The Kinetic King, Tim Fort, got a second chance to perform on "America’s Got Talent" this week. America eliminated Fort from the competition a few weeks ago when his chain reaction gadget didn’t work.
On the show's Wild Card segment, Piers Morgan brought Fort back for another live performance. This was his last chance to redeem himself and get back into the competition.
Fort created a giant chain reaction contraption, built from sticks, soda cans, plastic balls and garbage cans, covering the entire stage. The audience held its breath waiting to see if Fort would again go down in flames.
This time, the contraption worked.
Fort received praise and adulation from the judges, but it was left to America to decide his fate. Would America vote the Kinetic King into the finals?
Wednesday night on the live results show, it was announted that the Kinetic King had made it through. The crowd went wild.
This is where the story gets interesting, though. The other performers who won Wednesday night said things like, “Wow, this is the best moment of my life!” “I can’t believe it. It’s a dream come true.”
They were overjoyed. They had stars in their eyes. They were one step closer to winning a million dollars and headlining a Vegas show.
The Kinetic King handled his moment of triumph a little different.
There was no jumping up and down. He smiled but his only comment was, “Yay, another week of hard work, frazzled nerves and the chance to look goofy in front of millions of people.”
There was an awkward moment of silence.
Wasn’t he happy about winning?
The interesting thing about Tim Fort is he takes everything in stride. He handled winning with the same amount of enthusiasm he did losing. He met both experiences with the same curiosity. He wasn’t crushed when he lost and he wasn’t giddy when he won.
This guy has talent and it has nothing to do with his act.
He understands that nothing is necessarily good or bad. Each experience is just interesting. They both leave us wondering what will happen next. He understands that all material conditions, positive or negative, are temporary.
He understands the law of impermanence.
In this life, everything is subject to constant change, to rise and fall, there is no permanent state that exists.
There is an old story from India that explains this principle. There once was a king who called upon his wise men and asked them," Is there one mantra or suggestion that works in every situation, in every circumstance, in every place and in every time? Is there one mantra that could help me when there is no one is available to advise me?”
After a lengthy discussion, the wise men came up with something. They went to the king and gave him something written on paper. But the condition was the king was not to see it yet. He was to wait until a moment when he found himself alone and in extreme danger, and only then should he read it. The king put the paper under his diamond ring.
After a few days, the kingdom was attacked. The king had to flee on his horse. Suddenly he found himself standing at the end of a road. Underneath there was a rocky valley a thousand feet deep. If he jumped into it, he would be finished…and he could not return because his enemy was approaching fast.
In that moment, he saw the diamond ring and remembered the message. He pulled out the paper and read it. The message was very small but very great.
"This too will pass."
Only a few days ago, the king realized, he was enjoying his riches. He was the mightiest of kings — and today, the kingdom and all his pleasure were gone. However, just as those days of luxuries were gone, this day of danger would also pass. The revelation of message had a great effect on him.
He reorganized his army, defeated the enemy and took back his empire. When he returned home after the victory, he was received with much fanfare at the door. The entire kingdom was rejoicing.
Again, the diamond of his ring flashed in the sunlight and reminded him of the message, "This too will pass."
This is the nature of life.
Happiness comes and goes. Sorrow comes and goes. Nothing in life is permanent. Everything changes. One day you lose but another day you’ll win. Life is a beautiful dance between the two.
The lesson Tim Fort taught us this week is an important one for our time. He taught us to take both the wins and the losses in stride. You are the same you during both experiences. They are just experiences. They don’t define who you are.
Don’t be so quick to judge a situation as good or bad.
They will often surprise you.
Greet each experience with curiosity and gratitude, and remember if you are down and out today, it isn’t a permanent state. We have survived tough times before and we will make it through to brighter days again.
Americans have always had that talent.
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Kimberly Giles is the president and founder of Claritypoint Life Coaching and 12 SHAPES INC. She is an author and professional speaker. She was named one of the top 20 advice gurus in the country by Good Morning America in 2010. She appears regularly on local and national TV and Radio.