‘You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. Do the thing you think you cannot do.’ ~ Eleanor Roosevelt
How many times do you not attempt to change something or try something new because, the fear of failure, the fear you may look silly or the fear that you won’t be any good at it, gets in the way?
I want to tell you a true story….
Once upon a time a few hundred years ago there was a temple in Thailand called “The Golden Buddha Temple” because it had a beautiful golden Buddha statue. Word got to the monks who ran the temple that the Burmese army was going to invade. So the monks worked for hours upon hours to cover that golden Buddha with mud and stone in order to make it appear to be just a stone Buddha carving and not worth the gold that it was.
The army invaded, killing and looting all in its path and after killing all the monks at the temple looked at the stone Buddha and decided it was worth nothing…it was only made of stone.
In 1957, after hundreds of years had gone by and all those that knew of the golden Buddha were long gone it was decided to move the ‘Stone’ Buddha to a new temple. This was a huge feat as it was so big and heavy. As it was being lowered into place one of the supporting ropes broke and as the huge stone Buddha dropped on one side there was a loud cracking sound. The man in charge was so upset that he decided that they would just place the Buddha as it was, cover it with a tarpaulin (as it was about to rain) and then worry about the crack the following day. But that night after the rain had passed he was so worried that he went out with a flashlight to have a look at the damage. As he lifted the tarpaulin and the light crossed the stone he notice a bright splash of glimmer. ‘Rock doesn’t glow!’ he exclaimed to himself. The next morning he took a chisel to the back of the stone Buddha, chipping away and to his disbelief found that the entire Buddha was solid gold…all 2.5 tons of it.
Now the metaphor of this story for our lives I believe is the following: as babies I believe that we are born golden. When we are learning to walk we fall down hundreds of times, sometimes crying, sometimes laughing but we always get up. At this point in our lives we have not learned about fear or change, we just kept trying something we had never done before and eventually we walk, then even run, we keep evolving. Something then happens to us, we start learning from life, our parents, our teachers, our friends and we start to build our stone armour around us so that we won’t get hurt. But this armour continues to build and as we age we become fearful of change, fearful of trying new things and we lose our shine.
It’s time for you to start chipping away at that stone armour that surrounds you, to get rid of the fear that surrounds you when it comes to change in order to help you learn, grown and progress (no matter what your age). Every day is a new beginning, the changes and challenges that await you can be incredibly golden.
Start chipping that stone now so that you too can find your inner gold!
Photo credit – Montana State University