keep-calm-and-follow-through-8It’s not uncommon that the prep work necessary to achieve something takes exponentially more time than the actual achievement. Just to apply for the Boston Marathon you have to have run at least one marathon within the qualifying time limits. So you first learn how to run a marathon, then run one to get a time, probably need to run more to improve your time to within the necessary limits, and then you can apply, which doesn’t even guarantee that you’ll get into the race!  And none of that prep guarantees that you’ll get in or that you’ll win. Athletes all over the world are going through the last bits of prep to qualify for the Olympics and for everyone one that goes there are dozens who tried and didn’t make it. Not this time anyway.

Working towards a spiritual goal is often similar to this. The reality that learning a spiritual technique or healing modality doesn’t in itself achieve the goal of putting us on our path can be frustrating. Yes, these are necessary for those in service, for those whose path is to help others, but it like buying the right shoes for the race. Once you have that it’s time to start the work. Not the work of running the race, the work of prepping so you can run the race. Because there’s a lot more to things than having the right equipment.  Once you have the equipment you can begin to learn how it feels to use it, how you use it as compared to the theory of how it is to be used, what works best for you, what you might need to do to supplement the basic techniques and tools, and so on.

Once you have all that you start to see the path ahead. Practicing itself isn’t enough to keep people motivated.  Ask any athlete if the joy of their sport gets them up out of bed for the 213th day in a row at 3am to make a restricted diet breakfast and start their first of many workouts for the day. If it were there would be no need for coaches, for motivational speeches, for heavy doses of will power, shouting, swearing, cursing, and every other trick of the trade which gets you through the really hard stretches where all you want to do is quit. And even after all that, you might not make the cut. You might not become rich, famous, with endorsements and speaking engagements. You might fall short and have to keep trying again. Having a passion, being on your spiritual path isn’t always easy, it isn’t always fun, it won’t necessarily make you a ton of money over night. But if it’s what you truly want, if you’re willing to really look at how much prep work is involved, then it can be one of the most fulfilling ways to live.