Little did I know that when I posted the quote from Paulo Coelho a few days ago, that I would be sitting here today feeling exactly as he described. For those of you who missed it…
“We lose our enthusiasm because of the small and unavoidable defeats we suffer during the good fight. And since we don’t realize that enthusiasm is a major strength, able to help us win the ultimate victory, we let it dribble through our fingers; we do this without recognizing that we are letting the true meaning of our lives escape us. We blame the world for our boredom and for our losses, and we forget that it was we ourselves who allowed this enchanting power, which justifies everything, to diminish – the manifestation of agape in the form of enthusiasm.”
I knew when I posted this quote that it was powerful but until today, I really didn’t know how powerful it truly was. It takes only one small defeat sometimes to send you tail spinning so far back, that you almost believe that you are right back where you started, forgetting everything else that you’ve accomplished along the way. This belief of course could not be any farther from the truth. It is after all only “a small and unavoidable defeat”. So why do we give these little defeats so much importance? How does one little defeat erase all your victories from your mind, causing you to lose faith in yourself and in all that you’ve set out to accomplish?
The answer to this question is quite simple. Somewhere in your beliefs you have tied many of these defeats to your own self-worth, and now your mind wants you to remember this moment to avoid it from happening again. It dwells on it until you have it etched in your brain so deep that the next time the situation presents itself, subconsciously you will do everything in your power to avoid it…or worse sabotage it. In short, your mind is deliberately reprogramming you to act, or not act, out of fear. This as we know is not the way to living a fulfilling life. In fact, unless we do learn to face these defeats, they will continue to present themselves again and again in our lives until we learn to triumph over them. The important thing is to clue in on the lesson these defeats are trying to teach you, so that each time you get closer and closer to victory. But in order to do that, you must not let these defeats get the best of you by letting them define your own self-worth.
You must rise above these defeats and face the challenges that life is presenting to you with courage and passion, while taking stock in all that you have accomplished and learned along the way. These are the thoughts that will empower you and bring you to victory. Keep these defeats in perspective and never let them cast their shadow over your entire life, as this only gives them more power over you. Lastly but most importantly, never let them take from you your child-like enthusiasm, for that enthusiasm is the true “manifestation of agape” and the true meaning of life.