Remember when you were 1 year old, and you kept on falling down on your ass when you first tried walking?
Well allow me to refresh your memory… because believe it or not, the 1 year old version of yourself is about to teach you a very valuable lesson.
And since he’s 1 year old and doesn’t share your rich vocabulary, he’ll do it with just a single word.
The Power of Until
Let me ask you a question:
How did you learn how to walk?
Did you read a dummies book about walking? Did you do a bunch of tests for someone to tell you whether you “passed”? No, not likely.
Most likely it went something like this:
- Your parents were sick of seeing you crawl around to get to places
- A parent (usually dad) helps you stand up on your chubby feet
- You fall down. You cry…
- Mom is mad at dad and calms the baby down.
- Later mom & dad try again. They help you stand up. You take one step and fall down again.
- You cry again, but less this time, cause you realize you completed one step, which is one step more than previous time… Now you’re in the game
- You stand up on your own, walk 3 steps, fall down… Now you’re getting excited, and so are your parents who are filming the whole thing and encouraging you to keep trying… until you “get it”
- After a few more falls, you finally are able to walk from one side of the room to the other.
- Victory at last. Life will never be the same again.
I’m assuming that this is pretty much the process you went through to learn how to walk (+- the number of falls).
But wait a second… how come you kept on going after you’ve fallen so many times?
Thankfully, your parents didn’t just say: “it’s ok darling, this walking thing is clearly not for you… just sit down forever”.
Instead, they encouraged you to keep going… until you “get it”. Until you’re able to walk.
Your parents realized that falling down is part of learning how to walk, so they encouraged you to keep trying, to keep falling… because that’s what it takes.
And lo in behold – you mastered that skill…
And the good news? You can keep using it for the rest of your goals. Let’s see how.
Harnessing the Power of Until
When we grow up, it seemed obvious to keep getting up until we learn how to walk, or talk…
So why do we usually forget the concept of until by the time we get older?
The power of until has proven to be effective when we were kids. So why not continue using it?
We still face challenges in life, just as we did when we were toddlers, so it makes sense to adopt a similar mindset to accomplish them:
“I’m unable to find a good woman… What should I do?”
Keep looking, until you find one.
“I can’t seem to find a good job… What do I do?”
Keep searching, keep learning, until you find one.
“I’m unable to keep Shabbat… What am I supposed to do?”
Keep Shabbat gradually: start by not driving on Shabbat, continue by not turning on any electricity… until you’ll eventually keep Shabbat fully.
Or in other words – do your Hishtadlus.
Our life is filled with challenges. Sometimes it requires a decent amount of falling on our ass until we finally “get it”.
But just as you were encouraged to keep going until you started walking, I encourage you to keep going towards your goals… until you “get it”.
So now, , print it or bookmark it – so you’ll be able to return to it anytime you need a reminder to get up and keep going… until.
Until next time 🙂