Wish you all a very happy and prosperous new year 2010. Time to make resolutions and I am allowing myself to get carried away with the flow of the normal.
In the recent past two Hindi movies have really been inspirational for me – Rock On and 3 Idiots. Similar themes run through both the scripts, of following your passion and chasing your dreams for the happiness and success we all so crave for and deserve.
Most people are miserable and unhappy because they do not have a passionate purpose that is greater than themselves to commit to. Chasing dreams is happiness – you enjoy the journey as much as the destination. To lay your head on the pillow at night knowing you did something that made your world better is one of the most amazing feelings. Life’s regrets are all about things we never did but always wanted to!
Now the real challenge is to be able to discover your passion and figure out your dream. It is tough work and requires one to do a variety of diverse activities to zero-in. But then the only place where success comes before work is perhaps the dictionary. Once identified you will be driven to spend energy and commit towards its accomplishment. It surely is a long haul, done bit by bit in small measures but one that leads to an unparalled sense of satisfaction.
I am tempted to reproduce a brilliant story of many learnings. Surely all of you must know of it already but helps to refresh at this time of the year……
The Daffodil Principle
Several times my daughter had telephoned to say, “Mother, you must come to see the daffodils before they are over.” I wanted to go, but it was a two-hour drive from Laguna to Lake Arrowhead. “I will come next Tuesday”, I promised a little reluctantly on her third call.
Next Tuesday dawned cold and rainy. Still, I had promised, and reluctantly I drove there. When I finally walked into Carolyn’s house, I was welcomed by the joyful sounds of happy children. I delightedly hugged and greeted my grandchildren. “Forget the daffodils, Carolyn! The road is invisible in these clouds and fog, and there is nothing in the world except you and these children that I want to see badly enough to drive another inch!” My daughter smiled calmly and said, ” We drive in this all the time, Mother.”
“Well, you won’t get me back on the road until it clears, and then I’m heading for home!” I assured her. “But first we’re going to see the daffodils. It’s just a few blocks,” Carolyn said. “I’ll drive. I’m used to this.”
“Carolyn,” I said sternly, “Please turn around.” “It’s all right, Mother, I promise. You will never forgive yourself if you miss this experience.”
After about twenty minutes, we turned onto a small gravel road and I saw a small church. On the far side of the church, I saw a hand lettered sign with an arrow that read,! “Daffodil Garden.” We got out of the car, each took a child’s hand, and I followed Carolyn down the path. Then, as we turned a corner, I looked up and gasped. Before me lay the most glorious sight.
It looked as though someone had taken a great vat of gold and poured it over the mountain peak and its surrounding slopes. The flowers were planted in majestic, swirling patterns, great ribbons and swaths of deep orange, creamy white, lemon yellow, salmon pink, saffron and butter yellow. Each different-colored variety was planted in large groups so that it swirled and flowed like its own river with its own unique hue. There were five acres of flowers.
“Who did this?” I asked Carolyn. “Just one woman,” Carolyn answered. “She lives on the property. That’s her home.” Carolyn pointed to a well-kept A-frame house, small and modestly sitting in the midst of all that glory. We walked up to the house.
On the patio, we saw a poster. “Answers to the Questions I Know You Are Asking”, was the headline. The first answer was a simple one. “50,000 bulbs,” it read. The second answer was, “One at a time, by one woman. Two hands, two feet, and one brain.” The third answer was, “Began in 1958.”
For me, that moment was a life-changing experience. I thought of this woman whom I had never met, who, more than forty years before, had begun, one bulb at a time, to bring her vision of beauty and joy to an obscure mountaintop. Planting one bulb at a time, year after year, this unknown woman had forever changed the world in which she lived. One day at a time, she had created something of extraordinary magnificence, beauty, and inspiration. The principle her daffodil garden taught is one of the greatest principles of celebration.
That is, learning to move toward our goals and desires one step at a time, often just one baby-step at a time and learning to love the doing, learning to use the accumulation of time. When we multiply tiny pieces of time with small increments of daily effort, we too will find we can accomplish magnificent things. We can change the world.
“It makes me sad in a way,” I admitted to Carolyn. ” What might I have accomplished if I had thought of a wonderful goal thirty five or forty years ago and had worked away at it ‘one! bulb at a time’ through all those years? “Just think what I might have been able to achieve!”
My daughter summed up the message of the day in her usual direct way. “Start tomorrow,” she said.
Perfectly stated – it is so pointless to think of the lost hours of yesterdays. Use the Daffodil Principle. Stop waiting. The world needs dreamers and the world needs doers and above all the world needs dreamers who are doers! Go put this to work. There is no better time than right now to be happy. Unlock your potential…..
Wishing you a beautiful daffodil year!