The Greater the Challenge, the Sweeter the Success

Good morning! I hope you all had a nice weekend.

Did you accept my fifteen-minute challenge from Friday? I did. Okay, I spent a lot more than fifteen minutes, but the house was empty and I didn’t have anything better to do with my time, so I set about a few different tasks and got a lot done. Granted, there’s a lot more still to do, but that’s another story.

We all tend to be a little optimistic when it comes to setting goals, but then as time goes by, we begin to wonder if we were a little too optimistic. Part of the problem is that we’re content to just let time go by instead of putting it to better use. And what ends up happening is we realize we may have overcommitted, so we begin to look for ways to trim the fat. Off our goal, that is.

We compromise and bargain like a used car salesman. Only they’re trying to get more out of us, but we’re trying to get a little less. “Well, I may not make it all the way to my goal, but if I can get a little closer, that’s better than nothing, right?” Okay, that would be a true statement. Anything is better than nothing. But that doesn’t mean it’s enough.

Because every time we come up short on a goal, no matter what kind, we have to admit a certain level of defeat. And defeat is just a more passive word for failure. We didn’t exactly fail – we were defeated. And hey, that happens to the best of us. So we pat ourselves on the back for whatever we did get done, and walk away wiser and maybe even a little smug. We did all we could do.

But did we? Could we have put in a little more effort? Could we have recommitted to our goal and faced the obstacles head-on instead of just waiting for them to move? Could we have put our creative energy to good use and figured out a different approach? Could we have called a friend and asked their advice? Could we have actually followed that advice?

The truth is, any one of these things would have put us closer to our goal and may have actually seen us through to success. But it’s easier to just accept fate and tell ourselves we tried. “It’s the thought that counts.” Sound familiar? Well, that may be true … when it comes to giving someone a gift. When it comes to your goals, it’s an easy way of admitting defeat. But at least you meant well.

Right now I’m facing two monumental goals. One is a little less time-sensitive and, because of that, I haven’t been overly concerned about how quickly it gets done. Cleaning my office yesterday was just the start of my household reorganizing and de-cluttering. But if I can take a little bit at a time, as I did yesterday, it’ll get there.

The other goal is very much time-driven, and I’m a little more than halfway to the end with little to show for my effort. I’ve done all the right things, but this is one of those cases where the “right things” don’t always turn into measurable results. It’s like swinging the bat against a really good pitcher. You miss more than you hit, and when you do connect it’s rarely a home run.

When we set a goal and then allow ourselves to fall short, we re-live that moment every time we try to do anything. We’ve allowed ourselves to accept something short of what we’d deemed acceptable, and it’s not quite as hard to do that the next time. And with each of those defeats, we develop an inner expectation that, no matter what we try, we’ll always come up a little short.

Part of the answer to that is making sure your goals are realistic. But they also need to be challenging. Tying your shoes is realistic, but is it really worth celebrating? Find something that will drive you to a certain level of excellence, something that’ll take a strong level of determination. Then do it. And if you find yourself coming up short, then turn up the heat.

We were born to do great things, and to succeed in whatever we desire. And there’s no greater success than taking on something you’ve never done before, something that’ll stretch your abilities to the limit, and then doing it. Go ahead. Stick your neck out. Swing for the fence. And don’t let anything get in the way. Then listen to the crowd cheer as that ball goes sailing out of the park.

That’s all for now. Have an awesome day!

© 2019 Dave Glardon – All rights reserved

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