Mini waterfall at Darlington Park in New Jersey.

Hard Life Lessons Learned At Darlington Park In New Jersey

During my time in Suffern, New York, the pond in the Village of Suffern wasn’t the only place I went. I have to admit that while having a pond to sit at, located across the street from me was nice, there’s another excellent place located only 15 minutes away. This amazing place is called Darlington Park in New Jersey. While it might seem like just a pond to many of you, it’s truly a magical place if given a chance.

Lake at Darlington Park in New Jersey.
Lake at Darlington Park in New Jersey.

Before I went on this phenomenal journey to Suffern, New York, I was just like many of you. I was working way too many hours and neglecting my personal life. I’d wake up at 6 am in the morning. Run to the bus stop like an Olympic sprinter. And arrive at work around 7:30 am.

I’d spend about 10-11 hours a day working for a company that showed no appreciation for all the hard work I completed. After 19 years of making them rich, they didn’t respect the time off I was entitled to, or even give me a raise.

Finally, I said I’ve had enough and walked away from a full-time position, even though the benefits stunk. The problem was that, just like everyone else, I was chasing the money.

Darlington Park Gave Me Time To Think

Employers always tell you that if you do a good enough job, you’ll either get a bonus or a raise. They do this because they are playing a Jedi mind trick on you. For example, if they offer you a $100 bonus for selling so much, you better believe they are making way more off your efforts.

If you’re living off $500 after taxes each week, that bonus might seem like a lot. That’s because your use to living on such a low-income. Extra money can allow you to take your sweetheart to that fancy restaurant. Order some expensive food. And have the chance to experience what it’s like to dine like the rich.

Or it can be the savior, that allows the both of you to go on that dream vacation you’ve been planning for ages. Employers know this, and use it against you. They know that you don’t make enough to live on, but also won’t walk away.

These companies will keep you motivated just enough to keep working yourself to death. It’s the classic, dangle the carrot in your face. When you finally drop like an old tired horse, they put you out of your misery. Legally, they can’t shoot you like they do the race horses behind the barn. But I’m sure they would if they could. Instead, they throw you away by firing you, when you’re no longer of any use to them, or too expensive to keep.

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Darlington Park Puts Things Into Perspective

As I sat on the bench watching the geese, I realized that us humans are so smart, but so pathetically stupid at the same time. Unlike us, geese don’t chase money, or in their case, fish and bugs. They will put their ears close to the ground, and allow the bugs to come to them. As soon as the bug pops it’s head out of the ground, they snatch them up, and eat them.

Five geese at Darlington Park in New Jersey.
Five geese at Darlington Park in New Jersey.

The geese don’t fly around chasing the bugs, or waste time digging them out. They do the same thing while in the water. As the geese were crossing the stream, they let the fresh cold water flow into their beaks. Unlike us, geese know how to use their time wisely.

Goose crossing stream at Darlington Park in New Jersey.
Goose crossing stream at Darlington Park in New Jersey.

Not all people are inefficient of course. Some of the most patient and wise people are fishermen. I saw many fishermen, sitting patiently as the fish nibbled on their bait. Once the fish was hooked, and unable to escape, the fisherman would slowly reel him in. The fisherman wouldn’t try to pull the fish in all at once, wasting unnecessary energy. He’d let the fish struggle until it was all tired out. Then the fisherman would easily wheel the fish in, and carry out his task.

Darlington Park Was An Adventure

As my sweetheart and myself walked around the park, we realized that there’s some things money can’t buy. Money can’t buy back Time, especially time away from loved ones.

At one time I was afraid to walk away from my full-time job out of fear. The fear of losing my income. Fear of not finding another job. And fear that I’d lose everything that I’ve worked so hard to earn.

Entrance to dark forest at Darlington Park in New Jersey.
Entrance to dark forest at Darlington Park in New Jersey.

The park also reminded us how important it is to face our fears. As we approached the entrance to the dark forest, all kinds of scary images ran through our minds. What if a crazy person was hiding in there? Would a bear suddenly attack, and eat us?

Dark forest at Darlington Park in New Jersey.
Dark forest at Darlington Park in New Jersey.

In life you’re going to meet all kinds of scary moments. It might not involve fighting off a big aggressive hungry bear, but it can be just as frightful. Every day we experience fears that hold us back from reaching our full potential.

If we tell our unappreciative boss to screw off, we’re afraid nobody else will hire us. Starting that business or blog might give us nothing but disappointment, when it fails miserably. There was a time when this was my biggest fear.

After failing dozens of times with starting an online business, I was afraid that I wasn’t cut out for it. Little that I knew then, I just needed more knowledge and time in the trenches. My first online business was a simple website selling watches shipped by a drop shipper. With a few photos and basic descriptions, I was ready to take over the online business world.

Darlington Park Is About Never Giving Up

Of course, I never sold any watches, but it was an enlightening experience. Then there was the eBay business that was super successful, until new eBay policies forced me to shut it down.

The closest I’ve ever come to running a successful online business, until now, was a blog I shut down about 5 years ago. It was generating good traffic and even started to give some income. I worked on it for months and was completely obsessed with it. The problem was that I wasn’t ready to overcome hardships.

As soon as some events in my life provided some tough obstacles, I gave up by shutting the blog down. I was my own worst enemy and didn’t even know it.

Mini waterfall at Darlington Park in New Jersey.
Mini waterfall at Darlingtonn Park in New Jersey.

Just like the mini fall at Darlington Park never stops flowing, you have to do the same. I’m sure that there’s days when the mini waterfall is deprived of water. Or barely able to move, due to cold winters freezing it’s water supply.

Life is going to do the same to us on a daily basis. There’s going to be days or even months when you feel like you’re not making any progress. Maybe you’re blog traffic refuses to increase. All the incredible ads that you’ve placed on your site failed to give any income. We have to be patient and not afraid to fail until we succeed.

Read This Darlington Park Conclusion

To all these problems I say, so what. You’re always going to have problems. I’m going to always have problems. And so is everyone else in the world. No matter how rich or poor you are, you’re going to have problems. Whether you’re young or old, you’re going to have problems. And it doesn’t matter if you work for someone else or yourself, you’re still going to have problems.

During your lifetime you’re going to get knocked down and dragged through the mud multiple times. There will be times when you’ll cry, and times when you’ll laugh.

The question you have to ask yourself is, will you let life keep you down? Or will you get up, fight back by believing in yourself, and accomplishing your goals despite all odds?

So, will you be like the mini waterfall at Darlington Park that keeps flowing against all odds, or will you dry up and vanish? Tell me in the comment section below.

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