“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.” – Chinese Proverb
When we were growing up, we were always asked “What do you wanna be when you’re an adult?” A fireman, an astronaut, the President, an Army guy…we would come up with the most amazing dreams. We could easily visualize ourselves achieving these great feats when we were children. So, let me ask you, what are you now?
If your answer is different from what you remember dreaming about as a kid, this could be due to several reasons:
- Your interests have changed
- You don’t believe you can do it
- You let others talk you out of it
- You are no longer your priority
- You gave up
Yeah, I know that sounds rough, but it’s ok. I wanted to share these thoughts because, for a while, I felt the same way too. However, from spending so much time helping others grow, I realized that I needed to take a step back and give myself a hard look. I had to ask myself again, “What do I want to be when I grow up?” When I realized that I was no longer moving toward any of my previous goals, or toward any goal for that matter, I had to ask myself, why? After some hard self assessment, these are some of the answers I came up with, and at first glance, it seems I have failed to reach any level of success – but I was wrong.
Friends, for quite some time I have spent hours studying, analyzing, and discussing with others, what exactly qualifies as success? How do we get there? Here are some things that I have learned that have fired me up, and have put me back on the right path.
First, no great person achieved anything by merely thinking about it. Nor, is there such a thing as an overnight success. As with everything great in life, hard work is the answer. I remember telling my son that we should never be hungry for immediate gratification for what we do. The greatest achievements in life are earned through years of dedication, and devotion to ones passion. I used the example given by Thomas A. Edison when discussing the amount of time it took him to invent the light bulb. He stated,
“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”
Would we say that he was unsuccessful?
Author, and former power lifter Chris Moore uses music to further explain this. In one of his podcast’s (check out the Barbell Buddha Podcast), he mentions that we often spend too much time focusing on the ending, the point of gratification. This would be the same as attending a concert, or listening to a song, just to hear the ending – it makes no sense! It is the sweet melodies, the notes, the rises and falls that make music beautiful, and exciting. Why would we not look at life this way? My interpretation of success made it easy for me so feel as if I had failed, when in fact, I had only scratched the surface. When I would see this failure, the desire to quit entirely would often become overwhelming, and I know this is the case for many others.
So, why do we fail to reach success?
One of the main reasons we fail to reach success is because, as I stated before, we treat it as an ending, instead of a process. Just because I’m not the President of my company today, doesn’t mean I won’t be there eventually. As long as I live each individual day to the fullest, keep the end in mind, but work and live in the present, I have succeeded that day! This, my friends, is progress.
Like I mentioned in our last post, you climb a mountain one step at a time. If you try to look up at the tippy-top the entire time, you can grow dizzy, and faint; but if you focus, and take one hard step at a time, you will eventually get to the top. Times will get hard, and you may lose ground from time to time, this is OK. Remember,
“Yesterday ended last night” – John C. Maxwell
When you get a chance at a new day, tackle it with more intensity, and focus – that will make it a successful day. In the future, those days will be viewed by others as your lifetime, so treat each one as if it were special.
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