It was too late. I had blundered terribly. A mistake that left me feeling regret and remorse. By now, the the voice of accusation had evidence against me. Every minute I was reminded of my shortcomings. Someone so precious to me.
How could I let my fears and anxiety get the better of me? How could I take such a great risk because of fears? Who was I and what kind of man had I become? Was I the same person and would I ever be perceived as the man I was before?
As I looked down at myself in shame, wondering what they future would be for me, two voices began a conversation in my head. One of those voices was mine. I listened to the other tell me a story and it is this story I summarize below
The Other Voice Speaking
Let me tell you a story about a Walking Man.
He is a man that walks. All his life he walks. He has walked miles from the time of his birth and will do so till the time of his death. One day, something unusual happened within a 100 yard (or 100m) distance of a hallway he was walking through.
In this narrow hallway, the walking man was striding joyfully as “usual.” One step at a time he walked. But when he reached the middle of the hallway, he fell. He tripped by himself and fell.
Yes, he did. But!, within the next 30 seconds or so that followed, he go got up and walked as “usual” until he went through the next door that was being opened to him. We don’t know what happened after that. Let me ask you this.
Question: Was this man “a walking man who falls” or “a falling man who walks?”
The Answer: Neither! The answer is neither of the two options. He is NOT a walking man who falls or a falling man who walks. He is quite simply A Walking Man. He is simply a walking man who just happened to stumble and fall. If your answer was “a walking man who falls,” you missed the “s” in falls.
Both the walking man who falls and a falling man who walks are perspectives and perceptions, but NOT the Walking Man’s identity. He is simply a Walking Man, even if he falls or swims. He is still a man who walks.
~End of Story~
So, what does this have to do with me or you? What does it have to do with your work, project, and developing a vision?
Well, that’s simple.
You see, you are the Walking man. You messed up. You blundered. You took a hit or a hit found you. You came in after a rough weekend. Started the work week with baggage from last week. You were one of those female engineers at Uber who had to leave perhaps because of organizational culture toward women.
You are back to the working with the same pessimistic boss who only sees what you do wrong. You got passed up for promotion though, “we all know” you deserve it. You hurt someone you cared about and though you tried to make it right, guilt is eating you up. You are between a rock and a hard place. You losing hope because things seem to be going under. Someone stole your “thunder” and hence, the credit due you.
But know this. Regardless of what happened, what was said, or done to trip you of the career, business, or success ladder, you are still who you are. You are still A Walking Man. That includes you ladies. You don’t hear it but they say it— “She is the man.”
That’s right, you are a Walking Man because even you ladies can do a man’s job. Mrs. Mom said, “And even better.” You are still a visionary, inventor, skilled software engineer, skilled, talented script writer, phenomenal teacher, social evangelist, emerging artists…just to name a few. That’s just who you are on the inside.
Even if you were responsible for the problems that transpired, even if you blundered beyond repair, hurt another beyond amend, sinned beyond forgiveness if there is such a thing, you are still the visionary, pioneer, leader, or entrepreneur who was and who is, and who will continue to be.
You might choose to stay down, like the walking man who “just” happened to fall, but it doesn’t change who you are. That is a walking man or woman. Regardless, of what happens (yes happens not happened), the mistake of the past and the errors of your youth, you still are the walking man. You still are the walking woman.
Before the hallway, the man is walking. After the fall, the man is STILL walking. The fall and rising up is only within those 30 seconds of his life. The question to ask is this:
- Did his fall affect his identity before the fall actually happened? Did the fall affect his identity before he got to that hallway?
- After the fall and his walking again, did that fall change the fact that he is a man who walks and who is still walking?
Sure, he will walk mindfully, but still be a mindful walking man. That’s a life experience richer and wiser. There it is, mindful yet walking. He is still a walking man irrespective of the adjectives placed in front of that walking identity. If its bad, it can be changed.
Most likely, those thoughts of failure, regret, hurt, and falling behind will occasionally return to prank your emotions into fear, tears, and depression. But that’s alright. When the show up knocking on your mind and heart, just tell that backbiter and its messenger this:
I am not a walking man who falls or a falling man who walks. I am quite simply a walking man. I am a walking man who just happened to fall. Though the falling is part of life, to my identity however, falling is a very rare occurrence. Because at the end of the day, regardless of what happens, I Am and Will always be a walking man. And all I have to do, is remember who I am—a Walking Man.
That’s right—only remember!
Only remember, whatever that means for you in terms of work, productivity, work ethic, and self-esteem. You still are the same smart, intuitive, noble, kind, grateful, shrewd, caring…person you have always been. You still have your craft.
Don’t let anyone or anything use that “fall” to define you. Yes, it’s true that you fell that time. But the truth is that you are not a walking man or woman who falls or a falling man/woman who walks. You simply are a walking man. You are simply a walking woman.
So, just keep on walking as you keep on hustling. There is hope. You are still breathing.
In your weakness, turn to God. He will help you carry your heavy load. He was the other voice speaking in my heart. He will walk with you through the valley of the shadow of death. He will give you peace.
He said, “Be of good cheer; for I have overcome the world (John 16:33).” God loves you with an everlasting love. He really does. Always remember to turn to him and his will help you. He is your salvation. Invite him into your life and into your heart.
Wishing you a week full of good health and prosperity. May opportunities flow to you this week like a river running free.