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by Rhoberta Shaler, PhD

Sometimes when the going seems difficult, it is because we are closest to reaching our destination. Those last few yards can be tough and, often, this is when most folks quit.

It seems to me to be like walking in a beautiful meadow and seeing a forest ahead with a beautiful mountain behind. The sun catches the surface of a lake up on the mountainside and it calls to you. You want to sit by that lake and enjoy the spectacular scenery. The only way to the lake is through the forest and so you set off. Soon you are deep in the forest. You cannot see the lake, cannot see the mountain. All you can see is the ever-deepening, ever-darkening forest. As the memory of the lake dims, the fear of the dark looms.  You begin to falter.  

You say to yourself, "What am I doing? Should I go back? I know the way back. That is likely the best thing to do. At least, I tried. Any sane person would turn back. What was I thinking?" Do you listen to these words of fear, or do you balance them with words of inspiration? "I know what I want. I know that there is a beautiful lake and I want to be there. Perhaps I will be the only person ever to sit by that lake. Surely it is only a little further. I am strong. I can do this."

There is something about forests in the middle of meadows. The closer you get to the center of the forest, the darker it becomes.  And then---it begins to get lighter and lighter as you walk out the other side. Often achieving goals is like walking through that clump of trees, that forest. The most difficult part, the darkest" part is just before it begins to get easier. Of course, this is a judgment you have to make. You are the only one with all the facts. Think about it carefully, though. Sometimes we miss the spectacular views in life because all we can see is the forest in front of us. We lose sight of the mountains and lakes beyond. 

Courage, as Alice M. Swain said so beautifully, is not the towering oak that sees storms come and go; it is the fragile blossom that opens in the snow. Do not be afraid to open...and blossom.

For today, think about times you have turned back and times you have forged ahead. Think about the reasons you took those paths. Reflect on the outcomes and look for inspiration to continue to pursue your goals.

All rights reserved worldwide.  Rhoberta Shaler is a Keynote Speaker and Corporate TeamBuilder  who works with organizations to improve communication & cooperation, build & strengthen teams, and manage conflict, anger & difficult people.   Contact her at  1.877.728.6464 or  [email protected]. Visit: www.SpeakingAboutWork.com

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