Turn Stumbling Blocks into Stepping Stones

If I could share 500 words to inspire, this is the important wisdom I'd want to pass along to others...

  • If your Today is just a repeat of your Yesterday and your Tomorrow is just going to be a repeat of Today, what is the point? Life must be filled with progress, every single day. Stretching yourself toward your goals and advances, even small wins are significant if they move you forward toward a better life. Love, passion and joy await your embrace. Make some noise with your life, let somebody know you are here and what you feel, dream and care about matters.

    The alternative is simply a rehearsal for your own death.
    The beautiful, continuing success of Changes for New Hope, like any success in life, was built on a series of failures. Every world championship team lost many games before becoming world champions. Greatness is built on the ashes of failure after failure. We all know the story of Thomas Edison and his previous 10,000 attempts to make a light bulb before he found a process that worked. Colonel Sanders was rejected over 1,000 times before someone agreed to use his secret recipe. Failure after failure was the path to ultimate success and greatness as long as it is blended with tenacity and perseverance.
    I am not embarrassed by my failures, in fact, I embrace them as stumbling blocks that I turned into stepping stones. I climbed on top of those stepping stones and now I can see farther than I ever could before. Every disappointment pushed me closer to the realization of my vision to serve the destitute children of these Andes. I am grateful for those bitter experiences. I now allow new challenges to further build my inner strengths. Multitudes of failures simply mean someone has tried to succeed a multitude of times. The only way to never fail is to never try. When you jettison fears and the head goblins, your life unfolds to allow you everything your life can be. You deserve that life, now don’t you?

    The best news is that every piece of the puzzle you need to step into the life that you have always wanted for yourself is here. You possess everything you need to make it happen, though you may now be aware of it. All the pieces are there. Perhaps you never noticed because they were all in disarray. The job responsibilities, family issues, bills, the odd noise the car is making, the television, waiting for the doctor to call you with test results, all seem to get in the way of you rearranging the pieces of your life into a recognizable semblance of happiness and contentment. Those things may always be there, but what is lacking is the map to rearrange your life to make the pieces come together. The bite of failures melt in the face of gratitude. You can’t be grateful and bitter about the same life at the same time can you? Unless you are reading this from the grave, you have at least one thing to be grateful for.

    Several years ago my own list was a short one too. I was a day trader on the NASDAQ during the worst market crash since the Great Depression. I was losing everything, including my family, every sense of security and happiness. In the darkest moments I recalled visiting destitute children in tiny villages in the jungles of Nicaragua a few years earlier and remembered how horrific their desperation was. I also recalled promising myself that I would do something about it. I had something to be grateful for. As the world was crumbling around me, I sold what was left and unplugged from my American life, opting for the Peruvian Andes where within a year I had created a project to reach children living in destitution and despair. I used my savings to develop Changes for New Hope and found a life of daily gratitude, profound love, compassion and a special purpose.

    The pieces were right there in front of me all along. I only had to rearrange them to have a life that meant something. Life still holds many challenges, tests, disappointments and upsets. They are only stumbling blocks that become stepping stones as I step onto them and see further than I ever could before. If I can do it, I know you can too. Trust me.

    Jim Killon

    Jim Killon is an American born humanitarian, author/writer, social concern photojournalist, artist and motivational speaker. In 2009 he left his native Baltimore and arrived in the Peruvian Andes where he fulfilled a dream and vision to help children living in destitution and despair. Today his project, Changes for New Hope reaches over 2000 children, bringing them value based inspiration through his "Do the Right Thing" initiative, art projects that build self esteem and have been exhibited in national museums, and the ubiquitous anemia and malnutrition issues are being addressed with vitamin distribution and anti-parasite medicine. Jim shares that apathy is humanity's most profound humiliation. No one can change the world but each of us can change a piece of it and help the less fortunate if we make it a priority.

    For more information, please visit changesfornewhope.org.

    View all posts by Jim Killon.

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