I was having coffee on the beach with friends today and we were talking about quotes that we found inspiring. We all agreed that one from The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel was a keeper.
Sonny is trying, against all odds, to create a beautiful hotel for people to come and retire to in India. He has a lot against his success but he has a dream. When things do not go right he often says:
"It will all be alright in the end,
And if it is not alright -
It is not the end!"
I love the optimism in this. It is such a great reminder that often when we are trying to make something happen we need to not only play the waiting game, have patience but also go through the process to reach success - to keep on going. In the past I have seen myself and others get half way through a project and then because it has not yet happened, get despondent and give up.
Why? Why do we give up?
Because we think that if something has not yet happened by our time scale then it is not going to happen. We assume that when something is not yet alright it is never going to be. We make the delay in the culmination of something mean that it was wrong. We lose sight in the purpose behind our actions and dreams.
However in the film Sonny has an unshakable certainly that it will be alright in the end. That certainty is not provable, in fact to the outsider it looks very unlikely and some might think naive. However that certainty is also the fuel that ensures success in the end.
When we truly believe that something can happen something shifts inside of us. We start to imagine what it will be like rather than focusing on failure. In the film whenever anyone tried to tell Sonny he was flogging a dead horse, that the hotel was not going to succeed, he always held fast to his vision. He put in the effort and never gave up. Even when the facts were against him he still fought his corner.
In the end enough people began to see what his vision was about and support him and the hotel was a success.
Many people I have spoken with in the last few years are being challenged with keeping on going even when it feels like nothing is happening. They are questioning whether they are on the right track and faltering.
How do we keep on going when we feel stalled? How do we keep on going even if others are questioning our dreams?
This is the time when the only person you can rely on is you. It is time to dig deep and have faith in yourself. These delays are the test. Testing whether what you want is strong enough within you to withstand seeming the lack of success right now. Testing to see if your vision is really clear as to what you want. Testing to strengthen the resolve within you. And often the test is to learn patience.
As you go through these tests there are some things you can do to help yourself. Firstly - just as Sonny did in the film - remind yourself of what the dream is. Be so clear in your mind as to what you are creating that whenever anyone questions it you can speak strongly and clearly from the heart. When you do that others can and will hear you.
Put your full attention on whatever it is you want to create. Not only in taking every action possible but also seeing it in your mind's eye, allowing yourself to feel just how great it will be once you have achieved it.
In the Passion Test we say there are three steps to living your passions:
Intention - getting very clear on exactly what your dream is.
Attention - both focusing your thoughts and feelings on success but also taking every action you can. Action engages attention.
No Tension - This is the crucial step. When you have done all that you can, this no tension step is the patience. It is where you stop striving and start knowing that it is done.
This might sound odd but the key is to know that you have done all that you can in step two, you have put your full attention on it. If there is anything outstanding then get to it, keep on going. Then when you have done all that you can, even though is it not yet alright you know it is not the end. Hold fast to your dreams, keep on going and relax into the outcome.