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The Art of Life Series
By A M Monyatsiwa
Trafford PublishingCopyright © 2014 Advent AM Monyatsiwa
All rights reserved.
ARISING BY FALLING
I had a dream once, and in this dream I was falling into a deep and seemingly bottomless pit—the abyss. Out of fear, I closed my eyes tightly. With my heart in my mouth, I anticipated and imagined the sudden feeling of death as my body and brain were about to splatter all over the rocky rock bottom. Surprisingly, the longer I continued to fall, the more comfortable I became. I opened my eyes slowly and so naturally, and to my delightful surprise, I found myself soaring into the clouds, arising by falling. "What ...?" I woke up in utter astonishment. I have thought deeply about this weird but gratifying dream for almost ten years since then.
Now, because I will be using the term "arising" a lot throughout the book, it is best that I explain it to you that you may understand how I use it. Firstly, according to the MacBook Pro dictionary, to arise means:
1. (Of a problem, opportunity, or situation) emerge; become apparent; come into being; originate.
2. (Arise from/out of) occur as a result of;
3. Formal or poetic/literary get or stand up.
The way I coined to use the term is such that, whenever you see the word, you must imagine that you are getting up after you have been tripped by some of life's stumbling blocks such as problems, failures, and adversities. So then you are emerging from problems to solutions; from failures to victories; from adversities to opportunities; from poverty to riches; from sorrows to rejoicing; from distress to peace; from dearth to abundance; from disappointments to fortunate appointments; and most importantly from dissatisfaction to contentment and from delusions to enlightenment.
Yet in all arisings, you must remember that, There is nothing that enters a man from outside which can defile him; but the things which come out of him, those are things that defile a man (Mark 7:15). This is the secret in "arising"—it comes from within yourself.
Life is more or less an individual journey with but one destination, SUCCESS. The way in which we reach for this destination is through a combination of temporary successes and temporary failures. Everyone's journey toward their destination is filled with ups and downs including emotional experiences of adversities and triumphs. Sometimes, one either succeeds or fails and hence they may feel happy or sad, victorious or defeated, inspired or discouraged, respectively. It is in conclusion to this observation that I have the temerity to say, "Our modern life is a continuous back and forth process of arising from poverty or failure to temporary prosperity or success." That means, we continually arise and fall then fall and arise again and the cycle goes on and on.
Very few individuals have the ability to retain success when they achieve it because very few know and understand the process to its attainment. I use the word success in this context for the sake of simplicity in writing but keep in mind that success depends on individual goals. Success could easily mean the satisfaction in one's social, financial, or spiritual life and not just limited to material possessions alone.
I strongly believe that all failure originates from the mind. One initially fails by accepting defeat in his mind for if it were not for that, he would keep trying until eventually, he succeeds. In other words, a man cannot become a failure unless he first accepts defeat in his mind. For as long as one has a sound mind, there is never any reason to give up trying to succeed.
Yet, even those without a sound mind can use the minds of other men and or resources such as experience, internet, and books depending on the level of their sanity to raise themselves to success.
Therefore, to succeed is simply a matter of not allowing the mind to see defeat as the end of the road but take it as a stepping-stone to success. It is because of this mindset that some men arise by falling while others fall by arising.
My personal life, which I will write a story about in the future, is a clear example of how I dealt with what could have been a devastating failure in my life, after failing to qualify for the 2012 London Olympic Games. Especially that I had sacrificed many opportunities, for financial success, material possessions, fame, family, and marriage for that one opportunity. This could have resulted in me leading a life of embarrassment, lack, depression, and misery, but even worse, I would have been labeled a complete and total failure in life. Throughout this book, you will discover how I arose in situations where most would be falling because:
My Down Moments are my best Possibilities for Growth,
My greatest Pains are a way to develop my greatest Resistance,
My worst Failures indeed highlight my Success,
My Losses, my best motivation to Achieve.
My Suffering, my best time for gaining true Wisdom,
My worst Struggles in life indeed are a door way to Greatness,
My closed Doors are but an opportunity to seek fresh Ideas,
My troubles create my Legacy.
My Loneliness, my teacher of Self-Reliance,
My Risks, my opportunities to reinforce personal Initiative,
My Criticisms, my way to learning more about Myself,
My enemies, my inspiration to act in Love.
My Fears are the keys that unlock my Courage,
My Solitude, indeed my time to seek peace and Enlightenment,
My Hunger, a chance to realize the impermanence of the Body,
And my Death, a time for my soul to move on Further!
It is by getting burnt that I learn to stop playing with fire.
It is by getting punched in the face that I learn to protect myself,
It is by getting things wrong that I learn the right way to do things,
It is by lowering my body first that I can lift myself off the ground.
It is by climbing up the hill that I develop the strongest forward motion,
It is by taking a step back that I can see clearly that which is close ahead,
It is by pushing the biggest rocks in life that I
develop my strongest will and character.
It is clear that to advance to higher altitudes in life
we must first experience the low falls.
The ground is the base in which we can push ourselves off to the moon.
You see, we Arise by Falling!
In the cycle of poverty, unless I know how to arise by falling I will continue in it, moving from one moment of poverty to the next. The difference between the rich and the poor is this; the rich know how to arise by falling, they never get acclimated to falling, rather they collect all their failures and use them to create a ladder in which they will climb their way up to success. The more the failures, the higher the ladder of success will go! On the other hand, the poor get accustomed to falling and thus keep falling deeper and deeper into the depths of poverty.
Winners never quit because they know that losing a battle does not mean losing the entire war. They do not see losing a few attempts as the end of their journey. Instead they see losing as a necessary ingredient for rising to greatness. On the other side, losers are bothered by losing and lament over their losses; thus, subconsciously focus on failure which as a result attracts more failures to them. In other words, just like positive thoughts attract positive thoughts, negative thoughts also attract negative thoughts.
You need to be careful of the thoughts you indulge your emotions in as they will magnetize other thoughts like them. Instead, counter every negative thought with a positive affirmation to yourself. For example; if something bad or some accident occasionally happens to you and you find yourself thinking; "I am always too clumsy when ..." then immediately rebuke yourself and instead say to yourself "When this ... happens, I never panic because everything always goes according to my plans!" I refer to this as positive self-talk, which I talk about in detail later.
I have learnt that all that is possible and capable of being done by any human being is possible to anyone, anywhere at any time! No matter where the mind is, it is always capable of arising beyond that situation as long as one has control over it and does not allow it to get trapped in the misgivings of the emotions in the negative appearances of that situation. The capacity of achievement depends on the capacity of the mind that wants to achieve.
It is important to realize that most of what we perceive as problems is first perceived in the mind. The problems we perceived or created in the mind cannot be solved by the same mindset that perceived or created them. The mind must arise from that situation regardless of whether the current situation in that person's life is worsening or not. This is why I say, "Arise by falling."
If what you tried to do did not work out but instead caused you to fall into the path of failure, then rather than accepting that as defeat and seeing yourself as a failure, realize that your plan of action may have not been viable and that your mind is not ready to accept that as defeat. You can opt to view those unviable plans as a learning process for you to better them in the future. One should know that, that apparent failure will one day highlight your success and encourage many people going through the same difficulties.
One of the practical methods I use to cause my mind to arise above my current problematic situation is that; I look at myself through the eyes of a third sane and rational person and imagine how that person would deal with my current situation. Or I imagine what I would think and do had I not been in the middle of the problem and was in fact the one advising another person in that similar situation.
My experience has proven that doing so causes my mind to be rational in an irrational situation and to remain sane in a situation that would otherwise lead it to insanity. This has always worked for me and though it is not guaranteed it will also work for you, just try it and see. If it works for you, that is good, but if it does not, then I encourage you to take this example as an inspiration for you to discover your own methods to arise from whatever problems you may be in.
When you put your attention on any negative situation, you block your mind to find a solution to rise out of it. In other words, when you cloud your eyes with tears over the situation you are in, you will most assuredly fail to see the next opportunity when it shows up in front of your tearful eyes. The best thing is to ignore or detach your emotions away from the negative circumstances before they lure you into a jeremiad over them. This is the only time when they say, "Ignorance is bliss." The stratagem is: To remain optimistic in any pessimistic condition.
To be assertive and not apprehensive,
To be creative and not competitive,
To be cognizant and not benighted,
To be tolerant and not bigoted.
To be prudent and not mindless,
To be decent and not heedless,
To be affable and not hateful,
To be lovable and not harmful.
To be decisive and not hesitant,
To be expressive and not reticent,
To look within and not make excuses,
To be strive without and not make ruses.
To be enlightened and not be in delusion,
To be acquainted and not be in confusion.
To strive for celebrity and not fall for mediocrity,
That way you can arrive in prosperity and not fall into poverty.
The trick is to skillfully outwit the cunning methods of suffering, misfortune, poverty, lack, adversity, among others. You do this by first understanding that its process is always by descent and that every difficulty possesses in it the seed of a great opportunity. This means, whenever you find yourself falling or failing in your endeavor, take a step back, review your plans, rethink your mental attitude and move forward before you fall too deep into failure. No man suffers by succeeding unless he is in delusion, but many arise by falling and see opportunities for a comeback in every setback. Once this is understood, then it is much easier to view the art of arising in this manner:
Failure as a necessary ingredient of Success,
Downfall as a possibility for Growth,
Pain as a way to developing Resistance,
Losing as a motivation to Win.
Suffering as a time for gaining Wisdom,
Struggling as a part of the road to Greatness,
Closed doors as openings to finding fresh Ideas,
Troubles as valuable experiences to Overcome.
Being lonely as a time to learn Self-Reliance,
Risk-taking as a way to develop Personal-Initiative,
Being criticized as a moment of self-reflection,
Having enemies as a chance to practice Love.
You see, in Fear, you unleash Courage,
In Solitude, you savor Peace and Freedom,
In Hunger, you take Control over the Senses,
In Death, your Soul is Free from the limitations of the Body.
The trick is to always see "Falling" as a time for "Arising!"
The Art of Responding to Defeat:
Always keep in mind that there are four kinds of ways in which people respond to defeat, the first three are common in society and the last one only a rare few use it:
First Response: This is from the kind of person whom after being kicked in the teeth by defeat, falls very hard to the floor of failure and fails to get back up. This person then uncontrollably laments over his defeat and clouds his eyes with tears, thereby failing to see any possible way out of the situation.
If luck is not on his side (and usually luck favors those who help themselves) and he does not receive any helping hand from an outside source, this person accepts this fall as his fate and lives the rest of his life as a destitute person. And if he does not stop himself, his eyes become so swollen from lamentation that he eventually becomes blind and fails to see any form of help that might be available from anybody including himself, friends, and even his closest relatives.
Second Response: In this response, the person also gets knocked down hard by defeat then sheds tears for a little while before crawling away in the opposite direction. This person eventually gets up after a very long time and tries to succeed at something else. However, as soon as he is faced with another apparent defeat, he gives up early enough to avoid experiencing the same hard fall again.
This kind of person then spends the rest of his or her life a coward; half-heartedly trying this and that, neither really placing a solid foot at anything nor developing a strong purpose to achieve anything in life. He waits for a favorable opportunity or breakthrough, forgetting that even chance requires one who is bold enough to go after it.
Like a hyena scavenging after the leftovers of the fearless predators that go after the meaty part of success, he remains in the shadows of those men and women who boldly take the necessary risks to acquire the first fruits of life. He lives in fear of failure and the unknown; some of the strongest de-motivators of success.
Third Response: This a better response because, the person gets beaten down by defeat in the same way like everybody else. However, unlike the other two, he does not lament over the defeat. Consequently, he never really experiences permanent failure because he springs himself up immediately, reviews his failed plans, learns where he got things wrong, and then tries again with improved, better plans and renewed energy.
If he is met with defeat again, his systematic life plan repeats itself: Springs up, reviews his failed plans, learns his lessons, makes new plans and moves forward again with restored motivation! He is the kind that is favored by success and blessed by life because like a honey badger, no matter what difficulties he may face, he never gives up until he gets what he wants. Boldness and unyielding persistence are his virtues. To him, no means yes and try means do. Like the claw of death, once he holds on, he never lets go. His ONLY fate is success or death!
Fourth and Best Response: This is the kind of response that I like. I call it the "martial artist response" because it does not let you get knocked out or knocked down. Instead, you fight back in a clever way before defeat beats you to the ground. In other words, you do not wait to be on the ground first in order to bounce back up. You learn the methods in which your enemy, "failure," punches at you and then develop an intuitive mind, remain alert and sensitive to the attacks he may throw at you.
For example, using the principles of martial arts such as Judo; when "defeat" throws a blow at you, you use the law of detachment and detach yourself from that negative force coming at you. This is done by stepping aside from its direction thereby letting it pass by you. That force will naturally die on its own or it will collide head-on against a wall behind you and self-destruct in the process, thereby leaving you untouched and full of energy to soldier on.
This is in contrast to fearfully watching the blow getting to you or trying to throw your own blow against it, which is using force to fight force. The latter reaction will work against you if his force is stronger than yours. If it so happens that you are too slow to evade the blow, you can use the principle of the martial art of Tai-Chi and absorb the blow with your body to reduce its effects. At the same time, use your mind to quickly ignore its effect on you so that unconsumed by the present pain, you can decipher without hesitation the next best possible solution out or circle around the force and move on ...
Excerpted from ARISINGS by A M Monyatsiwa. Copyright © 2014 Advent AM Monyatsiwa. Excerpted by permission of Trafford Publishing.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Table of Contents
PART 1: ARISING & FALLING BY PEOPLE,
Arising By Falling, 3,
Falling By Arising, 15,
PART 2: ARISING BY PEOPLE,
Introduction: The Art Of Dealing With People, 33,
The Futile Artifice Of Falling By People, 35,
The Artistic Science Of Arising By People, 55,
PART 3: ARISING BY ONESELF,
Arising By The Self-Management System, 115,
Arising By The Artistic Life, 141,
Arising By The Art Of Success, 153,
Arising By The Mathematics Of Life, 159,
Arising By The Art Of Financial Freedom, 175,
PART 4: ARISING BY GOD,
Religious Injunctions, 195,
The Religious Relief, 199,
The Inherent Natures, 205,
Concluding The Book, 217,
Author Biography, 223,