Once upon a time there was a man who stopped and sat down on the path when he seemed to be just on the verge of figuring some of it out. He had the peculiar sense that some answers were in front of him the whole time--or, at the very least, inside him, just waiting to be dug out and exposed.
This caused a great deal of consternation, as the man had spent years wandering and wondering, and he was getting the distinct sensation that he did not have as much time as he had always assumed.
He was also aware of the subtle shift of consciousness as he was aging, and that what was often thought of as wisdom was merely a stronger nose for death.
What troubled him on a daily basis--as the weeks and months passed without seeming to make progress--were the same questions: "Am I any good at all? Have I been fooling myself and others all this time? Has something changed in my work, demeanor, or connectedness that doesn't permit me to utilize the tools and gifts I've been given?"
These were good questions to ask, but he knew that they were all informed by his old foes, Doubt and Fear. He'd battled Doubt and Fear with varying degrees of success for as long as he could remember, but his record was improving with age.
The secret--he reminded himself--has always been, and will remain this: Tenacity triumphs over the short-lived hardships, difficulties, and disappointments. The only way to prevail is to rage forward. To go berserk on the inertia. To change and molt and grow.
He stood up and stubbed out his enemies again. He took a deep breath, because this frequent metamorphosis is so much more difficult than treading water, keeping one's familiar skin, or letting the curiosity atrophy.
He looked at the vanishing point of the path far into the horizon and decided, again, to keep going.