FEATURE: Run Through Walls Part Three
As human beings we inevitably face challenges in the course of our time on earth – whether they be in our personal lives, in our work or in our sporting endeavours.
Our capacity to learn, and to develop, depends on our individual response to perceived obstacles – on whether we are able to confront those challenges and turn them into opportunities.
Alumni member and contributor Mark Maguire has provided us with “Run Through Walls Part Three" - the last of the thought-provoking articles that he has written in exploring the theme of obstacles, walls, hurdles – and the nature of our human response, whether negative or positive. Run Through Walls Parts One and Two can be accesses via link at the bottom of this page.
RUN THROUGH WALLS PART THREE
Putting a STOP to Successful Wall Building.
Did you know since the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, the number of walls and fortified borders has increased dramatically? There have been more walls built than ever before, in every continent, except Australia, to keep people out? I guess it doesn’t take a special gift to build walls at all. It is a very natural thing, and something not only governments are good at, but also we, as everyday human beings, are awesome at.
Most will never recognise what holds them back from achieving their goals and dreams. Most, if any, will never take the time to address their fateful wall building skills. These skills are as plain as day to an outsider. However, even to the outsider, they, too, share in these wall building attributes – the very attributes that will blindly stop anyone from being far better than what they are and stop them achieving everything they want to be. Unfortunately, if we don’t address our successful wall building strengths we just may become forever, bitter wishful thinkers.
One characteristic a successful wall builder must stop is complaining. STOP complaining. Stop blaming others for your situation in life. Stop blaming the umpires calls. Stop complaining about the coach. Stop complaining about anything and everything going on around you that either have a direct or non-direct affect on your life.
A successful wall builder is not fond of taking life’s knocks, seemingly unfair situations, and poor calls square on the chin. They are beautiful defenders of themselves by deflecting blame and complaining about others. We all can do it. Some of us are just more effective at it than others. Some of us can also complain in a more subtle way than others.
I’ve heard the most deadly weapon in the world is the index finger. Let me rephrase that: the most successful wall building instrument one can use is the index finger. It aims blame. It fires complaints. It builds a wall between you and other human beings, and moreover, it builds a wall stopping you from going as far as you can possibly go.
Simple solution: STOP! No deep and meaningful insights to why we complain. Just stop complaining.
Some may be thinking at this point, I may complain – a bit – but I’m no where near as bad as that Mark Maguire bloke; who the heck does he think he is, telling me to stop complaining.
Well, I’m not just telling you to stop complaining. I’m going to tell you to stop another successful trait in the wall building process, equal to, and as accomplished as complaining – and that is, making excuses.
STOP making excuses. When we make excuses we are giving reasons to why some incident, some event, some dilemma we are in the middle of, is not our fault. And you know what, it may not be your fault. But when we make excuses we are literally excusing ourselves, abstaining ourselves from responsibility.
Bottom line is we don’t want to get found out. We don’t like looking weak. Who does? We don’t like failing. It’s not encouraging falling short. And we definitely don’t want to be found guilty. This is a tough truth.
Excuse making is excellent at strengthening walls. Excuses weaken our ability to run through walls. Excuses make any wall too high; it makes every wall too hard. Excuses make any dream and vision blurry. Excuses never allow us to clearly see who we truly are; we never have a starting point to begin with to lead off in the direction we want to take.
The complex and farfetched solution to this overwhelming problem is the same as before: STOP! Break the habit. You know when the words coming out of your mouth are an excuse, a lie, a deflection of reality, a protection of others finding out who you really are or what really happened. STOP and say it as it is. You’ll be vulnerable. You’ll be humble… but you’ll have the strength be able to run through that wall.
I left the hardest challenge for us all till last. And though I will offer the same solution it can take a lot more mental energy and devotion to figuring yourself out than the other two wall building practices. Here it is: STOP believing!
Stop believing the negative statements. We need to stop believing the disparaging, derogatory and undermining comments that have infiltrated our belief system all of our lives. Without being aware, these words have helped us build our walls, brick by brick, strengthening it all the time we are trying to run through it. We want to believe we can run through the wall but our strength is diminished because we falsely believe both consciously and subconsciously negative statements aimed our way.
Go back to the first article in this three part series and consider how I dealt with my insecurity of being hurt or how Sidney Poitier’s friend decided her people shouldn’t be defined by what others think of them. As much as I want to leave it as a simple, STOP believing all the negative/protective/comforting words that have inhibited us; I know this one is much more difficult and takes far longer time than simply ‘stop making excuses’ and ‘stop complaining’.
It takes a lot of personal thought and work on ourselves to STOP building the wall of wrong beliefs. But we can do it. It is similar to stopping a bad habit. We don’t ever simply stop a bad habit. We replace a bad habit with a good habit and in time the good habit has superseded the bad habit. In the same way, we replace our current mindset that has been filled with discouraging and disparaging words and start replacing it with visionary and strengthening words. Sooner or later, the visionary and strengthening words take over. Your mind can renew itself. You must believe that.
There is so much more I could write on this, especially how our innocent throw-away comments that ‘don’t mean anything’, to our insecure and over-protective comments are having a wall building effect on our children. Scary, huh!
I’m sure there are many other qualities that you could add to being a successful wall builder. However, I know you want to be a successful wall destroyer, like an X-Man with the ability to run through them, or a person brave enough to scale them.
Can YOU run through walls? Yes YOU can. Can you tear down the imaginative wall that you have built for yourself, the wall that hinders you from being all that you and your child can be? Yes you can. In the inspiring movie Field Of Dreams, Ray hears the voice: ‘If you build it, they will come.’ Allow the opposite to be said with yourself:
‘If you tear it, down you will become…’
Now go and run through that wall.