By Wael Abdelgawad | WaelAbdelgawad.com
You don’t to be enormously talented, highly intelligent, rich or gifted to succeed in life. You just have to persist in pursuit of your goals and not give up, and of course trust in God to safeguard you along the path.
After writing for decades, this year I finally met one of my lifelong goals: publication of my first novel, Pieces of a Dream. And I’m not stopping there. I intend to publish at least four more books this year God willing: The Repeaters, Zaid Karim Private Investigator, a book of love poetry, and a collection of essays about faith and hope. After that there are four more novels in the queue for next year. They’ve already been written, and just need some organization, editing and filling out.
The journey to become a published author has not been easy. I’ve made tremendous sacrifices. I’ve given up much of my social life, cut back on my martial arts training (though I did not quit!), and given up a sizeable portion of my income to focus on writing. There have been many points along the journey when I could have quit, and some would say should have quit. But I persisted. Will my persistence pay off financially? I don’t know yet. It’s too soon to tell.
What I can say without a doubt, however, is that it has paid off in my heart. I feel satisfied and rewarded in a fundamental way. I feel at ease with my choice. Whereas in the past I would have been stressed out about the drop in my income, right now I am not, because I feel it was worth it, and because I still believe in this path I am on.
I’m not boasting or pointing to myself as some great success story. Not at all. I’m just saying that if you have some cherished dream, some lifelong goal that you deeply want to achieve, the only way to get there is to persist and not give up.
I practice several martial arts, but my core art is Hapkido, a Korean art whose name means “harmonious energy way.” One of the three principles of Hapkido is the water principle. Again, water does not stop. It fills an empty space and flows around an obstacle. It is truly unstoppable. If the rain kept on coming, even the biggest dam would collapse.
Water finds a way forward. If the way does not exist, water carves, cuts and rises until it makes a way.
It’s natural to get discouraged, to doubt yourself, to wonder why you are on this path or whether you will ever achieve your goal. That’s okay. Wonder, but persist. Keep putting one foot in front of the other. Keep moving forward. That is the challenge of being human. That is the challenge of life.