Monday, August 31, 2015

Eye of the Tiger

Life's not about how hard a hit you can give ... it's about how many you can take, and still keep moving forward. 
(Sylvester Stallone)

I was a teenager when the Rocky Balboa movies came out. I remember how they resonated with me; how I mentally shifted a couple of gears higher on the soccer field, or by studying for my seemingly endless exams. I felt during these years that nothing could stop me on my journey. Rocky Balboa's fighter spirit was just a confirmation of what I knew was inside of me anyhow.

Nothing in fact has changed over the years. Today I have simply replaced the hunger for success by the faith that I will succeed. Today, however, I understand that fears pushed me forward in my student years. I focused all my energy on going for a PhD and being the best at what I do. While this all may sound good, I understand in hindsight that this drive was not a lust for knowledge and creativity, it was a drive that was based on the fear of not making it. I don't regret whatever happened then, but today I simply refuse to go after something that doesn't have the three Cs as a motivation: creativity, curiousity, and community! Something that hasn't changed though, is the youthful naivety that when the prophet arrives at the Red Sea, the waters have no business being in the Way.

I remember a scene in Rocky III when Mr. T beat Sylvester Stallone merciless, and his coach asked him, "What are you doing Rocky?", to which he replied, "He will get tired. I know what I am doing." Well yes, willpower may get you through this ordeal somehow, but always tell yourself when you bang your head into a wall, that there must be another way! Resistance has to be part of your path because there are still interferences inside of you 
that need to be overcome. But every external resistance is also an encouragement to look for another creative turn along the Way. Keep your determination my friend, but flexibly adjust your goals along the Way.

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