On the day he died, long ago, a man said, “In this world you will have trouble.”
I’ve never had reason to doubt him.
You don’t get to choose whether or not you will have trouble.
But you do get to choose whether or not you will let it dominate your thoughts and control your mood.
I find it interesting that immediately after he said, “In this world you will have trouble,” the man went on to say, “but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.”
What? Overcome the world?
According to the story, the man was able to deal with all the trouble that came his way because of “the joy that was set before him.” In other words, he had an immovable North Star, a guiding light his thoughts were fixed upon.
Troubles seem smaller when your mind is focused on something more interesting than the trouble, more important than the trouble, bigger than the trouble, happier than the trouble.
The way to keep your troubles from filling your mind is to fill your mind with something else.
Do you follow a North Star? Are you trying to make a difference? Do you have a purpose?
You do? Excellent!
Purpose is the primary ingredient of Adventure!
The other two ingredients are stress and trouble.
“It does not do you good to leave a dragon out of your calculations, if you live near him.”
– J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit (1937)
“Fairy tales are more than true; not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.”
– G.K. Chesterton (1909)
In a 1961 letter to Frank and Jo Loesser, John Steinbeck said,
“In the dark the other night I wrote in my head a whole dialogue between St. George and the Dragon. Very close relatives those two. Neither could exist without the other. They are eternally tied together – actually two parts of one whole… So St. George must always kill the dragon and it must be repeated, because if the dragon were ever finally killed, there would be no St. George – only a lonely man looking for something to do.”
The adventure of St. George was made possible by the dragon.
“It’s when you’re safe at home that you wish you were having an adventure. When you’re having an adventure you wish you were safe at home.”
– Thornton Wilder
Are you fortunate enough to be facing a dragon? Are you in the middle of an adventure?
Don’t worry, everything is going to be fine in the end.
If things aren’t fine, it’s not the end.
Roy H. Williams
PS – I don’t know who first spoke those last two lines, but I would like to have known that person. Some say it was John Lennon (The Beatles,) Some say it was Paulo Coelho (The Alchemist,) and some say it was someone else (Someone Else.) The only thing that’s certain is that it wasn’t me. – RHW