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Fall Six Times, Rise Up Seven

July 02, 2017

If you know me, then you know I love a good story. I don’t mean “umbeya” kind of stories but stories that have the potential to build me and others around me. So today I want to share one such story with you.

Hundreds of years ago there was a king of Scotland and his name was Robert the Bruce. It was a good thing that he was both brave and wise, because the times in which he lived were wild and dangerous. The King of England was at war with him, and had led a great army into Scotland to drive him out of the land and to make Scotland a part of England.

Battle after battle he had fought with England. Six times Robert the Bruce had led his brave little army against his foes. Six times his men had been beaten, until finally they were driven into flight. At last the army of Scotland was entirely scattered, and the king was forced to hide in the woods and in lonely places among the mountains.

One rainy day, Robert the Bruce lay in a cave, listening to the rainfall outside the cave entrance. He was tired and felt sick at heart, ready to give up all hope. It seemed to him that there was no use for him to try to do anything more.

As he lay thinking, he noticed a spider over his head, getting ready to weave her web. He watched her as she worked slowly and with great care. Six times she tried to throw her thread from one edge of the cave wall to another. Six times her thread fell short.

Poor thing!” said Robert the Bruce. “You, too, know what it’s like to fail six times in a row.”

But the spider did not lose hope. With still more care, she made ready to try for a seventh time. Robert the Bruce almost forgot his own troubles as he watched, fascinated. She swung herself out upon the slender line. Would she fail again? No! The thread was carried safely to the cave wall, and fastened there.

Yes!” cried Bruce, “I, too, will try a seventh time!

So he arose and called his men together. He told them of his plans, and sent them out with hopeful messages to cheer the discouraged people. Soon there was an army of brave men around him. A seventh battle was fought, and this time the King of England was forced to retreat back to his own country.

It wasn’t long before England recognized Scotland as an independent country with Robert the Bruce as its rightful king.

And to this very day, the victory and independence of Scotland is traced to a spider who kept trying again and again to spin her web in a cave and inspired the king of Scotland, Robert the Bruce.

Six times they both tried and six times they both failed (I mean the spider and the King). Maybe you are like Robert the Bruce where everything you have tried to do since January has failed.. The six times maybe a representation of the six months of this year that have already passed.

In January you tried but all the proposals you sent were rejected by your potential customers.

In February you tried again but someone undercut you by taking a kickback to the procurement officer in that company, and you lost the opportunity.

In March you tried again but instead of getting the deal the company you pitched to decided to use your idea in-house without giving you the job.

In April you went out again and even signed a contract, but somewhere along the way the client didn’t have money to service the contract and so the contract ended before it even started.

In May you gathered whatever little hope you had left in yourself and decided to give it one more try, but the company you were dealing with was not straight forward and so they took your idea and hired someone else to implement it for a cheaper fee.

In the month of June you looked back and realized everything you had tried to do had not worked and so you became depressed and tired and sick.

Well, there is good news for you. You have the opportunity to try again for the seventh time with hope in your heart that this time, you will win your battle. It is not a coincidence that this story is coming to you today. It is very symbolic to you that whatever you have been trying to do since January to June will work for you if you try it one more time this July. You just need to believe in yourself and have faith.

The King almost gave up but the spider gave him strength and hope that he could do it again. Sure enough, the last attempt he made is the reason why Scotland is Scotland today. You might not be in a cave but your challenges may feel to you like they have enclosed you in a cave. Look up and take courage, then make one more attempt to face your challenges head on.

Don’t give up because of an unsuccessful first half of 2017, treat that like a bad chapter in the story of your life. Don’t give up because of one bad chapter in your life. Keep going because your story doesn’t end here. You can actually create a completely new plot from where you are in your story and come up with the most successful story anyone ever heard about.

My word of encouragement to anyone who feels like giving up this year is this; there is still hope. You can make a complete turnaround if you determine to not give up on yourself, for the remaining months of the year. Treat the past half of the year like a nightmare. Will you stop dreaming because you had one? I don’t think so.

So pick yourself up, dust yourself off and start where you stopped. Like Stephanie Bennett Henry said, “Life is tough, my darling, but so are you”. Don’t give up, be confident in yourself in whatever you do. Yes there will be tough times as you have already experienced, but the difficulties which you face along the way should not discourage you but instead they should make you more determined to achieve your objectives and to win against all the odds.

I challenge you to become a challenge to your challenges. How? By not giving up.

Wishing you all a successful send half of the year 2017, and happy new month to y’all.

Be ignited. Be Inspired. Be Influenced. Become the best version of yourself you can ever be.

 

PS: This article was originally published in Tanzania's Guardian On Sunday on the 2nd July, 2017, under my weekly column "Thoughts in Words".

 

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