Feel Like You're Getting Nowhere? You're Gathering the Sand

I spend a healthy chunk of my time feeling like I’m a little hamster in a wheel. I’m running, running, running, but I’m getting nowhere. I step off, and it feels like I’m in the exact same place.

Oh, the frustration of those moments. “Crap!” I cry out. “Nothing has changed. I’m no closer to my goal than before I started.”

And the kicker? It’s not true. Of course, it’s not true. I am in a different place. It looks and feels similar, but it is not the same. I know more. I have experienced more. I recognize more and deeper facets of my path and goals. I have spent time marshaling my resources so I can put them to work once I am ready.

In essence, instead of wasting my energy, I have been gathering sand.

Sand at the ocean
Virginia Beach sand, ready for gathering

Imagine, if you will, that you are at the beach and you and your friend or cousin or kid brother want to build a sand castle. You don’t start building immediately. First, you have to gather a mound of sand. It will be the raw material with which you will erect your creation. You can’t build a palace without the components. You need tools and you need the raw stuff with which you will create. So, you spend time putting it all together before even one pat down of the mound that will eventually stand like a turret or a castle wall.

When you feel like you are mired in the muck and when you feel like nothing is developing and that you are getting nowhere on your projects, I encourage you to stop. Take stock. See if instead of being the hamster, perhaps you are building an enormous castle. Take note of the resources you now have at your command. Identify your helpers, the members of your sand castle building team. Learn and name your tools (the plastic shovels, the rectangular molds, the buckets to carry the water of the sand castle-building trade). Write them down. Give them their due.

And then when you are ready, you can deploy them to help you achieve your goals. Remember, it doesn’t matter what those goals might be. This process of marshaling your resources, identifying them, and deploying them can work for any endeavor.

Good luck, and may you have calm seas, fair winds, and sunny skies.

Sending you all my love.

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