A year ago, a good friend of mine was going through a course with the aim of becoming a certified life coach. He asked me if I would be willing to be his “guinea pig” and participate in mock coaching sessions. Unfamiliar with the nuances of coaching and totally unimpressed with these “white pipo tinz”, I reluctantly acquiesced…though you wouldn’t know it by my response when he first made the request.
“Oh yes! I’d looove to work on this with you!”
I wanted to help out a friend, and if faking my enthusiasm for this new endeavor is what it took, then I would do just that! But then a strange thing happened in the weeks and months that followed our mock coaching sessions. I began to become more productive. I began to more carefully consider what types of food I put in my mouth and I even lost a bit of weight. I was more focused on what type of messages my writing was conveying. Every time I found myself about to embark on any activity, no matter how mundane, I’d hear Kobby’s voice in my head: “And how does eating the pizza help you reach your weight loss goals?”
Eventually, he got his certification and our sessions ended. He took on clients and had less time to shoot the breeze with me. I grieved for a while, but I never told him. I only gushed about how proud I was of him and never let on that I was now feeling adrift. I had managed to survive without him before, and I could do it again!
But can I tell you how happy I was when we had the opportunity to reconnect again yesterday? It was like being hit with a blast of fresh sea air after being trapped in a murky tunnel. I had originally reached out to him to ask if he had the bandwidth to assist me with a project, but in the end our interaction left me with something much deeper and more meaningful. I want to share that with you today by paraphrasing a portion of his monologue. (And Kobby can monologue o! Like a super villain explaining his dastardly plan and why you will never stop him from succeeding…)
“There’s a baby I’ve seen grow up in my church. I witnessed his mother’s belly swell over the course of 9 months; we were present for his christening; I’ve heard him cry during service. Recently, he started to walk. He came tottering down the aisle and kept falling and falling after every few steps. Do you know this baby didn’t give up once? Every time he fell, he smiled and got back up and tried again. Falling for him wasn’t ‘failure’. It just gave him the opportunity to get up and try again until he mastered it. He wanted to walk, and of course, he eventually did.
Now, why didn’t he just lie on the floor and give up after the first time he fell? It’s because success is coded in his DNA. Success is coded in the DNA of every person living on the earth! The mere fact that you’re alive means that you are meant to be successful. The probability of human life is so slim. There are too many perfect scenarios that have to align in order to create human life…so your mere presence is a success story!
But back to the baby and his ‘failure’: The same principle in our adult lives. Any time you attempt something for the first time…or the sixth, until you’ve mastered it, you are going to have set backs. But instead of being like the baby and re-attempting, we often listen to these voices in society that convince us to give up before we try, or rehash our failures. It makes us scared. It diminishes our capacity for success…and that’s why we have so many people content with their mediocrity strolling around here.”
Why didn’t the baby just lie on the floor and give up after the first time? Man.
Can you imagine the state of the human race if we all just stayed on the floor well into our sixties because we never gained the confidence to tray again at twelve months of life? We’d literally be crawling to work. I think about all of the projects and dreams I’ve abandoned because they didn’t work the first time out of the gate and I feel humbled. If only I’d had the tenacity of a toddler!
Like you, I’ve heard all this before, and if you’ve ever sat in a self-help seminar or read ‘Who Moved My Cheese’, this is not new thought. But lawd, was it refreshing to have it restated!
Success is defined in many ways, often left up to the individual to determine what that looks like and from where to draw the power to attain it, but this is the first time I’ve heard success as being explained as coded in your DNA.
Success is a part of you. Whether you believe it or not, you are successful – right where you sit, right now.
You may leave your offerings at the door as you exit.
PS: Mother’s Day is coming up! Please listen and share this exciting new promotion heading your way! https://soundcloud.com/malaka-grant/mothers-day-mother-load-sale