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The struggle of chasing your Dream

December 2, 2016

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2016, what a challenging year it was!

I actually needed the reminder that my dream is attached to a struggle and when I overcome that struggle, it takes me closer to my destiny. I needed to remember that it was Goliath who made David famous. It was the hardship that set a stage for David to become a hero. If it was not for the challenge, we wouldn’t know about this amazing story of a young shepherd boy who defeated a giant. 2016 came with its challenges and I faced the giants. Although I felt completely unprepared, I faced the challenges and withstood the storms of life. For a while, I felt as though I was fighting a losing battle but as soon as I made up my mind that I am a winner, I gained confidence. With the support of my loved ones, I got in the ring and battled with my fears and wrestled against the enemies of my progress, and today, I am still standing and they are gone.

For the first time in my adult life, I found myself struggling to dream. It seemed as though, all my efforts amounted to nothing. Every plan I had for 2016, came crashing down. Every door I knocked on seemed to close. Every relationship I had relied on seemed to be founded on shaky ground. It was as though someone was playing a terrible joke on me, except, it was not funny.
Now, it doesn’t matter what happened or didn’t happen for me this year, what matters is that, by grace, I survived the whirlwind of this year and I am better because of it. Some of my plans didn’t survive 2016. Some of my wishes, desires and hopes got tossed aside by the gutsy winds of a new year. Some of my dreams didn’t materialize in 2016. Some of my friends became strangers in 2016. Some of my strongest relationships got shaken to the core. Some of my efforts seemingly yielded no fruit. But, I made it, as empty as I may feel, I made it through the year. And in my hour of need, I desperately sought my Creator, and I realized that I have not lost anything this year that God has not given me wisdom and power to rebuild.
There, I found strength.

 

Life is a teacher, my father says. And we ought to be good students and learn from every situation, every season, every challenge, every test, and every victory. There is a saying that goes, “Nothing ever goes away until it has taught us what we need to know.” And I learnt that I am stronger than I thought, and I also learnt the importance of being rooted in faith and established in love for days when life doesn’t make sense.
We cannot allow ourselves to be consumed with our joy or sadness that we miss the lesson that life is teaching. We cannot afford to be ignorant of the values that each challenge is instilling in us because today’s lesson is tied to tomorrow’s victory.
Life teaches us to adapt to various situations, and instills in us the importance of standing no matter how hard we have been knocked down. Challenges develop in us the attitude of “I can get back up again,” and the mentality of a winner. It is foolish of us to focus on how hard we have been hit because that will keep us crippled, wounded and eventually, damaged. What is important is getting up. What is important is standing again. What is key is knowing that there is nothing that can put an end to our greatness unless we permit it. What the challenge is teaching is the ability to bounce back. What is being tested is our resilience and our belief in what we say is our dream. Finally, what is at risk when we stay down after when we’ve been knocked down is the opportunity to see our dream becoming a reality.
Here’s a lesson I already knew that was reinforced in 2016; just because you’re destined for greatness doesn’t mean you won’t have opposition. Just because you’re good at what you do doesn’t mean you’re exempt from criticism. Just because you are doing all you can to be the best you can be doesn’t mean everyone will be happy about that. Just because you’re married doesn’t mean you’ll always get along or like each other. Just because you work hard doesn’t always mean you will get the remuneration and credit that is due to you. Just because you’re moving up in the world doesn’t mean everyone will clap for you. Just because you pray doesn’t mean you won’t face giants.
In order for us to be great leaders we want to be, we need to toughen up. We must take a page from our grandparents and parents and persevere. Against all the odds. We must be willing to push through any amount of pain and overcome.
Sometimes life doesn’t make sense. But even then, we must decide to be people who will continue to dream, continue to do good, and continue to hold on to the hope that what you are going through is a necessary process in order for you to reach your destiny.
What I have discovered is; we get to choose whether our pain will be our prison or our platform. When we personalize pain as though it’s exclusive only to us, we unconsciously give it power to isolate, silence and eventually crush us. Challenging times should never discourage or demotivate us, we must view them as opportunities to grow, and in doing so, we allow ourselves the freedom to overcome and go beyond what we thought was possible.

Love and light,
Nono Cele
Email me: nono@nonocele.co.za
Tweet Me: @Nono_Cele

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