Dont Deal in If

There once was a newcomer to town; he desperately searched for a house to dwell within. A friend of his took him to see an old dilapidated building. Then he said to the newcomer, "If only this house had a roof, then it could be a home for you close to my own. Your family could also live quite comfortably here, as well—if only it had an extra room."

The newcomer looked at his companion and said, "Yes, it would be nice to live near friends, no doubt about that, but my dear friend, you cannot live in 'if.'"

Mathnawi II, 739-742

It's nice to hope for well and good, yet at some point "what ifs" have to give way to concrete realities. A goal is only a dream until hard work actually makes it happen. Nothing ever came to a dreamer without him at least holding out his hand to receive it. This is the least amount of effort one can do. A life jacket may be thrown to you in the churning ocean of life, yet how many never do more than look at the possibilities that the life jacket represents—and then drown in their own fantasies? Direct your attention at what will keep you afloat, yet also make an effort to take a hold of it, and then start to swim toward the shore! The seeker finds because he's willing to go out on the road. Rumi shows us that nobody ever succeeded in this world by relying only on "if."

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