Tuesday, January 12, 2010

365 Lessons-Lesson 12: Don't Give Up, The Best Is Yet To Come

I can do it, I can do it, I can do it. Only 353 more days to go.....oh, Lord! This was what I thought as I sat down at my computer this morning. Fortunately, I have a bulletin board at my desk that has little pieces of paper, messages, letters, pictures, postcards and notes that encourage me to keep going.

This lesson from today is brought to you by a fortune cookie...that's right! According to my mother, my grandfather, who is no longer with us, use to also save the fortunes from his cookies and pin them up. It must be hereditary, because I do the same. He is was one of the most inspirational people I've ever known. He graduated from MIT, worked for RCA and helped with the development of the colored TV. After retirement, he traveled the world helping people in other countries develop in electronics. He was very positive and he had a very opened mind. He always believed in me and he often sent me articles from the Christian Science Monitor related to whatever I was doing and wherever I was. He donated to have a church built in his community and he also attended a multi-faith conference at Stanford University where he saw the Dalai Lama and other leaders of different religious organizations. I think he was ahead of his time.

Also on my bulletin board is a letter from my grandfather dated 12/06/96, he died three months or so after this letter was written. He wrote, "I was very pleased to learn in-depth of your travels and interests. You are a remarkable person and I am extremely proud of you. I like your ideas of writing a book. If possible, I would like to read it." I am sorry he won't get a chance, but his words seem to spur me forward. They shoot out at me, reminding me to keep going.

So, I made a bookmark of fortunes from cookies at various restaurants I have visited over the years. I know, it sounds a little wacky...but I like it. Some of the fortunes come from the Yogi Tea bags. I saved the ones I liked and taped them to a piece of handmade Korean paper. One of the fortunes on that paper reads, "Don't give up, the best is yet to come." Hence, our lesson for today.

I also have a card on my bulletin board from a friend. She gave it to me when I decided to quit the company where we both worked. It was my first job after college. It was sort of an "ideal" job...good pay, benefits, vacation time, 9-5...but I felt I was suffocating. I was ready for something more after less than a year working there. That was 1993, I believe. The card read:
"Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it."-Goethe. I'm happy to say that that friend is now an avid reader of this blog and one of my biggest supporters today. Thank you...you know who you are ^_^!
I took a leap of faith. I quit my job and worked in a few restaurants locally, traveled to Mexico to teach English for a year, went on my own down to South America and hiked on the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, one of the seven wonders of the world.

(hiking on the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, Peru in my early 20s)

I went all over Asia, lived in Japan and even climbed Mt. Fuji.

(Climbing down from Mt. Fuji, Japan after the sunrise on the top)

I met a monk who became my husband, traveled to India and the Taj Mahal, opened two yoga schools in South Korea...I just kept going!

(The Taj Mahal, India)

(First yoga school, Seongnam, South Korea)

So when I feel like giving up, I remember these things. I remember that so many people believed in me. I remember that whenever I took a leap of faith against all odds, because it felt right, I was rewarded. I remember that all the obstacles, money and time it took to see my dreams become a reality were worth it. The more I started living like this the more it became a way of life. Even if there is still a faint little voice in the back of my head telling me that it would be easier to stop, I don't think I can. I've walked too far down this path and now I feel I want to share it. Here are some other quotes worth requoting:

Never give in. Never. Never. Never. Never.-Winston Churchhill

I used to work at the International House of Pancakes. It was a dream and I made it happen-Paula Poundstone

Quit now, you'll never make it. If you disregard this advice, you'll be halfway there-David Zucker

Always listen to the experts. They'll tell you what can't be done and why. Then do it-Robert Heinlein

If you never try, then you'll never know just what you're worth-Coldplay
(On the top of Mt. Fuji, Japan)

Peace friends......may you all be happy and peaceful and live the life of your dreams!