Facts are facts. Not reasons.

“Le coeur a ses raisons que la raison ne connait point.” ~Blaise Pascal~

(The heart has its reasons, whereof reason knows nothing.)

I came across this quote by Blaise Pascal in Madeleine L’Engle’s A Wrinkle In Time several years ago. There is a pretty good explanation for what Blaise Pascal meant on the Helium website, written by Allen Sabio. I will put the link at the end of this post and you can read further if you so wish.

This morning I was recalling one of the many incidents in my life when I was told by others “You can’t do it”, “You’re not good enough”, “It’s impossible, you’ll never make it” and similar greatly encouraging words. Those who said such things to me were doubtless well-meaning, rational and cognizant of the available facts and the prevailing environment. I am comforted by the fact that I listened to none of them. The incident I recalled occurred during the first few months of National Service in 1981, when I was undergoing training to become, first, a truck driver and ultimately a Motor Transport Non-Commissioned Officer (NCO, what are called “Specialists” today). That was what the Organization had in mind, anyway. During breaks, or periods when my fellow trainees and I had the opportunity to goldbrick, we would ask each other what our future plans were. Many of those who were with me were actually scheduled to “go on disruption” and continue their medical studies. I suppose quite a few eventually became members of the medical profession. When I shared that I aspired to join the Armed Forces as a Regular and change to the Infantry vocation, there was no small amount of derision that came my way. I suppose that derision was justified in a way, for I weighed in at a whopping 50 kilograms and almost could not be selected as a driver. One person in particular seemed to take exceptional delight in coming to me a few times a day and reminding me that I would never make it. I didn’t resent him making belittling comments a few times a day, it simply seemed strange that he couldn’t accept what I aspired to. It was my aspiration, wasn’t it?

Well, I did manage to make it to the Infantry, and I did manage to retire early after 24 years of what proved to be a rather interesting life. The point is, I didn’t go ahead so as to spite the people who kept saying I couldn’t. I went ahead because that was what I saw as my current mission in life. All the facts spoke against me. I wasn’t even classified as Combat Fit and there seemed to be no way the Army would ever approve my ridiculous request to be medically upgraded and revocationalized.

Today, I still face many people telling me I can’t do this or that, or that I’m not good enough for such-and-such. Do you think I listen to them? What about you? Is there something you are reaching for or aspiring to, but all the facts seem to say it’s impossible? Worse, do you have self-appointed realists telling you it can’t be done? Take heart! Remember, your heart has its reasons, whereof reason knows nothing. If you have a solid “Why”, you will be able to withstand any “How”.

If you’d like to read the post on Helium, the link is here: http://bit.ly/r9Fo5M

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