Keep Moving Forward – What does it mean?
For a sportsperson, success may be the color of the medal they receive. For an actor, success may be measured by the box office collection their movie makes. The number of copies of a book sold would be a success for an author.
For a student, success could be passing an exam with flying colors. For a laborer, success would be managing to earn bread for his family daily. For me, success could be you liked this article. So, in every case, the way to measure ‘success’ is different. However, the mantra that would be common for each is the attempt to keep moving forward, for all goals can be achieved if one strives.
World-renowned actor Shahrukh Khan in a 2016-interview said that he couldn’t afford to buy a private plane, something that he wanted. Do we then surmise that he is not successful? A lot depends on how we choose to define success. If one were to count one’s blessings, the poorest of the poor could find the success that evades the rich.
The Beginning: Once the Novelty Wears off
When I began this piece, I didn’t know how to go about it, but what I did know was that I had to start with baby steps, one sentence at a time. A writer’s block may leave me without words, literally, and this is when my best friends— cynicism and negative thoughts, barge right through the closed doors.
At this point, I try to jot down what I do know (or irrelevant doodle stuff). Sometimes, I have to force myself to do so, and this is how I tackle and keep moving forward. It is a small feat, I am aware, as the obstacles are not the most challenging, but I wanted to begin by relating my approach, rather than simply preach (which I shall do later) or act holier than thou.
When we set out on a new endeavor in life, whether it’s a new project or a new relationship, after the novelty has worn off, we are overwhelmed with feelings of insecurity and impatience owing to slow progress towards our goals. It is, but natural, to feel trapped in our current situation. We feel like quitting, but you’ve got to keep moving forward. This is the time to recall why we started in the first place.
This is the time to see the bigger clear picture. This is the time to keep moving forward. And surely someday we will thank ourselves for not having given up. As they say- just when the caterpillar thought her life was over, she began to fly!
The trick is to simply not quit. Once you leave, the cycle begins. It is never quite the same again. If there are bad days, there will be good days too. The transition, although, is a slow process, but quitting won’t make it any faster! It just opens Pandora’s box of broken resolves and diffidence in one’s abilities.
Spiritual Guidance: Nothing Happens To Us; It Happens for Us
Remember how tough passing that Math exam seemed in the 8th standard? How you toiled and prayed day and night for it? Now that it’s done and dusted, we often laugh at our previous fears. We find the strength, eventually, to laugh at both failures and successes of the past.
There have been cases of losing only to win. Sometimes the Almighty destroys our plans before they kill us. People have missed flights that have crashed or trains that ran off tracks. You do not make it to medical school but become an acclaimed writer later in life. So, these losses are blessings and favors in disguise.
What if you’re an atheist, and none of the spiritual stuff works for you? Don’t fret. We got you covered; you, too, can keep moving forward!
Life Is Nothing, But Choices and Consequences
There is no denying that getting through that moment is tough. Negative thoughts creep in: what if I fail, what will I tell my parents, how will I face my friends, and what if my entire future is put in jeopardy due to this? I have met those moments and know that it is all easier said than done, and often it’s not even easy to say.
We must all be aware that negativity can be around us in any form, sometimes without whim or reason, and sometimes from people we love. We need to learn how to tackle it. Period.
While we fight for a better society, a better world, the change needs to begin with us not succumbing to other people’s unwarranted expectations of us and continue doing the right thing despite all the pressure.
So, if no one else has told you yet, I’ll let you know that you need to keep moving forward instead of worrying about things out of your control.
It is essential always to have a perspective on life. Make sure to remind yourself of the bigger picture, the greater good. While living in the moment and feeling all that there is to think is well and good, it does not do well to get caught up and be controlled by our emotions all the time.
American educator Stephen R. Covey says: “While we are free to choose our actions, we are not free to choose the consequences of our actions.” What we do have control over is our reaction to it. Research says that up to 80 percent of our thoughts are harmful, and that needs to change.
When you learn to recognize your negative thoughts, you can begin to think more positively, which will make you feel better about yourself and your life. Imagine having 80 percent positive thoughts!
For a better insight read on below:
We need to remember that, at any given point, there is nothing more significant in life than our happiness and peace of mind. So, any failure, gross snub, troll, or lack of acknowledgment should not get to us so much so that we lose our perspective of life. There is ALWAYS going to be a way out.
Just hang in there for the light at the end of the tunnel, which we shall only reach if we keep moving forward. Can you start the next chapter if you keep re-reading the last one? Although what helps is reading about other people’s journeys.
If They Could Beat the Odds, We Can Try Too!
Many famous personalities share with us time in their life when they were able to keep moving forward, despite a very challenging situation that they were facing. We all have such stories (or maybe some of us are making one right now), you never know who might relate to your account and find value in what you share!
A story that inspires one and all is that of a physicist Albert Einstein. I remember reading a poem in 6th grade about his failures in school— how he was always a ‘troublesome’ student, and sometimes, barely managed to pass his exams. It all seemed very improbable and fascinating at that time to read— Nobel laureate Albert Einstein, a failure in school— a novelty in itself.
Although, teachers were quick to point out that the ‘moral of the story’ simply is that failures are the stepping stones to success. Years later, I learned more about his life and discoveries. More famously, he argued light could bend. Of course, physicists at the time thought he was crazy.
Einstein’s work transformed the way physicists thought about light, gravity, and space. All his work came at a very steep cost. He had to divorce his wife and lose his children. He was also alone in his theoretical work. Only he remained convinced that his work was right. Years into his research, Einstein became mentally and physically ill.
The enormous amount of stress had taken a toll on his health. He felt extraordinarily exhausted and depressed. To make matters worse, World War 2 breaks out, and his years of research is brought to a halt. Since he was a German-Jew, Einstein’s safety was also at risk. Long story short, with unstoppable perseverance and iron, will — Einstein eventually proves the scientific community wrong.
The man who was called crazy by his peers, eventually, became so celebrated that he had to tell his inquirers on the street: “Pardon me, sorry! I am always mistaken for Professor Einstein.”
To read more on his life and struggles, click the link below:
So, simply being smart and talented isn’t enough in life; struggling is always a part of us. Acclaimed writer J. K. Rowling also proves this. It has been more than 13 years since the last Harry Potter novel and four years since the play, yet everything the author says or does attracts the spotlight. Such is the fame she has garnered.
Of the few self-made women billionaires in the world, she is the single most popular author of the century, she has done for literacy and the literary world, what people have been trying to do for years, and she is a genius in the minds of all those who know and understand the world of Harry Potter. The one thing she is not famous for, however, is being a failure.
In her commencement speech, that Rowling gave at Harvard (now compiled into the book Very Good Lives; below), she talks of the many benefits of failure and imagination.
Also later, on The Oprah Winfrey Show, the two women sat and discussed the life they now lived; the life neither imagined they would ever live, and Rowling also said:
“Failure is so critical, but it doesn’t get spoken about enough. We talk about success all the time, but I haven’t met — and I’ve been so fortunate and met extraordinary people through Harry Potter, and not one of them didn’t face failure — more than one fault. And it’s the ability to resist failure, in many ways, or use failure that often leads to the greatest success, isn’t it?
I’ve often met people who – who are terrified, you know, in a straight jacket of their own making because they’d instead do anything than fail. They don’t want to try for fear of failing. Well, that’s the rock-bottom thing. Rock-bottom wasn’t fun — at all. I’m not going to romanticize rock-bottom, but it was liberating. What did I have to lose?”
This comes from a woman whois 1995, had received rejections from 12 publishing houses, had recently divorced, and had to single-handedly bring up an infant daughter whose “toys could fit in a shoebox.” Seven years after graduating from university, Rowling saw herself as a failure.
Her marriage had failed, and she was jobless with a dependent child, but she described her failure as liberating and allowing her to focus on writing. During this period, Rowling was diagnosed with clinical depression and contemplated suicide. Finally, Bloomsbury published her first book in 1997.
If not believed in the mantra of ‘keep moving forward’ and given up anytime during those two years, around the light of day. Scary thought, right?
Speaking of rejections, the literary world is teeming with them. Aftefivetinual rejection, this writer finally lands a publishing deal- Agatha Cristie. Imagine the world not having known Miss Marple and Hercule Poirot! Today she comes second to only William Shakespeare in the number of copies sold.
“Stick to teaching” was what a publisher advised Louisa May Alcott, but she refused to give up on her dream. Little Women went on to sell in millions and are still in print hundreds of years later, not to mention several award-winning adaptations.
Read more stories of literary rejections below:
I hope the examples above have given some insight into how we can do it, only if we keep moving forward. Here are some ways to imbibe the mantra.
How Do I Keep Moving Forward: Easier Said Than Done?
Primary schools these days teach a new play-way method known as ‘Brain Break.’
Teachers can, in the middle of (long and boring) lectures, take a 10-minute break and introduce an activity such as the one in the image below:
This activity can help clear our heads. Albert Einstein has said: “No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it.” A clear and level-headed attitude helps turn the wheels, and we can keep moving forward.
When faced with anxiety or panic incidents, we immediately resort to drugs. Still, even highly fatal diseases have been treated (after proper diagnosis by qualified Doctors, of course) using physical therapy. Physical therapists offer treatment through methods such as massage, heat treatment, and exercise or physiotherapy, which helps one to keep moving forward.
These are solutions for our invisible disabilities; a physical, mental, or neurological condition that is not visible from the outside, yet challenge a person’s movements, senses, or activities. Unfortunately, the very fact that these symptoms are invisible can lead to misunderstandings, closed doors, false perceptions, and judgment.
Deal With Disappointment:
Adam Elenbaas has aptly said, “The mind is beautiful because of the paradox. It uses itself to understand itself.”
When Murphy’s Law is in full force, we may wonder why we are even trying. The truth is that successful people from all walks of life have had to deal with disappointment, but they keep moving forward. It’s part of the deal. The trick is not to let disappointments stop you.
Ever. Even if you have suffered and lived through a life-altering trauma, if you still have a beating heart and air in your lungs, you can get back on your feet!
Sometimes we find ourselves all alone on the road that we have taken. We all should learn yo listen, share, and just let it out at times. Introverts find it tougher (I hear you), but then when two introverts sit together, they put extroverts to shame.
Take It One Day at a Time:
Stay positive. Be surrounded by positive things. We often feel like we’re doomed to push that boulder up the mountain like Sisyphus. But then, life is absurd, and we can do nothing about it except keep moving forward.
That is not to say that we avoid change. Many people say it is better to let things be as they are, as there is uncertainty in change. Boundaries keep us safe, but simultaneously they fence us in. It is up to us to let down our walls and embrace life in all its peril and glory. If we do not step forward, we will always be in the same place.
As Martin Luther King Jr. said, “If you can’t fly, then run. If you can’t run, then walk. If you can’t walk, then crawl. But whatever you do, you have to keep moving forward”.