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It took me a really long time to learn how to ride a bike. It was scary and falling seemed inevitable. All my friends could ride, but I was left behind.  Until one day I took one whole weekend and went out all by myself and pushed and peddled and practiced until I had it down.  After that, you couldn’t get me off my bike.  Even into my teen years, if I was feel stressed or anxious, I would go ride my bike around the neighborhood to feel better.

Years later, as a mom, it came time for me to teach my kids how to ride their bikes.  I taught Brady and Calvin at the same time.  And of course as you know, the inevitable happened… someone fell, got upset and didn’t want to keep trying. Of course I encouraged them, and told them that it just takes practice. But there was one important step that I needed to teach them. I had to teach them HOW TO FALL.

I let them know that falling is just part of learning. It’s okay if you fall. It can even be expected. Then I taught them the basic ways to catch yourself when you fall to minimize the effects, (and hopefully avoid injury.)  I then used the same techniques with each of my other kids, and even taught a neighbor kid to ride a bike with the same simple lessons.

We’ve all heard the saying “Get back on the bike” probably more that once in our lives.  It is just a metaphor for not giving up on something too soon, but it has meaning because most of us know what it’s like to fall off a bike, and how much fun it is if we just stick with it.

I believe it all comes down to expectations and discouragement. It is great to have high expectations in life. Whether your learning a new skill, creating something of value to you, or taking a new direction in your life. Of course you want everything to be wonderful, fantastic, to exceed all of your dreams. And you should feel that way. That sense of excitement is what gets you motivated to do something worthwhile.

But what happens when you hit a bump in the road, and what your working on falls short of your expectations. Or someone you care about says that don’t get what your doing. Or what your doing just doesn’t work the way you saw it working in your head.

Discouragement sets in, and you want to run into the house and tell your mom that you don’t care if you ever learn to ride a bike.

It can take some serious mental toughness to get up, get going and keep working at it.

Thomas Edison said

I have not failed, I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work”

Sometimes the only benefit we get from our first several attempts at something big, is that we are learning from our mistakes. The bigger and more important the thing we are trying to do, the more attempts it may take, and the more patience we will have to give ourselves.

Babe Ruth said

Every strike brings me closer to the next home run”

If you want to do something important, whether it is big or small, important to just you, or could influence the world around you, it is going to be a process. You can learn from each mistake. It is your choice to take mistakes, analyze them and see what you can do differently next time. Remember that persistence, even in the face of resistance is the key to success.

One more quote for today.  This one is from Confucius

It does not matter how slowly you go, as long as you do not stop.”

If I’m reading a classic novel, you can bet there will be words and phrases that I don’t understand. But if it is important, I’ll keep reading anyway. As long as I don’t stop I will get something out of the book, and enjoy the beauty that it has to offer.

Only you can decide if the project, life changing decision, or lesson that your are working on is worth it for you. But if it is something that you have passion about, don’t let anyone else’s opinion, or each little set back take away your excitement for it.  If you feel it is important, then it is.  You will be better off for striving to live your dreams and it will mean so much more to you, when you have battled the difficulties to get there.

And when you look back on your success, even through the failures and disappointments along the way, you can use that experience to help you cross the other hurdles that will undoubtedly come into your life, on your way to the next important life event.

Now go, live your dreams.  Remember that you are awesome. You are strong. You will conquer.



1 Comment

  1. This is such important lesson to learn an relearn even,at my age. Thank you so much for this.

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