Author: Marsha Norman
Critic: Dr Glenville Ashby
Marsha Norman sets the tone with perfect imagery. A bicycle represents movement, a means of taking a rider to a specific destination. And without a single misstep, Get on the Bike, a masterfully constructed template, takes us to a desired destination, one of success and profound satisfaction.
Having served in public and private sectors throughout the Caribbean, her experiential knowledge in human resource and development is evident. She is well aware of the complex impulses that impact the will to succeed. She forays into psychology and identifies fear as a destructive emotion that paralyzes its victims.
It is a phantom that plagues the mind and the body. Ideas never bear fruit and a sense of dread and failure consumes the last vestige of libido (will to strive).
However, it is in the application of biblical lore that Norman excels. Age-old axioms and biblical tales are deciphered and used as a compass toward development and growth.
In fact, her detailed study of David’s preeminent rise in Israel, serves as the cornerstone of her thesis. She extols his leadership and interpersonal skills.
“The Davidic Principle,” she argues, shows us that we should make the most of our opportunities. David decided to “go for it” and he made the most of this life-changing encounter with Goliath…David knew the enormity of the situation and he was prepared. His was a “big deal.” We need to know when a “get on the bike moment” represents the big deal.”
Norman cautions against naysayers, many of whom relish the thought of us failing. We must guard against poisonous minds and rattlebrained dribble, she argues. “Some people even become angry as we attempt to get on the bike. They try to cover their anger as a form of assistance, telling us they just do not want us to fail.”
She instructively adds, “Nothing is wrong in failing at a particular point in the journey. Failure just means that we had the courage to try.”
In missed opportunities we are advised against “a never ending cycle of self-loathing, depression and fear.”
We must be focused, poised and ready to capitalize on the right moment.
Preparedness is the sine qua non of success. Passion, drive and developing a personal brand are essential. She explains, “Personal brand is what comes to mind when others think about us or when they see us. It is similar to a corporate brand…A personal brand can also be developed. We do have natural abilities but over time with proper work ethics, we can develop a very personal brand just as David did.”
Skill, purposefulness, a clear vision, and unbending resolve are also mandatory.
Moreover, we must thirst for perfection. The point of fact is that the most illustrious among us have worked tirelessly to achieve their goals. Norman challenges the commonly held belief that talent is the sole requisite for success and decries the false notion “that if we are talented in a particular area it means we do not have to work hard.”
Still, we must be mindful that Providence can deliver many a curved ball. We are oftentimes tested and harangued. Amid tumultuous times, we must reassess our circumstances and options as we remain rooted in our mission.
“Finish the job!” she exhorts. “Some people are good starters but lose interest in the middle of the journey. Some are able to reach the middle but can never reach the end.”
And with success comes responsibility to self and community. She is anecdotal as she unveils the transformative power of service and gratitude.
“At a certain workplace,” she recalls, “I was the “mentee” and I am forever grateful to my now deceased mentor…My boss ensured that the work that I was given was just a little above what I could naturally do. This approach caused development.” She later relates the “most lasting memory of my mentor [that was] not work-related. Norman was given with “the most beautiful little white dress one had ever seen” for her daughter’s christening.
“In relationships, it is the giving of self which is important, the bonding,” she says.
She ends with enduring, indelible words, “Finishing well on the bike indicates leaving behind a strong legacy. It means that we pave the way for others behind us to follow.”
Get on the Bike’s religious underpinning could be a distraction for obvious reasons.
But Norman’s steep religiosity does not smother the timeless, universal truths embedded in her work. Hers is a roadmap for success, a definitive pathway to enlightenment and self-realization.
Get on the Bike: A Road Map to Help You Achieve Your Goals, Develop
Your Full Potential and Dream Big by Marsha Norman
© 2017 Marsha Norman
Publisher: Learner Series, USA
Available at Amazon
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