Live An Extraordinary Life

Posts Tagged ‘courage

Photo courtesy of Jano Kray

 People who have faith in themselves are powerful people. Not just because they accomplish a lot, which they do, but also because they have navigated through the “dark nights of the soul” that so often are the necessary catalyst for the achievment of extraordinary things. 

 Faith is, after all, believing in something that hasn’t yet appeared or may never appear to us in physical form. It is holding firm to our dreams in spite of their conspicuous absence in our current life experience. Having faith takes guts, will and character.

 Imagination Lights The Way 

An extraordinary life is one in which faith is the foundation and imagination the material from which we build. When we cultivate faith in ourselves it frees our imagination to play and dream. Once we can imagine what we want to accomplish during our lives, we are well on our way to making it happen.

 At times, following our dreams faithfully may feel exhilarating; at other times, perhaps hopeless. Sometimes the people we love will tell us we’re crazy to want to do the things we do. We might hear things like, “What are you thinking?” or “Who do you think you are?” And do you want to know the true secret of every person who lives life in faith? He or she often lays in the dark at night wondering if the detractors are right.  But in the light of day, he/she pursues and perseveres and always keeps moving forward. 

Without Doubt There Is No Faith

Achieving what we set out to accomplish in life rarely happens in instantaneous bold moves. For most of us, achievement is characterized by steady focused action at which we persist, even in the face of obstacles and doubts.

 It is a huge myth that having faith means one has no doubts. It is quite the opposite. In fact, it is impossible to have one without the other because faith is born when we look doubt straight in the eye and deny it any power to stop us.

 The poet David Whyte talks about this duality in the most real and human way in his poem, “Faith”:

 I want to write about faith, about the way the moon rises over cold snow, night after night, faithful, even as it fades from fullness,

slowly becoming that last curving and impossible sliver of light before the final darkness. 

But I have no faith myself. I refuse it the smallest entry. 

Let this then, my small poem, like a new moon, slender and barely open,

be the first prayer that opens me to faith.  

Success Comes To The Faithful  

Everyone reading this  has experienced times in life that are full and times when, like the moon, there is a fading from fullness. Much like the moon, our lives move in cycles. At times we may succeed wildly and at other times we may miss our target at every turn.

 Have you ever watched a sports event when the “star” is having an off game? These are the times when they prove why they are “stars” because they never stop shooting, swinging, running, or whatever it is that they do. In spite of failure, they keep trying. That is faith in action.

 To expect life to be a steady unchallenged continuum of bliss is unrealistic and, in truth, an act of betrayal to the human experience. It guarantees that we will be more troubled than happy; that we will have more stress than joy. Most important, however, is that a life lived with no obstacles challenged and overcome is a life devoid of courage, compassion, empathy and humor. 

The journey of life is truly a mystery. The more I learn the less I feel that I know. But one thing that I do know for certain is that I want to live life to the fullest and help others do the same. Faith and imagination are the cornerstones to making this happen.

Sheila Madden is the CEO of Madden Coaching & Consulting where she coaches and consults with leaders of high growth companies, individuals wanting to  Live An Extraordinary Life and new college graduates who are ready to launch their careers with competence, confidence and character.

2012 Copyright Madden Coaching & Consulting. All Rights Reserved.

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