The Gull sees Farthest Who Flies Highest.
This is a phrase from a book I’d recently read by Richard Bach: Jonathan Livingston Seagull. A seagull that didn’t like to fish and live the normal life of a seagull, but liked flying, speed and wanted to see how fast he could fly, even though he wasn’t built for that. It didn’t deter him and he didn’t want to be defined by what was expected of a seagull, which was flying out to sea to simply find fish to eat, fill his belly and go home. He wanted to fly as fast as his seagull body allowed, and though he had plenty of discouragement from his parents and friends, he was determined to see how fast he could go. As he learned to fly faster, he learned quickly that it wasn’t completely out of the question that he could do what seagulls usually don’t do. He’d see other gulls flying around the fishing boats, fighting for fish, laughing at him for soaring and swooping in the sky instead of trying to fill his belly with fish.
“Don’t believe what your eyes are telling you. All they show is limitation. Look with your understanding. Find out what you already know and you will see the way to fly.”
I think we all need to know that we are here for a higher purpose and not what is expected of us by others (in terms of our dreams and goals). For me that means much prayer and thinking. A lot of times I fall victim to trying to live what others expect me to do, but what isn’t in my heart. Fortunately for me, I am stubborn and when my heart is set on something, I find a way.
Our eyes can limit us, particularly if we decide to look through the eyes of someone else and gauge who we are based on what they see we are. But we all really know who we are and what we want out of life. It takes a little time and practice to work at making your dreams a reality, and with all the trials and tribulations in life, it’s sometimes hard to remember that it’s possible to be who you believe you are. It’s my belief that if you stick to being true to yourself, believing and have the faith to know that if you are doing is what you love, it will work. Once you know who you are in a humble and honest way (of course, a life-long task), you can get on with the business of being what you really are or want to become. Once you have the realization that you can do anything you have in your heart, you come to know that (as quoted in the book):
“You have the freedom to be yourself, your true self, here and now, and nothing can stand in your way.”
And there is no time like the present. The here and now is all we have and if you have the strength to make a hard decision and follow through, you are 90% of your way toward your goal. Will you make mistakes? Bank on it. I’ve made plenty! But knowing that you are simply being you and have the determination to make a plan, make a change and to have happen what you want to have happen, mistakes are nothing more than learning points and walls are simply barriers put in place, from my standpoint, not to keep people out, but to challenge you to figure out how to get in by determination. Through it, over it or under it. And because those walls, for me, are usually of the mental variety, it’s a subjective challenge to push on and make it work. In the story, Jonathan the Gull started accomplishing his goals when he started to realize that he wasn’t defined by what everyone thought of him… Or of what he once thought of himself:
“He was not bone and feather but a perfect idea of freedom and flight, limited by nothing at all.”
He had to forget that he was a typical seagull and limitations are things that, for the most part, we put on ourselves or believe that we are what someone else says we are. For example, I am pretty sure that I will never be a successful sumo wrestler. But that doesn’t mean that I can’t try and it doesn’t actually mean that, given the right set of circumstances and the will to do it, that I’d surprise myself and give it a good try. However, I am afraid that the 8 meals a day, endless training and belly bumping isn’t in my heart. So I’ve already decided on my own limitations; Sumo is probably out. But for me it’s always important to realize, believe and understand that those limitations are something that I define for myself, and not by others. If there is a will, there is a way. The question is whether or not you are willing to forget your perceived limitations and, as Eminem lyrically put it, be able to “lose yourself” and know that if you are willing and ready to take the opportunity you are looking for when it comes, the limitations will melt away. You ARE the perfect idea of what you want to be and it is a matter of bringing your head around long enough for your brain to follow. It’s your dream and you’re the author of it. Peel away those limitations and believe you are the best candidate for your dream, after all you wrote it. Then go out and be who you really are.
“To fly as fast as thought, to anywhere that is, you must begin by knowing that you have already arrived.”
This was the instruction given to Jonathan when he was so fast at flying he wanted how to understand how to instantly arrive at where he wanted to go. To fly as fast as he could think. A great statement about belief. Knowing that we are capable of anything we put out heart to, we’ve, in a sense, already arrived where we want to be; at that place internally that says, “This is who I am, I am here now let’s get on it.” Dreams, are a responsibility that we need to try and make happen as best we can, and knowing that if we’ve thought about what that dream is, we’ve arrived. For me, with the will to do what needs to be done once you’ve arrived subjectively, you’re already a success. Dreams, prayer and will. Lennon’s song “Imagine” says “You may say that I’m a dreamer, but I am not the only one.” We all are. Anywhere and anytime we think of our dreams we are, in some form, already where we want to be, and for me, what I’ve been learning is that I need just take little steps to put into action where my head and heart already is. We all only have here and now to live and so there isn’t any time like the present to make it happen. From the book:
“Overcome space, and all we have left is Here. Overcome time, and all we have left is Now.”
Right here. Right now. We can’t dwell in the past and the future is always yet to come. It’s what we do with what the present and I think what we do first is KNOW that we are here in this very moment and deal with what is at hand. Of course, I always have a load to get up the road. I have to chain up to get over Atigun Pass. There’s always the electric bill. We all have things that we have to do to keep life moving along. But I think of being mindful of your surroundings in the present puts you in that place of knowing what is possible. Maybe you are in an office cube pushing through some paperwork. Maybe in a hotel working on a report or getting ready for a meeting. Maybe you are trucking down the road and running behind. But there are always small steps we can take that get us closer to our dream, be it just having a cup of water instead of a soda, reading a chapter from a book, saying a prayer to taking a walk or calling a friend to say thank you are all little steps that get us closer to being more of the person we want to be.
No easy challenge. For me, as with most of you, life moves so fast that trying to be mindful of the here and now can easily take a backseat to the curveballs that are thrown at me each and every day. Life is about living, you know? Life is about making stories, living the best that you can, believing in the positive and knowing that with a little will and fortitude, love from your family and friends, things ARE possible and the best qualified person to make your dreams a reality are yourself. Lots of work? For sure. Failure along the way. Indeed. Happiness knowing that you are trying to live the life you want? For sure.
There is my two cents in the inspirational category! I hope everyone is having a wonderful day, out there working hard to make their dreams come true! I also, in this moment, want to say thank you for such overwhelming support for me. I am so grateful for the encouragement from so many wonderful souls all over the world. I can honestly say that my world changes because of the support of all of you. Thank you.