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Amazing Possibilities!

  • Writer's pictureMatthew Kelly

Never Stay Discouraged

“Never get discouraged,” I used to say. But then I realized that we all do get discouraged from time to time, and that’s okay. For whatever reason it is part of the journey.

Now, when I meet people who are trying to do good in this world, I always leave them with these words, “Never stay discouraged. You will get discouraged, that’s life, part of humanity, comes with the territory of trying to do good in this world. But people desperately need what you are doing, so never stay discouraged for long.”

I was nineteen years old when I started speaking and writing. How it all happened is baffling to me as I look back now. I grew up in Australia and before my first trip to Europe, my spiritual mentor took me aside one day and said, “Promise me you will never forget what I am about to tell you. You will only ever see less than one percent of the impact you have on people’s lives. Reflect on that whenever you get discouraged.”

The reason I am sharing this with you now is because I get discouraged myself at times, and I know you will get discouraged at times too. My own discouragement has taught me never to miss an opportunity to encourage others.

In your quest to fill your life with Holy Moments you will encounter skeptics, cynics, critics, people who hate you for no good reason. Others will gossip about you, and some will maliciously attack you in ways you never imagined. I know because this has happened to me, and I have witnessed it happen to many others. I am telling you because I don’t want you to be blindsided by it.

Just keep in mind that there has always been a battle between good and evil in this world. Best to put yourself on the right side of that battle. But even when things seem dark, even when you are discouraged, don’t let discouragement possess you. Find a way to exorcise your discouragement daily.

I have found that discouragement is a devil that needs to be driven from our lives with inspiration. I need a daily dose of inspiration: books, movies, music, quotes, friends, family, history, prayer, reflection, meditation, and laughter, always laughter. Find the inspiration you need and drink from those waters each day.

You will get discouraged, just don’t stay discouraged. Rest if you need to rest, take a break by all means, seek inspiration, remember you are not in this alone, and then, press on!

Decide here and now, today, that you will do your little part to bring more Holy Moments to this world. Say to yourself over and again, “I will not leave my part undone.”

Persevere when people criticize you. Persevere when the demons of your past try to lure you back to their darkness. Persevere when your inner critic tries to make you feel like you are unworthy. We all need what we don’t deserve, and God is glad to give it to us.

You may be able to do very little, that’s okay, persist in doing the little you can do. There is great satisfaction in persistence. It’s hard to describe. But after doing something worthwhile for many years, persisting at it no matter what, you experience a delightful pleasure just at the knowing that you have persisted through good times and bad.

Nothing significant can be accomplished without perseverance. “Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan 'Press On!' has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race,” was Calvin Coolidge’s observation.

So, press on! One Holy Moment at a time.

Matthew Kelly

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