While I often feel lost in the whirlwind of life, with deadlines, family time, work demands, and the whole gamut – every now and then, I’m smitten by something – illustrious – in nature. On a cold and rainy day, I peeked through a window and noticed the most beautiful drops on everything in the garden. I couldn’t quench the desire to take a closer look… I stumbled upon the same flower I’d “tasted” a month or so ago; but, today, it looked very different. At first I thought it seemed a bit frail. Its delicate petals were dampened by the rain and it almost looked like it was shivering. Briefly, I felt badly. Was this cold and rain going to lead to the flower’s inability to thrive? Or was I in fact looking at this the wrong way?
While I pondered, it occurred to me that 1) there are many plants that survive the cold, and 2) these liberal ladles of water are actually among plants’ most vital essentials. The water quenches their thirst and accelerates their growth! I snapped the picture for my latest epiphany. When we’re pursuing things that mean something to us, even with our best hopes and dreams, we may encounter some obstacles along the way. Perhaps someone we thought would be key to our success didn’t share our vision. Maybe the opportunity we struggled to secure never panned out at all. That bright flower of an idea that we treasured and still hold on to for dear life – it may seemed like someone rained on, mercilessly; but, perhaps that rain wasn’t to ruin the parade.
I realize failure is rarely pleasant and often undesirable. Nevertheless, I believe failures have fueled many successes. I can’t tell the future, and I don’t know what will happen that I want – or don’t want. I do know that as I continue to plan for what I’d like to have, I’m opting not to view setbacks in light of “rain on my parade.” I find that many of my unexpected derailments lead to better ideas; bigger opportunities, and aha moments that otherwise would not have occurred. The “rain” for me is instead, liberating. It sends me back to the drawing board to “refresh” my views on my dreams. I make observations, adjustments, improvements.
I read somewhere that J. K. Rowling, author of the record-breaking Harry Potter series was a jobless, single-parent who had signed up for welfare and felt like a “failure.” She wrote in cafes when she could get her baby to sleep, and even after finishing her first book was rejected by 12 publishers. Today, she’s sold over 400 million copies, generated more revenues than any other box office series, and has the best selling book series in history.
When you know what you want, and you know how to get it, there isn’t a single, perfect road. There are many routes – and so long as they’re not illegal, immoral, or unethical, you have every right to pursue them. So the next time you feel a bit of rumbling thunder, don’t be shaken. It’s not the parade that we should focus on, it’s nurturing our dreams – and sometimes, nothing grows our potential like a healthy dose of rain. Soak up those showers, and pursue your passion. The world is waiting.