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Articles

How To Move Mountains

November 10, 2016

 

This month, the STRIVENT Book Club is reading Shoe Dog: A memoir by the creator of NIKE, Phil Knight. 

 

If you haven’t read this book and aren’t reading along already, I cannot recommend it enough.  It’s fantastic and shaping up to be one of my favorite books of the year. 

 

The autobiography of Phil Knight is fascinating as it tells the tale of a simple Oregonian who realizes his cathexis about a market opportunity for Japanese shoes to be sold in America.  This seemingly small college project grows and grows over time in his mind to the point where it becomes something he must absolutely take action on, and as he does, the readers are taken for a wonderfully wild ride. 

 

A quote he references time and again in the book comes from the Analects by Confucius, “Man who moves mountains begins by carrying away small stones”. 

 

At first, this quote comes up and doesn’t seem to serve much of a purpose besides a subtle reminder, almost as if the writer is talking to himself.  However, as we discussed in the Book Club this week, there is so much more behind it.

 

Phil Knight is an individual with an immeasurable amount of GRIT.  He has this ridiculously bold and audacious dream that he pursues relentlessly, regardless of the hardships and obstacles that appear on his horizon. 

 

“Man who moves mountains begins by carrying away small stones”. 

 

He has no idea what it will look like when his dream is fulfilled, he just knows that he isn’t meant for the status quo and has to live a life as authentically as he can for himself.  On that journey, he encounters complacency, doubt, fear, belittlement, and a host of other feelings and emotions.  But he doesn’t quit.

 

In fact, he keeps taking bigger risks in hopes that he’ll fail sooner than later so that he’ll have enough time to start over with the lessons he’s already learned from his first attempt. 

He has a dream, and the only thing he is sure of, is that he isn’t going to stop pursuing his dream, no matter what happens.

 

How many of us live our lives with this much conviction?  I wonder how many of us let our dreams go to the wayside for the security and comfort of a ‘normal life’. 

 

Are you here to live a normal life?

 

What would following your dreams even look like for you?

What is it your passionate about? 

What is it that you can’t stop thinking about?

What is it that excites you more than anything else?

 

Of course, you may not know the path and how to fulfill your dream right now, but…

 

“Man who moves mountains begins by carrying away small stones".

 

What's one small and simple thing can you do today that would get you just a smidge closer to your dream?

 

 

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