This morning I am at home taking care of my son Chaim while my wife recuperates in bed. It is not yet eleven o’clock in the morning and he has already reminded me of a valuable life lesson — that of not giving up when the task ahead of you seems improbable or even impossible.
Chaim has been rather into exercise lately (I wonder if watching our roommate and I work out daily has anything to do with that!) and he loves the large dark blue yoga mat that I use for some of my workouts — specifically, the ones that involve such moves as downward dog, planks of all sorts, etc. I tried to tell him that the yoga mat was not quite the right size for him, but he would not hear it — and so this morning he wanted to bring it out and do his own moves on it.
The yoga mat stays rolled up for storage but as he struggled to carry it — bear in mind that its width is nearly as long as his entire height — it started to unroll and became increasingly larger. He continued to struggle with it and looked up at me, hopeful of some kind of sign of aid to come. He saw that I had no intention of doing any such thing. I had, after all, told him that it was not the right yoga mat for him.
“Tati, am nevoie de ajutori” he said to me sweetly in Romanian. (Dad, I need help.) He started to say it again but he pushed forward and continued taking the yoga mat further into the living room. As he made his way into the living room, the look on his face changed from one of slight sadness to one of determination — he was going to get the mat out and spread open with or without my help. He did exactly that — he pulled it all the way out into the living room and perfectly laid it out without my help.
The determination that he had while taking out the mat is the same kind you should have when facing a difficult project. If you think of yourself as being unable, you have no reason to even leave the starting gate. If you put yourself in the mindset of being able to accomplish the task, it is just a matter of when and how — and you will strive and overcome the most difficult of hurdles in your way.