Things don’t go wrong and break your heart so you can become bitter and give up. They happen to break you down and build you up so you can be all that you were intended to be – Charlie Jones

Life is not about speed but direction — purpose and destination; not where you’re coming from -your past but where you’re going – your future; not what happened to you but what happened in you, not how low you fall but how you arise and bounce back — life’s about your resilience and persistence.

Life’s not what you drive -materialism but what drives you — your passion. Life’s not how you begin but how you end. 

It’s highly imperative to understand that the outcome of your life is not determined by what you’ve been through, are going through, or would go through. 

Hence, don’t throw in the towel too soon.  You may be down today but not out, you may be facing the tempest of life in this season but there is hope in the coming season, don’t count yourself out yet. Change is definitely coming your way. Your situation may be excruciating but it is just momentarily, relief is on its way.

At times we count ourselves out too soon simply because what we deem to be our dreams, aspirations, goals, and plans, didn’t come through the way we had anticipated or figured out. 

You may have attended the best school in your days, or gotten a good foundation from your parents, or you may have excellent academic and professional qualifications, but in spite of all the accolades and prestige the doors of fortune seem to have slammed shut on you. I urge you not to give in; it's not over yet until you succeed, never count yourself out.

On January 2011, a homeless panhandler (a beggar) got his long awaited appointment with destiny in spite of years of anguish and frustration.

Ted Williams, a homeless man on the streets of Columbus, Ohio who was discovered by The Columbus Dispatch newspaper reporter. Ted became an instant celebrity after a video of his “smooth announcing radio-voice” which went viral  on the Internet landed him a job offer and a house from the Cleveland Cavaliers NBA team.  Located on a busy highway exit in Columbus, Ohio, Ted always held a hand-scripted cardboard captioned “God-given gift of voice,” offering up his sweet sounding baritone to passing commuters for spare change. 

Ted Williams, who claimed he attended a broadcasting school, and had once worked filling in on overnight shifts in Columbus at WVKO (1580 AM), a former soul-music station now offering Catholic programming, resorted to drugs and alcohol for his derailed ambition of becoming a broadcaster.  However, on this divinely orchestrated day, Ted William’s life was transformed for good. You may be down currently but i guarantee you are not out.

One of the irksome and disheartening situations of life is, having all the requisite experience , training , skills, natural endowment, and connections, and still be unemployed as a professional. Also, it is sometimes incomprehensible after spending days, weeks, or years sacrificing, expecting a big break in life, and still experiences a setback.

Nonetheless, don't count yourself out. Though the tunnel may seem dark presently, lookout for the flicker of light at the end of the tunnel.

At times in life the harder your troubles, the greater the glory. That is to say, the intensity of your pain, determines the gravity of your breakthrough .Remember, everything we go through on earth as humans, tend to prepare us for greatness.  The key word here is PREPARATION. 

Speaking about preparation in his field of play, Canadian retired professional basketball player, eight-time NBA All-Star and a two-time recipient of the NBA Most Valuable Player Award, Steve Nash admonished that, "you have to rely on your preparation.

You’ve  got to really be passionate and try to prepare more than anyone else, and put yourself in a position to succeed, and when the moment comes you got to enjoy, relax, breathe and rely on your preparation so that you can perform and not be anxious or filled with doubt."

Most times, we expect big breaks to come into our lives to help us catch our breath, but the truth is that we may not be able to handle a greater level of success if the necessary capacity needed to sustain the success is not present.  See, the principles of life are the same on every level in life—small or great, beginning or advanced. For instance, the same Isaac Newton’s Laws of Motion you are taught in Physics class in the first year of high school is the same law (principle) you would apply on a doctoral level albeit on a higher dimension.

Hence, while you are waiting for your ship to come in, never count yourself out. Rather, prepare the dock for the ship.  Abraham Lincoln, the 16th President of the United States of America declared, “I will study and get ready, and perhaps my chance will come.” 

Someone once said, “It is better to be prepared and not have an opportunity than to have an opportunity and not be prepared.”  Ted Williams, the panhandler from Columbus, Ohio had the necessary skill set needed for the opportunity which presented itself that is why he succeeded.  Success is when preparation meets opportunity.  The following are few ideas to help you prepare while you wait:

•Ensure You Are At The Right Place – There are a whole lot of square pegs in round holes in society today.  Most people want to be everybody else except themselves.  While waiting, you have to really do some soul searching to be certain that you are properly prepared and positioned for succeed when the time comes.  Remember, your success in life is predicated in running in your own lane not in someone’s lane. Simply put, be yourself!

American television personality, fashion designer, and author, Lauren Conrad advised that , "there is never just one thing that leads to success for anyone. I feel it always a combination of passion, dedication, hard work, and being in the right place at the right time."

•Discover and Develop Your Talents— While you are going through the preparation season of your life, seek to ensure that you’ve discovered your natural endowment, then start to hone it by serving a worthy cause. Formal education, reading of good books, and mentoring can also help you sharpen your gifts.  Majority of people go to school to find their gifts and talent or to learn a skill instead of discovering their gifts and then going to school to nurture them. Ken Robinson, English author, speaker and international advisor on education believes that “you create your life, and you can recreate it, too. In times of economic downturn and uncertainty, it's more important than ever to look deep inside yourself to fathom the sort of life you really want to lead and the talents and passions that can make that possible."

•Be Ready to Deploy Your Gifts and Talents—An African maxim says, “Tomorrow belongs to the people who prepare for it today.”  You have to be ready while you are waiting for your ship to dock.  Scottish Industrialist and philanthropist, Andrew Carnegie believed, “You can’t push anyone up the ladder unless he is ready to climb himself.” Be future ready!

•Never Give Up—Be resilient in all that you do.  In other words, have the “bouncing back” or the “nevertheless” attitude.  Someone once said, “It’s not how many times you fall that matters, it’s how many times you get back up.” Regardless of the challenges confronting you presently, never, never, never give up!

• Know Your Turn Will Come – It possible to have your time come in life and not be your turn but when your time and turn is right, nothing can impede your success. "All human wisdom is summed up in two words; wait and hope," says Alexandre Dumas.

Like Ted Williams, you may be destined for greatness with immeasurable gifts, dreams, purpose, goals, and plans buried within you waiting for  manifestation but your current circumstances does not appear mirror what you see in your spirit about your life. I urge you not to give up, it is not over yet, you may be down but definitely not out!

You may have lost a job which you’ve sacrificed all of your life and time, expecting to get back a reward but have downsized unexpected.

You may have been taken for a ride after years of helping a love one get to the pinnacle of life but have been paid back with ingratitude.

You may have sacrificed your resources and destiny to raise a child but that child has turned his/her back on you when you needed them most.

You may have been told by the doctors that you have a terminal disease and you think all is lost, but hold up your head high and don't count yourself out.

Regardless of what your story is in life remember, life is live in seasons, hence, you may presently  going through tough times but there is another season emerging ahead of you with your breakthrough and the expected break of relief .

It is difficult to hope for a bright future when life has you on the ropes but true great people are made in the trenches of pain and despondency.  You may not know how you would get out of the current predicament you've found yourself in, nevertheless don't count yourself out.

Canadian writer, famous speaker, leadership expert and a former Litigation lawyer, Robin S. Sharma remarked, “I’ve had some wins. And been knocked down with defeats. Glimpsed views from the top of the mountain. And walked through the darkest of valleys. But through this entire ride called 'a life' – I've refused to give up."

Never give up, you may be down but definitely not out. Push beyond the norm to discover your greatness!

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