There is always a way.
Personally, I think you should get this motto tattooed on the back of your eyelids, so you’re subliminally pumping the message into your brain every time you blink.
And think about the powerful statement you’d be making about how committed you are to your growth and development. Powerful.
I’ll pay for anyone who wants to get that ink done. Because I care.
But seriously, there is always a way. I’m realising now, that one of the key things that separates me from most people is the belief I have that there is always a way.
This sometimes gets misinterpreted as perseverance or determination or even pig-headedness. These days people say I’m like a dog with a bone. (When I was a teenager people would say I was like a dog with a boner, but I settled down eventually.)
But I’m not sure that it’s any of these things. Well, maybe a little. But when I think about perseverance and determination, they sound like hard work. They make me think of putting your head down and just pumping out the hard yards.
And that is a vital quality to have, for sure. It’s essential.
But if it’s possible I like to avoid hard work. One of the reasons I’m so efficient is that I don’t like working more than I have to.
I’m not sure I like working at all.
But the reason that I don’t let things put me off is not because I’ve developed an iron mind that is never stood-down by any obstacle. Rather it’s that I have a deep faith that there is always a way.
If a certain road is blocked, that’s ok. There’ll be a way somewhere. I’ll shuffle left a little, see if I can get through there. I’ll pivot north a little bit, see if I can get through that way.
I’ll just keep working it. Shuffle the deck a little bit, giving things a nudge.
This is not the way of the elephant or the rhinoceros. I’m not putting my head down and charging through.
It’s the way of… actually, I don’t know what it’s the way of. The laid-back hamster?
Actually, maybe it’s like the way of water.
Here’s where I give you a Bruce Lee quote and pretend like we’re both operating on the same level.
Bruce Lee once said:
You must be shapeless, formless, like water. When you pour water in a cup, it becomes the cup. When you pour water in a bottle, it becomes the bottle. When you pour water in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Water can drip and it can crash. Become like water my friend.
Water finds its way eventually. Rivers wean and wiggle across the landscape but they all find they’re way to the ocean eventually.
Water doesn’t resist or use force. It just does its thing, in the confidence that it will end up where it needs to be.
I’m kinda like that.
But the key ingredient here is a deep faith that there is always a way. This is my framework. My paradigm.
And its an extension of an abundant world view – that there are no shortage of opportunities, and there’s more than enough opportunities to go around.
I’m not going to go into all that again. But the thing I’m dribbling like water my way towards is that the ‘flow’ state is a low-energy way of getting what you want. That is, it’s efficient.
If I get put off by every road block and think, ‘oh no. There’s no way through here. I should just give up and go home’ then I’ll end up de-energised and probably depressed. I’ll be bummed that nothing ever works out and that the world is conspiring to derail all my plans.
But at the same time, if I just keep bashing my head against a wall and trying to smash my way through – the way of the rhino – I’m going to burn through a lot of energy. Possibly I’ll burn out before I ever manage to bash a Jon sized hole in the wall.
But if I stay strong in my belief that there is always a way, then I can just keep pressing at it, massaging the situation, looking for my ‘in’.
Sometimes that means sticking with a strategy for a while. Sometimes it means walking away if I get a sense that there’s an easier path available.
But in either case, I’m light and joyful. I’m enjoying the journey.
And in that light and joyful space, energy is self-creating. Your energy feeds off itself, and you can get a lot done.
I wonder how clear I’m making myself. This isn’t a way I set out to be. It’s just who I am. This is not a case of reporting a strategy that works for me.
Rather, this is me just looking back at my life, looking at others, and wondering what made the difference.
And in that sense, as someone who just ended up with a belief that there is always a way, I got lucky.
But you know, maybe it’s useful. If you don’t believe that there is always a way – if you believe that many roads in life are just dead ends, I think you will have a tough time of it.
So massage it. Work it. Dance with it.
There is always a way.
What's your way?