The Tao of Success, Part 1; Remove The Boulders

First and foremost one must define success, each on their own terms. Is it the procurement of money? Is it simply to be known, as in famous? Is it to be acknowledged as a good writer? Perhaps it is as simple a thing as writing itself; the ability to put on paper, or in these times on a screen, the thoughts, passions and experiences swimming around in your head. Once that is defined your journey begins. No journey can truly exist without a destination; that would simply be wandering.

You have your destination before you and now it remains for you to do two basic things to get to your destination. First you must step forward. As Henry David Thoreau said, “Go confidently in the direction of your dreams.” The second is to summarily and systematically remove what Louise Hay of Hayhouse Publishing calls ‘boulders’ from your path. Boulders are obstacles, real or imaginary, sitting in your path to your destination, success. Sit there for a moment and imagine each thing that you think is standing in your way. It’s a boulder. How do you get the boulder out of the way? There is no “but”, no excuse, no “I can’t”. You present yourself with no other option other than to remove the boulder. How do you do it?

As Louise Hay puts it in the interview I recently watched, as you travel along your path to success, you will find that the boulders get smaller and smaller. Sure, every once in a while a sizable boulder may fall down onto the road you travel. Yet remember, your only option is to remove the boulder, not make excuses. One does not “go confidently in the direction of your dreams” only to stop or retreat in the face of a boulder. Confidence says ‘get the boulder out of the way or find some way around it’.

When I was a professional trainer I used to tell my clients that there were only three reasons not to show up for a workout; fire, flood or death. The rest were just excuses. A great book that will help you to see just how many excuses there are in our lives, how much we use them and how to get rid of them is Excuses Be Gone by Dr. Wayne Dyer.

Eliminate the boulders in your path of life. Start by eliminating boulders which manifest themselves in the common terms in your speech. You can begin with the word ‘but’. I would ask you to go a whole day without using the word ‘but’. It’s a word that immediately negates whatever you just said before it anyway. Why would you want to do that? I want to work out but I don’t have time. I want to go for a walk but it’s raining. I love you but I can’t be with you. I want to be a published writer but I don’ t know how to do it.

You get the picture. ‘But’ slams the brakes on anything you just said because you are immediately telling yourself and the person you might be talking to why it isn’t going to happen.

There are an amazing amount of other terms we use every day in our thoughts which become manifested boulders on our path to success; words like, I can’t, I don’t know, I won’t, I should, I would, I’m trying.

After your finished with a day of not using the word ‘but’ then you can spend a day without using the term, ‘I’m trying’. Trying is not doing. Doing is not trying.

I’m sure if you thought about it for a moment or two you could come up with some terms that hang around in your head or your conversation with others which have a negative influence on where you’re headed. Thus they are boulders in your path. Removing these thoughts and terms from both your thinking and your conversation will greatly reduce the boulders in your path. Who among us would not rather walk on a smooth, unobstructed path rather than one on which we are always having to remove, move, climb over or demolish boulders?

My objective is to break the cycle of these long-established habits and thoughts which have led me to the point I am at now. I cannot do anything about five minutes ago. I can do something about right now. Right now I am not going to let any boulders stand in my way of success, and remember, every moment in the future is right now when you get there.

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About Ethan Holmes

Ethan Holmes currently resides in Northern Arizona and he is the author of seven published books; Earth's Blood, The Keystone, A Multi-Pack of Brain Flakes, Shorts and Other Laundry, Live Your Life In A Crap Free Zone, Water. and his new novella, The Town of Perfect. When he is not writing Ethan is also a professional freelance nature photographer.
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