March 27, 2021

Get busy living, or get busy dying


Dufresne tunneled out of the worst prison in history, one handful of cement at a time. Each morning he would stroll along, whistling softly, hands in both pockets, while the concrete grit trickled out of his pant legs and onto the earth.

Andy literally toted his wall out into the exercise yard, one handful at a time.

His story is my favorite allegory in all of film. It reminds us that there is always a way out. It may be a slow, long and incremental journey, but there is always a way out.

If, each day, we take a small step toward change.
If, each day we progress shovelful by shovelful with each practice.
If, each day, we figure out how to do something so small and gradual, that it almost looks like we are doing nothing.

If, each day, we keep chipping away at even a little bit of the mass in front of us, then the promised land awaits.

Because despite our greatest ambitious, we can’t always take a leap. We can only advance by short and slow steps.

And that’s okay. Patience is the most underrated strategy for achieving almost anything in this life. If we can train ourselves to be satisfied with each bite of the carrot, chewing just a bit more than we had before, then not only will we reach our destination, but we will enjoy the hell out of the journey.

Just know this. The best way to do really big things is to start with deceptively small things.

If your frustration is ballooning beyond containment, then grab a handful of rocks out of that wall.

And trust it will lead to the way out.

Will you reach the promised land through a crescendo of slow successes?

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