Larry & The Yellow Brick Road
I was walking down the Yellow Brick Road in quest of what is called, "The Process."
I came upon Dorothy, the Lion, the Tin Man, the Scare Crow and, of course, Toto.
I told them of what I was seeking but, that I was a little confused because it seemed to never end.
I told them I'd walked across the letter, "P," that covered the entire road, and then "R," "O," "C," and so on.
But, when I walked over the final "S," I immediately found another "P," that seemed to start the word all over again.
Dorothy said, "Larry, that's because "The Process" never really ends and for very good reasons."
"But, first," she continued, "let's talk about the meaning of the individual letters of the word to help you understand things better."
"The 'P' stands for, 'Process'; but, it also stands for 'Progress,' 'Patience,' 'Persistence,' 'Planning,' and the 'Pursuit' (of excellence).
To wit: In order to progress, you need to plan and then pursue with persistence and patience."
The Lion: "Ooh, I don't have the courage or the patience to pursue such a thing."
Tin Man: "That's just too much for my heart; wait, I don't have one."
The Scarecrow: "If I had a brain I could make a plan."
Toto: Grinning. (Can dogs really grin?)
"Don't mind them," Dorothy said, "just like you, they're still working on the 'Process' but, "Let's go to the letter 'R'," she said as Toto barked with approval.
"The letter 'R' is sometimes confused with 'Reach,' which is exactly what you don't want to do, because if you try to reach for the pursuit of excellence, the letter will simply move further down the road, out of your grasp."
"The key is to 'Remove' all doubt and 'Rely' on your instincts as you 'Reason' with the information that's presented to you."
"Remember, there's a 'Rhythm' to all things, including the 'Process.'"
Lion: "Remove all doubt? I'm too scared!"
Scarecrow: "I still can't figure this out."
Tin Man: "If I had a heart, it would be pounding with excitement."
Toto: Still grinning.
Dorothy: "Don't listen to them. Let's go to the next letter, 'O'," she continued, "'O' is part of the decision making process that the Scarecrow can't deal with right now."
"'O' is for 'Operation,' 'Opinion,' 'Original,' and 'Organization,' because this is where you decide what information you're going to act on and how you're going to proceed forward; 'O' is very instrumental in continuing your progress along the path of 'The Process'"
Tin Man: "'O' be still my heart!"
Lion: "This is where I have to stop! I need more courage to go on."
Scarecrow: "I wish I had thought of that."
Toto: Barking. (As if to say, "Let's go, let's go, let's go!! I'm ready for the next letter!"
"'C' stands for the 'Courage' that Mr. Lion is searching for", Dorothy said. "Many give up at this point, because they've been on the Yellow Brick Road for so long that doubts about reaching the end start to creep in."
"They just need to focus and 'Concentrate' on where they are at right now, so they can 'Continue' down the path without noticing it."
"If they do that, the next thing they know is they'll be looking at the next letter, realizing that they've been able to 'Concur' with all their doubts and fears by staying focused on the task at hand."
Lion: "That's it, I'm outta here!!!"
Tin Man: "Wait, I haven't gotten a heart yet."
Scarecrow: "I still need a brain, Lion, what are you thinking?!!"
Toto: Ruff, ruff! (I concur, I concur.)
Dorothy said, "Now we come to the letter 'E' - this letter stands for 'Excellence' which is derived from the word, 'Excel,' and at this point, you should be gaining some of your confidence back, because you've 'Extended' yourself beyond the fears and doubts to the point where you realize that the 'Experts' in your field of pursuit had to go through all of this just to get where they're at and that it didn't just happen over night."
Scarecrow: "I think I'm getting sick."
Tin Man: "Something's beginning to pound in my chest!"
Lion: "I don't know why, but suddenly I have no fear of walking a little further."
Toto: "ARF, ARF, ARF! (As in, "I have to find a bush.")
Wicked Witch of the West: "You idiots have no idea where you've been and no idea what lies ahead, but go ahead and continue down this road and see what happens...Ah, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha!!!"
Dorothy: "Go away, they've made it this far and they shouldn't have any fear in continuing on. All you want to do is raise doubts, but nothing can stop them now."
She continued, "Both 'S's' are for 'Success,' - not that you've completed your journey; but rather, that you've just begun to learn what it takes to be 'Successful' because the 'Process' will never end and you'll never stop learning."
"You may think that your journey of becoming a 'better bowler' has taught you to be a 'better bowler,' but think again."
"Understand that the 'Process' also teaches you about life."
"Continue down the Yellow Brick Road and continue the 'Process' and continue learning because, Larry, 'The Process' never ends."
Tin Man: "I better slow down, my heart is beating too fast!"
Scarecrow: "Well, at least I know more now that I did before we started."
Lion: "Now I get it! All I have to do is learn and keep walking and the fear goes away."
Toto: "Bark, bark, bark, bark!" (Running in circles of joy.)
Wicked Witch of the West: "Drat, Dorothy, you've messed up my plans. Now EVERYBODY is involved in the 'Process'.'"
"It's my pleasure to be walking side by side with you down the Yellow Brick Road, my friend," Dorothy said.
Larry: "May 'The Process' be with you always."