I feel I've written versions of this before...
So many people strive for success. This elusive concept: success. It's a word that's said so often, so matter-of-factly...as though it's a given that it's what we should all be after.
Success to me is learning to love yourself. Success is accepting what you cannot change and changing all the things you can (and want to change). There is no real criteria for success. There’s no such thing as giving yourself too many chances. You yourself are the only one who can give YOU as many chances as you want or need. There is no limit to chances. There is no maximum.
To look straight into the face of pain and declare that you will prevail is not merely a display of courage; sometimes it's a true necessity. Getting thrown about in the waters of life is a circumstance that presents you with two options: thrash and swim and fight and reach shore OR let yourself drown. There is, actually, a middle option, but it's only a temporary solution. It is, nevertheless, better than drowning. And it is this: thrash and swim and fight and STAY AFLOAT until you can make it to shore.
Sometimes the shore is quite far away—off in the distance, glimmering like an unreachable mirage, so you can't be expected to reach it simply because you want to reach it. But in time, you'll make it—if you manage to stay afloat and not give up.
So these are your options. Choose wisely.
Bravery and boldness are the essence of being able to prevail. Bravery and boldness will not just follow you. You have to channel them. They won't seek you out and they won't appear out of thin air. They may, in fact, seem to escape you when you need them most. You can't keep them in your back pocket, ready to pull them out a moment's notice.
Despite how elusive they seem, bravery and boldness can be learned—or found. And they can grow to be a part of you, so that the most you will have to do is tap into them when you have to fight your way in that troubling sea.
The thing is, you have to realize that they exist—and that they exist for YOU. You're not an unlucky one—you have access to bravery and boldness, even if it's been taking you a while to find them. You have to think of bravery and boldness like a limb or some part of your body; they are part of you. Our arms are always there, but sometimes we don't use them. Bravery and boldness are like that. When faced with a difficulty/problem/pain/trying situation/despair/depression/failure/fear—you have to REMEMBER that bravery and boldness are there.
Just like your arms or your legs.
You know how people get so scared that they can't run?—even though they have legs? Or how people get so scared that they can't speak?—even though they have a voice?
Bravery and boldness are like that. We cannot forget to use them.
Life throws all kinds of things our way. It's inevitable that we will feel pain, sadness, and even emptiness at points. Sometimes those feelings will last longer than we feel we can bear. But bravery and boldness are the keys to a successful life. Even when I'm feeling at odds with the universe...or myself...or as though I'm just blending in to the mundane backdrop of the world around me, I remember that I am brave. And I am bold. And those are the traits that make me smile a real smile.