The editor’s letter by Kaja Perina from the June issue of my Psychology Today has really stuck with me the last few days.
It’s about new beginnings and the “American Dream.” She shares the story of how her grandparents fled Czechoslovakia in 1951 because communists had invaded. Her grandfather, Rudolf Perina had been a lawyer and a racecar driver (random combination), and he had a wife and a son (Kaja’s father) to think about when he decided to go for the goal of moving to America and building a better life for his family.
The Perina’s made it to Manhattan and it was an unbelievable struggle at first. Her grandfather knew almost no English and eagerly took a job as a dishwasher in a restaurant. Because he couldn’t read English well, he mistook sulfuric acid for dish soap and suffered third-degree burns.
That painful, frustrating setback could have easily made him reconsider his goal, and he could have chose a different, easier way of making a better life for his family. Instead, Rudolf stuck with it, eventually made his way into a professional job and achieved his goal of creating unparalleled opportunities for his family.
When summarizing how he achieved his goal, Rudolph Perina said,
“Suddenly one day I lost everything. I found myself on the border of West Germany with one briefcase, a pair of pajamas, and 5,000 worthless Czech crowns. I left everything behind, but to my surprise, left the worries behind too. This change in my life was so sudden, so astonishing, that I did not have time or reason to worry. Now I flash back all those years and remember that the worries of today will be unimportant and meaningless tomorrow.”
Fear of what life would be like for him and his family under communist rule incited Rudolph Perina to pursue his goal of moving to America.
It reminded me that fear can be our biggest motivation or our largest obstacle when it comes to going after our goals.
Let Rudolph Perina’s story be a reminder to use your fear as a source of strength, not weakness.
I achieved my three most important things for today:
Tomorrow’s 3 Most Important Things
- Go to my 5:30 a.m. Strength Endurance Training (SET) class.
- Work on some wedding stuff.
- Write a post.