The cold turbulent winds of winter have ceased. For months it settled on the earth, the greenness of life faded, trees in full bloom now barren; and we lock ourselves indoors or in heavy coats craving protection from the elements. Of such too is the winter of life - cold, lonesome, desperate, tragic. A time of shaken confidence, unanswered prayers and blurred vision. Spring is now here.
Advice & Help

Spring Into Action

The cold turbulent winds of winter have ceased. For months it settled on the earth, the greenness of life faded, trees in full bloom now barren; and we lock ourselves indoors or in heavy coats craving protection from the elements. Of such too is the winter of life – cold, lonesome, desperate, tragic. A time of shaken confidence, unanswered prayers and blurred vision. Spring is now here. A welcome respite from the bleak landscape that winter brought. The snow is melting, wild daisies are blooming and the birds are returning from their retreat in warmer climes. Spring is a season of life and bounteous beauty. It is the season of opportunity and activity. It is not time to linger and ponder the success or failure of past seasons but rather a time to launch with seeds of commitment, knowledge and persistence.

A time to choose
When the dark clouds of winter have lifted and the warmth of spring has arrived, we are left with one of the most powerful gifts given to us by the creator – the power to choose. We can choose to wallow in self pity because of the severity of the winter or choose to be encouraged by the new opportunities available to us. We can chose to be put down by the harsh opinions of others or instead chose to acknowledge our greatness and our innate ability to surmount any challenge that life may throw at us. As much as we despise them, we can choose the familiarity of our current circumstances or instead choose to be courageous and risk the chance of failure in pursuit of a better tomorrow. The winters in your life will inevitably give way to spring. When it does, I encourage you to choose wisely. Chose industry over indolence, hope over despair, and courage over fear.

A time for action
Too many spend springtime carelessly, contemplating the rigors of the past winter of life. Some see it as a time of rest; a time to enjoy the sun shining through the dark clouds which are lifting from their lives. Others see it as leisure time – Bar-B-Q’s, picnics and the like.

The bright warm sun, the gentle breezes and the soggy fertile fields that spring brings require concerted, earnest, consistent effort. It is only through honest hard work that one is able to reap the rewards from the opportunities that life presents us. For its part, life doesn’t care one way or another if we make use of the opportunities. We are free to take action. We are free to

clear the weeds and rocks and till the soil and plant the seeds to enjoy a great harvest in the fall. Failure to take no action guarantees that you will be hungry in the fall. Half-hearted efforts lead to a mediocre life while taking action translates into a full storehouse. It is time to enroll in a class, switch careers, start a business, and adopt healthier habits in order to live the life we dream of.

A time for faith
While spring only guarantees that opportunities to recover from the brutal winters exists for us and that through hard work we can convert those opportunities into results, life provides no assurances that our concerted efforts will reap bountiful results. Life’s snowstorms could easily negate the massive effort we made to turn the opportunities into results. Conversely, failure to make an effort will most definitely guarantee no results come harvest time. As Jim Rhon says, “much of the effort and opportunity of springtime rests in the depth and degree of our faith.” Faith is the fertilizer that will help your seed to resist the weeds of discouragement, setbacks and poisonous opinions. Though great effort is required, we must remember the caution from the Good Book; “work without faith is dead.”

Faith is also the promise of the universe that states that “as a man sow, so shall he reap.” It is through this promise that in faith we are able to endure the pain of effort to reap the rewards of the opportunities spring offer.

The truth is that each day our life is like a new season of spring given to us. Constantly reliving yesterday’s failures or focusing only on the today’s challenges robs us of tomorrow’s opportunities. My challenge to you is to seize each new day of spring armed with seeds of positive thoughts, and an optimistic outlook coupled with determined effort to create the life of your dreams.

Keep on Pushing!

About the author

Devon Harris

Devon Harris was a member of the Jamaican Bobsleigh team and competed in three Winter Olympics; he later joined the army and attended the Royal Military Academy in Sandhurst. Born on Christmas Day, 1964 and raised in a violent ghetto environment in Kingston, Jamaica, the greatest gift Devon Harris ever received was the belief that a positive attitude and a never say die philosophy would carry him farther than a sense of injustice and a heart filled with anger.A graduate of the prestigious Royal Military Academy Sandhurst in England, Devon received a Queen’s Commission in December 1985 and served in the officer corps of the Jamaica Defence Force until December 1992 when he retired as a Captain.At the heart of Devon’s message are the lessons he has learned of the power of persistence over all sorts of obstacles in order to live one's best life. His mission is to bring this message of how everyone can keep on pushing and working for their dreams every day of their professional as well as personal lives.Encouraged by his commanding officer, Devon tried out for and was selected to the first Jamaican bobsled team which competed in the 1988 Olympic Games in Calgary, Canada. Their exploits inspired the Disney blockbuster movie Cool Runnings. Devon also competed in and was captain of the 1992 Winter Olympic Games in Albertville, France and the 1998 Games in Nagano, Japan.The Keep On Pushing Foundation which he founded in 2006 aims to support and enhance the education of kids in disadvantaged communities around the globe by providing practical solutions to the challenges that are preventing them from getting educated.Through the Keep on Pushing Foundation, Devon also works with Right to Play as an athlete ambassador, supporting Right to Play’s efforts in using sports and play in refugee camps around the world to enhance child development and build community capacity.As an ex-serviceman, Devon understands the commitment, sense of duty and sacrifices made by those who volunteer to serve. As a private citizen he is cognizant of the fact that the freedoms he enjoys are paid for by the courage and sacrifice of these men and women. As a result he has also devoted time to visit the troops serving in the Persian Gulf.He is the author of the motivational children’s book, Yes, I Can! and the semi-auto-biographical motivational book Keep On Pushing: Hot Lesson From Cool Runnings.