Have you ever been so focused on a goal that it consumes your every thought?
You can “see the end from the beginning” and you forge ahead obsessively.
You desire victory so badly that you almost “wish away the time.”
There’s a magic to that, but there’s also an unfair illusion at the finish line.
When you finally succeed in reaching your desired result, you learn that the “prize” wasn’t really the prize at all.
The sports championship, the college degree, the boot camp, the big business promotion . . . these are a few examples of desired outcomes.
Imagine, for a moment, a world where you could just “have” these goals.
You don’t have to actually compete for the championship – they just give everybody a trophy on opening day.
College degrees? They just pass them out on the first day of kindergarten.
No need to go work out at the gym. They’ll just declare you “in shape” and use fun house mirrors.
And your business promotion, or big money goal? Here ya go!
Talk to the people who have achieved these things in life. They’ll mostly concur that the end result, while gratifying, was often anti-climactic. They’ll tell you that the “real prize” was what they experienced and endured (good and bad) during the journey toward that desired goal.
The sports championship means nothing without the practice, the battles, the wins and the losses. The champion will tell you that it would have been boring to win every time.
I have yet to meet a college grad who values the “piece of paper” more than the fun, the friendships, and the education attained. And in most cases, those experiences and relationships are far more valuable.
And the business achiever is usually more proud of the person he (or she) has become after experiencing all the trials and tribulations involved with winning; The ups and downs, the people, the lessons of personal development, and the memories.
Steel is forged by fire.
When these winners were going through that fire (and they all had to), most all of them had moments of doubt, and thoughts of giving up. And, ironically, once they reached they finish line those “tough” memories somehow lost their sting. Those horror stories became their favorite stories. And all the winners look back and agree, “it wasn’t so bad.”
So get up, dust yourself off, and stop wasting energy worrying about how long it might take you to reach your goals and dreams.
Laugh at the world when it throws you a curveball. And most importantly, stay focused on the road and enjoy the ride!
I say a word or phrase and you say the first thing that comes into your mind.
“Fourth of July.”
The number-one reply is “fireworks” followed by “holiday weekend.”
Many people are wondering if they get Friday and Monday off this week.
Today is a United States holiday and is actually called “Independence Day.”
Like so many things in our country, it continues to become more and more commercialized to the point where many people just consider it a “day off.” Or in this year’s case, two.
Obviously, anybody who went to elementary school knows that July 4, 1776 is the day the US earned its “independence” from Great Britain in the Revolutionary War. But I think we should always take a few minutes and think a little deeper on it.
While most wars are fought in the name of religion, power, or money; The US Revolution was fought for something much different. Freedom.
What does “freedom” actually mean? If you were living in the USA 230 years ago, even though you were untrained, under-equipped, and significantly outnumbered, its something that you would have been willing to die for.
“Live free or die.” Have you ever wanted anything that badly? With a missions statement like that, a “why” that deep, its no wonder that the US prevailed.
OK, I digress.
Our country’s promise is, “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.”
Tricky phrase. Is it happiness we aspire to, or simply “the pursuit?”
I’ve been allergic to rules and authority my whole life.
Freedom, to me, means being able to do what I want to do.
The pursuit of happiness is an every day thing in my world. Literally everything I do, is done in the pursuit of happiness.
I try to teach my young daughters that there’s no such word as “can’t.”
“Success,” I tell them, “comes in can’s!”
It makes me sad when I hear people saying they can’t do this, or they can’t do that. They’re stuck jobs they hate and lives they don’t appreciate. Their pursuit of happiness is quitting time on Friday every week.
What’s your pursuit? How close are you to your freedom?
Do you have to ask for permission to leave work early?
Do you feel guilty to miss work when you’re sick? Even use an “extra-sick voice” on the phone when you call the boss?
What if you want extra time off for something?
Yeah, I understand that rules and structure are important in civilization. But aren’t they just in place to keep people in line?
If you ask me, asking permission is for children. Not grown adults.
This Independence Day, my wish for you is that you may walk in freedom over everything that once held you captive. That you discover a more passionate approach to your own “pursuit of happiness” this year. Whatever that “happiness” may be.