This summer I took my family to a beautiful cottage in Northern Quebec. We were right on the lake, the view was breath taking. I figured we would swim, play games, do a little boating maybe explore the area through a few hikes. We did do all this, but it wasn’t the highlight for my 11 year old son.
On the second day I went into the small town and picked him up a Yo-Yo. It’s a toy developed more then 400 years ago. Hasn’t really changed in 4 centuries. Well, for Matthew, that was it. He didn’t stop working on it, making up tricks and best of all putting on shows synchronized to music. It was one of the high points for all of us. Every day there was something new to see!
I found the Yo-Yo the other day and it it made me think, aren’t our lives a lot like Yo-Yo’s. I mean there are ups and downs and sometimes we have to do tricks to get through. At first glance we all think that playing with a Yo-Yo is easy. I mean it looks that way… from a distance. The reality is, it’s pretty difficult. Especially to truly master it. Here’s the thing, sometimes you flick the toy down and it get’s stuck, it won’t come back up. You may try and spin it back but it just sits there, staring at you. almost laughing. You think “I can’t even make a silly toy come back to me. Many of us will put it down and walk away. Call it a dumb toy or say “I can’t do it” and chalk it up to a waste of time. It’s like the problems and challenges we face in life. When we get hit with a down cycle many of us just walk away and give up, or what’s worse we slip into anger and depression.
Then there others who will pick the yo-yo back up and re-wrap the string and try again. A successful and happy life is about picking the yo-yo back up and re-wrapping the string. Trying again. There are some tricks like “walking the dog” that are easy and some like “the bell tower” that are really hard. You may not master them all. That’s ok. Don’t beat yourself up. You need to try, sometimes you will get really good at some and other times you just need to forget the ones that frustrate you (friends, habits, relationships, negative people) and try something new. You have to understand that sometimes “things” may look easy and when you try them they ARE hard or not for you. That’s cool. That’s part of the learning process. It doesn’t mean you or your life should be considered a failure.
Understand this, the Yo-Yo wants you to play with it. It wants to be flipped through the air, spun fast and held in the palm of your hand. Equally, life wants you to succeed. Life though, needs as much practice as the Yo-Yo. There are only a few Yo-Yo masters out there. They can’t do all the tricks but they can do a few really, really well. It wasn’t a quick thing, it took time and tons of failures. Treat life like that. Don’t give up, try! Make sure though you have the wisdom to know when to try the next trick.