“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; because there is not effort without error and shortcomings; but who does actually strive to do the deed; who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement and who at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly. So that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.” Theodore Roosevelt
Critics are a dime a dozen. Ever notice how as soon as you take that first step towards your dreams, they come out of the woodwork like cockroaches?
I’ve been called daydreamer, slacker, goof off, and it spirals downward from there. Where would we be in this word if not for the dreamers? I’ll proudly wear that hat! It’s taken me years to accept that about myself, and longer to go for my dreams. A life lived in others expectations is no life at all. It brings no satisfaction, no victories. Trust me, I know this from experience. It’s a low road to live as a cockroach.
Some people don’t hesitated to offer their criticism. That used to stop me. Not anymore. I’ve crossed the line, and no longer content with mediocrity. My dreams aren’t earth shattering, cure for cancer ( I wish!) types of things. they are personal goals, personal dreams, the pursuit of my own passions.
Some people disappoint you. Eventually everyone will at some point but I’m talking about the ones that epically fail! You have little expectations of them and they fail to achieve even your lowest level of what you hoped for. It’s disappointing, but at the same time motivating. I am sad that they don’t seem to have any inner drive or chutzpah. I’m a little angry because I know they are capable of so much more. At the same time, it’s encouraging for me because I’m starting to recognize the indicators. I don’t get as upset at someone else’s actions, I ask myself how it applies to me and what I can learn from it.
That one degree of difference is really all it takes to make a difference. If you haven’t watched the video link above, do it now! Otherwise you won’t get what I’m about to say. The one extra degree of effort in business, in life separates the good from the great!
For many years I gave up easily, said “I can’t.” I remember my track coach making us run extra laps if we said those words. In life we don’t have a coach, unless we pay someone to be our coach like a personal trainer, or virtual assistant. Apparently it’s not just me either because it’s becoming big business to be a personal trainer.
It’s not easy to overcome the voices screaming at you to give up, including the one inside your head, that resistance is futile. I can’t live that life any longer. I have to try, and if I fail – at least I went for it.
I have the vision, the victory dance on the summit. It plays in my mind every day. It plays just at the edge, a constant reminder to urge me forward. It’s not easy, but it’s possible.
Why is it so hard to lose 50 pounds? Run a marathon? Pay off debt? Write a book? All of these things have the same thing in common, you do it one step at a time. One dietary change can net a loss of 10 pounds, increased exertion increase your odds. To run a marathon, you stat with one step, then ten feet, then a lap, a mile and eventually 26 miles.
It’s the same with a book. You write a word. Then make a sentence. Pretty soon you have a paragraph, the paragraph becomes a page, the page becomes a chapter and over time you have a complete book. It’s the daily application, the persistence to stick with it when it’s tough. The determination to reach the goal is just fuel to the fire.
While the cockroaches are scurrying around the base, I’m part of the way up my mountain. I’ve made enough progress that I can look back and see how much progress I’ve made, yet the summit is high above my head. I can’t wait to see the view from the top.
My knees have been bloodied, my hands scraped, dirt smeared on my face, and clothing in disarray. Let them laugh and mock, I don’t care anymore. I’m closer to the top than I’ve ever been before, and I love it! Besides, the roaches are just afraid of change – that’s why they are virtually the same since Paleozoic time.
I’m certain that you can get my analogies, and see the accuracy. I don’t want to get to the end and have the regrets of omission.
It’s Your Life! You are responsible for the Results!