“Your life is like a river. If you’re aiming for a goal that isn’t your destiny, you will always be swimming against the current. Young Gandhi wants to be a stock car racer? Not gonna happen. Little Anne Frank wants to be a high school teacher? Tough Anne. That’s not your destiny. But you will go on to move the hearts and minds of millions. Find out what your destiny is and the river will carry you. Sometimes events in life give an individual clues as to where their destiny lies.”
in The Men Who Stare At Goats
Watched this movie yesterday and the quotation above really resonated with me. Once I heard it, my ears perked up and I began listening for more inspirational passages from this movie. There were others but none as strong. One of the reasons I chose to write about this, is that I sometimes dip into Wayne Dyer’s treasure trove of slogans. The one I like best is:
Row, row, row your boat gently down the stream.
I can see where these two quotations go hand in hand. Your life is LIKE a river. There are going to be obstacles in the river and there are going to be obstacles in your life. If you watch a river, you’ll see that it ALWAYS finds a way to move through or around the obstacles placed in its path. That’s what we have to do. Learn to pass through these challenges. A river’s destiny is to start at its source and flow to the ocean. Do you feel as if you are swimming against the current? Nothing is working for you? You constantly feel stressed? Your life is out of control? Maybe you’re not facing your destiny.
Has someone else taken control of your river? Diverted it? Watch a diverted river sometime. What happens? It eventually finds its way back, right? We all know what our path is, what our destiny is. Don’t let outside influences dictate what you should be doing. ONLY you know what’s right for you. Find a way to flow to YOUR ocean. When obstacles appear in front of you, change your course but find your way back quickly. As I’ve written here before, I ALWAYS knew my destiny was with books.
I was given clues to my destiny from a very early age. I always had a pen and paper with me, writing ALL the time, always carried a book with me and reading at every opportunity. There were two book stores that opened in Madison at two different times while I’ve been living here. I put applications in at both at different times. The first store, The Madison Newsstand, rejected me out of hand. There is a library patron who stops in all the time. His wife worked at The Newsstand when I applied there and they still bring up the fact that it was a HUGE mistake by the manager not to hire me. The other book store that opened is RJ Julia’s. I actually applied there on three different occasions before I was hired. See? I didn’t give up, because I LOVED being around books.
I also had dreams of having a writing career. Challenges were placed in MY river. I found my way around those and diverted my river. I’m now IN the book field and in a MUCH better position then I would have been in the solitary writing career. I’m a people person, always have been. I need that social interaction with other people, so where I am now is where I always should have been.
Writing once again is an important part of my life. Odd how things come full circle sometimes. Several years ago, when I gave up writing I never thought I’d come back to it with a renewed love for it, but here I am. My river returned to its source and I’m reinvigorated for it. As a result of my renewed interest I was recently hired my Madison Connecticut’s Patch service as monthly columnist. Once again this just proves to me that writing was always and still is part of my destiny, part of my ocean.
To all of you who are unhappy, all of you who dread getting up in the morning, facing a career choice you’ve made, I ask you:
Did you REALLY make that choice, or was your river diverted so drastically that you can’t find your ocean?
Regardless of what some may tell you, it is NEVER too late to find your ocean. Listen to George Clooney’s character:
“Your life is like a river. If you’re aiming for a goal that isn’t your destiny, you will always be swimming against the current. Young Gandhi wants to be a stock car racer? Not gonna happen. Little Anne Frank wants to be a high school teacher? Tough Anne. That’s not your destiny.
Find your ocean and you’ll be gladly swimming towards it the entire rest of your life.
Be Happy! Be Well! Be Positive!
A great reflection! Thanks for sharing this, Chris. You have done well in your career and found your way. I look forward to seeing if your river has more twists and turns.
Your friend and fan, Joe