If you spend your whole life waiting for the storm, you’ll never enjoy the sunshine. – Morris West
What does that mean?
To me, this quote is saying that if you spend your whole life hunkered in the bunker, you’re going to miss the sunshine and all the good times. Yes, you need to have a shelter from the storms of life. Yes, you need to prepare and be prepared. Yes, you will want to be there when the storms are raging.
However, that doesn’t mean you live there all the time. Keep an eye on the forecast, and be ready, but enjoy what life has to offer between the storms. Otherwise, you’re likely to have a less than fulfilling life, and no one wants that, right?
At least in my life, the storms are but a small portion of my life. Yes, I’ve spent time in the bunker, but I try to spend most of my time enjoying the sunshine. Yes, I get rained on a little every now and then, but I somehow, I manage to survive. How about you?
Why is a little optimism important?
I want to differentiate between being silly, and being optimistic. Being silly is looking at a line of thunderstorms and saying “I bet they will hold off and not rain on me.” Being optimistic is looking at them and saying “I’ve got about a half hour until it starts really raining hard, let’s play a bit longer!”
To me, that is the point of the quote. Don’t spend your life in the storm cellar the bunker, or whatever you call your place of refuge from life’s storms. When the storm passes, come back out and enjoy the sunshine. Spend some time on the sunny side of the street.
That will take a little more courage for those who have been roughed up by the storms. Yes, they can be rough, but not every cloud hides a tornado, not every rain cloud is waiting to throw lightning bolts at you. Yes, the optimist will get a little wet from time to time, but in the long run, they’ll have a lot more fun. Are you ready to have some fun?
Where can I apply this in my life?
To me, the most important lesson of this quote is to be prepared for the storm, but then leave it. You’re ready, so go out and enjoy the sunshine! Does that make sense? Yes there is risk outside the bunker, but there is also a very limited amount of fun in the bunker.
Where in your life are you hunkered down, afraid to come out for fear of the storm? For me, I still don’t understand women. I was fortunate enough to have the occasional woman kick in my bunker door and drag me outside. I still have no clue why any of them did it, but I’m glad for them having done so.
Are relationships your reason to hide in a bunker? Perhaps it’s public speaking (even if it’s only to answer the question posed to the class by the teacher)? Grab some paper and write down the aspects of your life where you run for your bunker, take a step back, or hide behind someone else.
Take a moment and look at your list. Is it long or short? Did you only include the bunkers you spend the most time in, or did you list all of them? Are there any which are sufficiently significant that you should probably add to the list, or any so trivial you should probably remove?
For each item on your list, add a couple lines about what sends you scurrying into your bunker. What triggers the urge to withdraw or hide? Once you have that added, go back and see if you can list a core reason behind these events.
I did gave the core reasons in my example of public speaking and dating relationships, without giving any examples because I’ve done this exercise a few times before. If you can figure out what is the underlying fear or concern which causes you to hide in your bunker, you’re half way there.
Now all that remains is to figure out how to spend less time sheltering from the possibility of the threat that a storm might come, someday, and start playing in the sunshine. You might say that as long as the forecast says less than 10% chance of rain, you’ll stay out. Eventually, that might be 20% or less, and eventually, waiting until you’re hit by raindrops.
The only real question is how to relate the weather to your particular issues. I never did (and likely never will) figure out girls, nor the details of how to enter (or exit) a relationship with one. Being married, that’s probably a good thing.
For public speaking, I have spoken before small groups at work, and given a short segment before larger audiences. If I ever needed to get deeper into public speaking, I’d just keep working on slightly larger audiences and slightly longer times.
That said, if it’s for work, I don’t get to choose the size or time, I just have to make do with what I’m given. Jumping in the deep end isn’t that big of a deal for public speaking in an area of my professional competence, but it might not be appropriate for your particular issue.
In the end, you will have to figure out what you are willing to do to start to divest yourself of the bunker mentality, and enjoy the sunshine. Finding a mentor is always a good idea, and for particularly strong issues, guidance from a professional is always an option.
But do what it takes to muster a little optimism about the weather and get out there and enjoy the sunshine! Just remember to drink plenty of fluids and wear your sunblock! 8)
From: Twitter, @_inspirational_
confirmed at : http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/m/morriswest141135.html
Photo by x-ray delta one