The story of the Velveteen Rabbit is one of the most popular stories in American literature. Most people encounter it as children. It is one of those books that has a lot to teach adults also. One of the best lessons for adults, is that sometimes, being achieving your goals is hard and you may get hurt along the way.
“When you are Real, you don’t mind being hurt.”
Often when a person has been close to achieving her goals or reaching major milestones, she gets tired, she gets hurt and she gives up. This is sad, because often this is just the time she should not give up, but instead should push forward because success and the finish line are just ahead. Many of the most worthwhile things we do in life are hard, they involve sacrifice and pain. At the same time, these things are often the most worthwhile, rewarding and treasured experiences in our lives. Check out the following examples of things that require hard work, sacrifice and may change a person.
- obtaining a college degree
- making a marriage work
- raising children
- starting and growing a business
- caring for a sick loved one
When you are doing things like those listed just above, even if things are hard, painful or scary, you must continue to move forward and fight in order to succeed. The fact that things are hard, hurtful or scary does not matter in the grand scheme of things. You must find a way to power past the difficulty, pain and fear to do what needs to be done. When you are working to do important things, like those listed above you will fail and succeed many times along the way. Achievement often is partnered with sacrifice, pain and hard work. When you are trying to accomplish great things, or trying to do important things, you must remember that the result is worth the work required.
Early in the story of the Velveteen Rabbit the bunny hears from another toy that, “When you are Real, you don’t mind being hurt.” When it comes to us working towards our goals and trying to achieve our dreams, sometimes we will get hurt. While we may never get to a point where we do not mind being hurt, we do come to realize that being hurt is part of the game, part of the journey. Perhaps it is more accurate to say, “when you are real, when you accomplish your mission you have been hurt many times along the way and have learned to work with the pain, through the pain and in spite of the pain.” Just as people learn to live and prosper with bad vision, bad hearing or damaged limbs, you can learn to live and prosper despite the hard work, sacrifice and fear you will encounter along the way.
Be prepared that one you reach your goals, some who knew you along the way, may no longer recognize you.
The last line of the Velveteen Rabbit is “But he never knew that it really was his own Bunny, come back to look at the child who had first helped him to be Real.” This is a feeling that many who lose friends along the way can easily understand. Sometimes the friends and family members we lost along the way from dream to reality forget what we look like. Other times, we no longer recognize them. Do not let these things keep you from going to achieve your dreams and reach your goals.