why can’t you just get a clue?” I climbed right back up there and took down the second nest. Then there was nest in my son’s bike helmet – I removed that too. Unbelievably, a few days later I noticed the next above the opener once again. “Gosh, this bird is just not going to give up, is she?” I muttered aloud.

Being completely overcome with the persistent of this little creature, I allowed this fourth nest to stay. A week later there were three eggs and several weeks later (after tying the back door open to give the bird 24/7 access) I stood there amazed as I watched the three little chicks fly out of the nest for their first time.

What was this robin teaching me? The amazing power of persistence. She taught me to not give up, no matter the circumstance. I mean, think of it – I completely removed her nest, her hard work, the future birth place of her kids, not just once, or twice, but three times. And each time she returned. She was going to have these babies no matter what.

Do we have that kind of dedication? Are we willing to be that persistent? Do we have the drive to rebuild our nest no matter how many times it is taken down? I hope so because if we do than the Gandhi that is in each of us can be realized.

Let us determine today to be persistent, to continue one no matter the incoming waves, to break through the challenges and realize our full potential.

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