Sometimes it is just facing the direction you need to go and taking one more step.
Sometimes it is just standing back up…again.
Sometimes it is just knowing you will stand up again;. or knowing you will attempt to.
When you face a tough season it is easy to think “When I get through this things will be better.” How you react when one serious blow is replaced by another and then another and then another is the key.
Hoping, Praying for relief, rescue and resolution can be destructive when relief, rescue or redemption don’t show up in a form you recognize.
Studies of Prisoners of War seem to show that those who pinned their hope on intervention or external events to end their suffering through peace talks, rescue missions or escape attempts suffered the most psychologically when events eventually “didn’t pan out” the way they hoped.
Prisoners who were determined to “survive, no matter what” weathered the storm better. While they worked for better outcomes and situations, maintained a positive outlook and strove to improve or maintain their condition; they did not rely on external forces to determine their fate. They “Embraced the suck”. they did not like it, but realized they did not need to. They took on the attitude that “Pain is inevitable, but suffering is optional”.
It is not enough to tell yourself (or your team) that “things will get better”. Focusing on surviving the moment and preparing for the next storm seems to enable survival better than hoping for relief. This is especially true when you find yourself in an environment when challenges roll in one after another and sometimes pile on top of each other.
Like it often does in life.
This is another reason it is more important to know how far you have come than to focus on how far you have to go.
Are you charging or “plugged in”? It’s about imagination, enthusiasm and consistency.
The other day somebody asked me if their laptop was charging and I told them it wasn’t. They unplugged the cord, the icon changed that’s when I realized that I had been looking for the wrong icon. I wanted the drama of the lightning bolt telling me that the laptop was “CHARGING!” the two prong plug symbol just let me know we were “merely” plugged in. After a while, I came to realize that not only do we need both, but being “plugged in” to our dreams and goals is a powerful motivator. Nothing “merely” about it. And just like a laptop or cellphone, your dreams and goals need to be fully charged to get the most out of them.
As we take any journey towards a goal, we need to have a power source. That source, for most great deeds and accomplishments is “the dream”. Building your dream can be thought of as “charging”. It needs to be big! It needs to be “Larger than life” (as you know it at this point). It needs to be deeply satisfying to you! You need to enjoy the very idea of it to the point that the thought of fulfilling your dream will carry you through the tough times. You need to exercise your imagination, experience it so you know what it looks like, feels like and smells like when you close your eyes.
That being said, you need to know what you’re up against. What will you need to do better? What will you need to change in your life? Who has already done something like you want to do? What obstacles did they encounter? How would they overcome those obstacles if they knew then what they know now?
Being “plugged in” is what happens if your dreams are big and real enough to you. You will build enthusiasm; fueling your actions, inspiring you to overcome obstacles, knowing you will treasure the accomplishment as you take strides towards your goal. Like the laptop plugged into the outlet. Your efforts towards your goals will be powered by the strong emotions you built in the charging process.
The final Piece of this puzzle is consistency. Do something every day towards the accomplishment of your goals. If it helps you take a step towards the next milestone, it counts! Some days will be better than others. There will be big steps and little steps. There will be days when there can only be one step. But there will be periods of walks, jogs and marathon efforts. The consistency comes into play by doing something every day, and not obsessing on one section of your journey, neglecting other parts of your life that you need.
What fuels your dreams? How do you build or charge your dreams? Please leave a comment below!
Why are resolutions broken? Is it because we didn’t do what we said we were going to do? Are we that weak and non-focused that we can’t hold our resolve for a short period of time?
I think it’s about goals and whys. You have to use your imagination actively to set goals that stick. Top performing executives and sales professionals borrow from top performing athletes the ability to “Pump themselves up” to achieve greatness.
We usually don’t think about how that plugs into their goal, their resolution, their dream of what success looks and feels like to them.
They have a dream of what success looks and feels and smells like. They have accepted how crashing through obstacles (this play, this series, this game, this season) with all the preparation and pain involved gets them one step closer to achieving that dream and what makes it worth it. When you see a professional athlete or a top performer in business do or buy something extravagant, pause to think what it represents. Many people look at them as “status symbols”. Try thinking of them as mile markers along a very long and difficult road. Try imagining what that mile marker represents to them.
Do your mile markers need to look like theirs? Of course not! But they need to be things or experiences that you treasure. You need to be able to look with satisfaction at the mile markers you have built behind you to remember what you had to do to get past that point. You must also have a clear vision of where you want to end up and what it will take to get there. You also have to plan your next mile post and how you will build it.
Integrity is recognizing the right path and taking it…no matter what. There are lots of paths to get where you want to go. How will you experience your journey? Are your resolutions Goals or Milestones? How will it feel to build the milestones you can use to complete that particular journey?
We will talk more about that in the next post.
What milestones are you building? How do you choose them? Please feel free to share with a comment!