This is a continuation of a previous post…
The forest floor rolls out before you. You continue along the golden path and the trees get larger and the road ahead gets darker and gloomier. You stop to make an assessment of where you are and then you hear it. The trees are moaning and complaining. It’s subtle at first but you soon notice the voices are very gloomy and disconcerting.
The trees are complaining about all sorts of things and the voices vary. There are male and female voices but they all share one trait – everything they say is negative. There are complaints about birds on one breath and about the hot sun on the other. The next tree is complaining about termites while the next is upset about the endless wind.
As you walk along you find yourself drawn into the conversations. You start to slow down and the conversations drag you down. You suddenly find yourself very depressed and wanting to get all the trees to just shut up. The negativity gets worse the farther you go. Your mind goes through some scenarios and you start feeling sorry for yourself. Thoughts of Poor Me start to roll through your head and you feel like turning back.
Suddenly you do something very unexpected. You put your hands over your ears and just start running forward along the path. You run as fast as you can and soon the trees thin out and you come to a clearing. Whew… you say to yourself and you notice that the sun is out and it appears to be a beautiful day.
The golden path heads out across a meadow and then heads up into some strange looking hills. As you walk through the meadow, you notice a few trees along the path with what looks like large birds in them. As you walk closer, one of these creatures takes flight and suddenly lands on your shoulder. You strain your neck and see that it is a hideous looking flying monkey.
Fear grips you, and the beast starts talking into your ear. “Go no further,” it says in a sinister voice. You start to shake in fear, and turn your head not to look at it. As your head turns to the other shoulder, you notice another monkey landing, this one with a large bag. Suddenly he reaches into his bag and brings out some berries for you to eat. “Eat these, and you’ll become one of us,” he says in a calming voice.
He keeps up the mantra… “eat these… eat these and you’ll be able to fly.” You don’t want any of this but the fear and temptation are compelling. You look back to the first monkey and his hideous features and large claws cause a deep fear to come over you… it’s words, “go no further or you’ll die,” cause you to stop in your tracks.
A thought of being able to fly comes into your mind. If you could fly you could see where you are going… you could see the road ahead… but then you look at the hideous faces and the broken and bandaged wings. Suddenly it all makes sense… you would be able to fly but you would be trapped in these trees, unable to escape.
You make up your mind and do something incredible. You gather up your courage and brush away the monkeys. Surprisingly… they brush off easily and then you start to run again. Past the trees with more monkeys. You look back and see them taking flight and you run even faster. Soon the path leads up into the hills and a brisk wind keeps the monkeys from following.
You huff and puff your way up the path and you soon find your way deep into the hills. The path twists and turns and finally comes to a small clearing. Here before you is a huge chasm with a bridge across it. There is a gate across the bridge and a woman guard comes out. She is dressed all in black and she has a depressing look on her face. She looks deep into your eyes and says, “You must answer three questions to cross.”
You take a step back and survey the scene. The woman is staring into a glow coming from the rock outcropping. It’s like she can see your life story before her.
She becomes serious… “to pass, answer me this question. What is 4856 multiplied by 3678?”
Your mind flashes back to your elementary math class. You always have had trouble with math and without pencil and paper this seems impossible.
Then you remember that easy trick you learned from the book Arithmetricks and suddenly you have the answer you are looking for. You blurt out 17893470 and the woman’s eyes lower and a slight scowl appears on her face. She looks deeper into the glow as if looking for something much harder.
She looks up from the glow and stares intently at you… “Spell soliterraneous.” Wow! you think to yourself, you can hardly pronounce this word but some tricks you learned from the book Spelling 101help immensely. You roll the word over and over in your mind and then spell it perfectly, letter for letter.
The woman scowls and says, “The gate will only open if you can replay this list of names within 30 seconds.” Then she lists off 15 different names. Suddenly a picture forms in your mind and you find the memory techniques you learned in the Memory book come back to you. A detailed list is now like a movie playing in your mind. You repeat each name perfectly and suddenly the gate opens. The woman scowls and shrieks in anger.
You cross the bridge and continue climbing into the hills. You can see a bright glow coming from the hill tops. As you reach the peak the most incredible sight comes to your eyes. In the distance you see a wonderful city that seems to look like diamonds. The glow is bright and you suddenly realize the trip has well been worth the effort. You have never seen anything so beautiful.
The path rolls out before you as you descend the hills through a valley of flowers. You are now in a hurry and want to get to the city as soon as possible. As you enter the flower fields you notice flowers of all colors calling out to you. You see the city in the distance and keep going but something catches your eyes. The orange flowers to the right are almost on fire. You stop, and reach out and grab one. as you put it to your nose to draw in the fragrance… you start to feel sleepy.
Suddenly you find you can’t move and you soon crumple into sleepy heap. You are so tired you can’t go forward. You close your eyes and sleep for hours. As you awake you look at your watch and realize you have been asleep for over a day. You remember something about a beautiful flower and get up. It soon dawns on you that you are in the middle of a field of procrastination poppies. To get through this you must have a single vision straight ahead. You can’t look to the right or left or these insidious flowers will draw you in.
With a single focused vision you start to run towards the city. The glow gets brighter as you approach and as you come to the last little hill outside the city, you stop to marvel in the view. You can see the spires of the larger buildings and the bluish tint of the glow from all of the smaller buildings. There is a hustle and bustle and a hushed roar of excitement in the air.
You notice the path widening into many lanes as you walk along and soon you come to the main archway of the city. You take one more step and the ground beneath you starts to move. You are instantly on the move and you are wisked quickly into the glow of this amazing metropolis. The buildings all seem vaguely familiar. The names of the shops and the other businesses all have names you recognize.
You wonder to yourself… is this all a dream or have you really arrived? Is this the City of Success that you’ve dreamed about all your life? You come up to a sign post and you step off the moving roadway. Here is what you have been waiting for. The sign that explains it all. You look up and marvel at what it says. It is… continued…