At times, we are more afraid of what could be that what is. We forecast what the future will be so much, that we worry ourselves to death over possibilities. Possibilities are just that; something that might occur. And while it is good to have a plan for these possibilities, it is not good to be in so much fear of them that we remain where we are instead of taking a step forward. Sometimes the thing we dread happening the most is exactly what will set us fear. Life is not a staircase. We do not gradually ascend to our destiny. We fall, crawl, stumble, cry, fight, lose, and ultimately triumph towards our dreams. It sounds scary, but only because of fear. We are more than capable of enduring those heartaches. Luck never built a strong foundation, but adversity did. Tough decisions may be uncomfortable, but they advance you towards that goal. If everything went our way, we wouldn’t know what to do when something did not. As much as we do not like to fail, it truly is your best friend. Failure can build you if you don’t run from it. Failure can teach you more about winning than winning can. But if you are too scared to make a decision because you might fail, not only have you failed, but you have nothing to show for it. Get something out of failure so you can win the next time. Don’t be afraid to make the tough call, be afraid of being to afraid to make any call. The worst decision is indecision.
If everyone were given a dollar for the times they were told they were incapable of something; all of us would be millionaires. Never look to anyone else for validation, inspiration, or motivation. If you happen to see it in another, so be it. But never search for these things. Only you have everything you need, and life is a long journey to discover everything about yourself. Do not get to the end of your life and realize you are still a mystery. Whatever you are currently doing, commit everything to it. Decide that you would rather die than give up on anything. You will fail, you will feel pain, you will question yourself, but you will never quit. You are literally willing to do everything necessary to find out who you are.
Many times, our dream is just that because in some instances, we believe it to be near impossible to achieve. It takes something greater than we believe we are able to produce to make it a reality. We don’t see how our current circumstances could yield such a result… But isn’t that why we are striving towards it? Don’t we want the best for ourselves and those around us? That’s the beauty of this life. No matter where we start, it has no control over where we eventually end up. That is left up to us. So don’t be afraid our your destination because of your surroundings. As well, don’t fear the journey. Do not become complacent or routine. If that is not what you are dreaming of, remember that you are still along the journey. So keep moving forward. Along the way to the destination, it is normal to find a routine which allows us some comfort in understanding what can be unpredictable at times. But don’t let your routine keep you from your dream. Don’t hold on to the routine so much so, that you don’t work as hard as you can towards your dream. Remain focused. The thing that you are holding on to the most could be the very thing you need to let go of to make room for your dream. If it’s not getting you closer to the destination, it is weighing you down. It takes an unprecedented amount of courage, strength and focus to accomplish the goal. It’s nothing easy, but it is definitely not impossible. Don’t let that scare you.
Some have phrased it as, “Insanity is repeating the same pattern and expecting a different result”. Do not get this confused with perseverance. That is something completely different in nature. Some of us are afraid to truly live because we cannot see the outcome. If we were truly honest with ourselves, how many of us would choose routine over happiness? What is the cost of happiness? I think a better question would be to ask the cost of routine. Why are we afraid to sacrifice what we have for what we want? We want to fly but we want to stay away from the ledge. Extraordinary is not found anywhere near predictable or logical. Extraordinary happens when you surpass ordinary. You must roll the dice, if you will. It is not easy because it requires that you do what you are not comfortable with. But what is comfort? Ask yourself what you are truly comfortable with. Some people are comfortable with debt. They may not want it, but they are comfortable with it because they have had it for so long. Some people are comfortable with back pain. Some would say that those are “just a part of life”. They are if you believe them to be. But how ironic is it that we think someone is crazy who dreams of being the first man to walk on Mars. Why is that not a part of life? Will that not happen someday? Why is that harder to grasp than having debt you cannot get rid of? Maybe it is not the call that will kill us, but the ledge itself. The ledge is keeping our feet bound, stopping us from venturing out, seeing where life will take us. Why are we afraid of what we do not know or understand? This life did not come with an instruction manual. That means the only way to truly find out what reality is, is to go find out for yourself.
If you wanted a two story house, would you buy a one story? Suspend the thought of family needs, finances, prices, etc. and just answer that question. Or if you wanted to be a race car driver, would you learn how to be a sports commentator?
For most, the answer is no. But when we allow family needs, finances, prices, time, patience (or lack there of), etc. into the picture, we begin to want things we really don’t want, buy what we really shouldn’t buy, and worst of all, do things we really shouldn’t do.
Read carefully. Figure out what you want. How are you going to pursue something if there is no objective? Take fitness. People say they want to lose weight. Well, if you say that when you’re thirty years old and lose five pounds when you turn ninety years old, congratulations. Don’t be surprised if you are the same size or bigger at thirty-one though.
Know what you want and be specific. If you want to lose weight, set a specific, tangible goal. Then set a time frame followed by an actionable plan. Then get to work. Don’t be surprised if you meet your goal doing that. If you don’t, all you have to do is adjust the time frame and keep working.
The number one reason people don’t set a goal or quit as soon as they begin working towards the goal is fear of failure. We are afraid to work because we might let someone down, mainly us. But fear cripples us and gives us no chance at all. Separate fear and failure. You can fail at one thing, but I guarantee if you try again, you’ll do better.
Stop trying to be what you are not. If you are human, you are not perfect. We are continual works in progress. And don’t let the athletes or models fool you. There is nothing perfect about us or the world we live in. Failure is a part of life. Quitting, however, is not.
When you buy the one story house when you really wanted the two story, you gave up. You can excuse it with all of the financial and family reasons you want, but you still settle when it came to what you really wanted… if you stay there.
Continue to work through adversity and make that two story house your next house. Don’t quit. Even if it doesn’t happen today, tomorrow holds promise. As long as you are here, goals are a possibility and dreams are a reality. Don’t let “good enough for right now” become “good enough forever”. Get whatever it is that you really want.
• Renting an Apartment vs. Owning a Home
• Graduating High School vs. Graduating College
• Having a Job vs. Having a Career
• Dreaming the Dream vs. Living the Dream
Make no mistake. The former of these points is absolutely fine. There is nothing wrong with them. And that is my point. Some people are just fine with where they are, and that is alright. But if that is not you, then you can’t settle at good. For some people, good just isn’t enough. Good won’t work. Because fulfillment isn’t at good, big dreams aren’t at good, better jobs aren’t at good, and better lives aren’t at good. Greatness takes more; it takes unusual sacrifice, it takes unusual work ethic, it takes unusual commitment, and it takes unusual disregard for comfort. You’re not going to get to the highest plateau doing what you need to when it is easy, when the conditions are favorable, after you were able to sleep for ten hours. For the most part, it happens when it requires something of you that you are not sure you can give at that moment. The moment comes after you’ve been worn down by other tests. It comes at the time when you don’t expect it, when you are not ready for it, and you have to dedicate everything to achieve it. And if that scares you, you are not ready. Give it time, and that will come, but you are not ready at this moment. Because you can’t just say that you want it. When you really want it, deep inside; when it occupies your every thought, every second of your day, every time you drift off, you find yourself thinking that. When you put everything you have to this goal, because you don’t have any other desire, which is that strong as this one. You need it, because this is what makes your heart content. If you had this, you wouldn’t want for anything else. So good might be enough for you, but I want great.