“I didn’t think I would play tennis again at one point. I just wanted to make it out of the hospital.” – Wimbledon Champ Serena Williams
“After winning her fifth Wimbledon championship to snap a two-year drought of major titles, Williams clambered up the Centre Court stands to her guest box to share the triumph with the loved ones she said made it possible. Those people in that box were with me when I went through everything. I just felt I don’t say ‘thank you’ enough.’” – article by Liz Clarke in Washington Post
It has been inspiring watching Serena come back from what she thought were career-ending injuries, including two foot surgeries and a pulmonary embolism. As mentioned, she thought she may NEVER play tennis again.
What kept her going in the desert of her dream? How did she keep the faith when it looked like she might not have the opportunity to pursue her passion and profession?
Starting a business, writing a book, pursuing our personal legend, is often a roller-coaster ride. Ups and downs. Highs and lows. What can keep us going in those lows?
Hanging out with people who have our back and front can help us keep moving when we’re in the desert of our dream.
Another non-negotiable is to continue to SEE ourselves achieving our dream … even when it’s not apparent to others, even when we’re stalled and it looks like it may never happen.
Keeping the faith, and moving forward no matter what, is a non-negotiable.
If you stop. if you give up and abandon your vision … it will not happen.
It is up to you to hang on to your belief that what you’re trying to create is possible and worthwhile. Doing so keeps it alive and gives it a chance because you are doing your half.
I know this may sound woo-woo, but when you do your half, the universe steps up and does its half.
Soren Kierkegaard said, “Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.”
Looking backwards, every successful person will tell you there were setbacks along the way to pursuing their dream. At the time, those obstacles may have seemed insurmountable. The setbacks could have drained their will, conviction, and caused them to doubt.
Instead, they transcended their doubts and continued to live and look forward. They carried on through the doubts and down times. In doing so, they re-established momentum and moved closer to realizing their dream.
I can only imagine that Serena was tempted to give up when she was in pain, when she could hardly walk, when she got the bad news that she was going to have to go back for another surgery.
But Serena wasn’t finished. She believed she still had greatness in her, she still had championships to win.
She re-dedicated herself. Instead of abandoning her dream, she re-committed to being and doing her best.
As a result of persevering through the desert of her dream, she reached a much-welcomed, well-deserved oasis.
The beauty of this is; her success was not a mirage; it was a result of her forward movement .and faith It was an earned reality.
How about you?
Are you in the desert of your dream? Are things not working out the way you hoped? Have you received bad news? Are people around you not seeing what you’re seeing, not believing what you’re believing?
Could you choose to “pull a Serena?” Could you re-dedicate yourself and live and look forward, no matter what?
Your dream is still attainable if you keep it alive by persevering in spite of this temporary down-time.
If you keep on keeping on, the universe will say, “All righty then, you’re doing your half … we’ll do ours.”
Beat-the-odds opportunities will show up that never would have happened otherwise.
As Winston Churchill said, “Success is not final, failure is not fatal; it is the courage to continue that counts.”
– – – – –
Like this post? Want to receive inspiring stories and insights on how to create the life of your dreams? Subscribe to Sam Horn’s SerenDestiny blog where she posts weekly updates from her YEAR BY THE WATER. Sam, America’s Intrigue Expert, helps people create one-of-a-kind projects that scale their impact for good. Her work – including IDEApreneur, Tongue Fu! and Washington Post bestseller Got Your Attention? – has been featured on NPR and MSNBC and featured in New York Times, Forbes, INC, BusinessWeek, Huffington Post.