Success Begins With a Dream, But Habits Drive the Outcome

Good morning, and happy Hump Day! I hope your day is off to a great start.

By lunchtime today, the week will be half over. That means you can celebrate the halfway point of all those things you wanted to do this week. You’re getting close, and the rest is just a downhill slide. By this time Friday, you’ll be looking at a short list of things to finish before you reach your goal. And they all lived happily ever after.

If it’s only that last sentence that sounds like a fairy tale, congratulations. You’re among the fortunate few. For the rest of us, everything in that paragraph has the makings of a fairy tale, including the part about the week being half over. We all know better. The week will continue through the weekend, and we’re nowhere close to being halfway to our goals for the week. We’re lucky if we even started.

If that’s your version of reality, you’re in good company. I’m sure there are statistics on this, but I don’t really feel like looking them up because they’d be pretty dismal. I’d venture to say most of us miss our goals on a fairly regular basis. Yet we get up each day, breathe in and out, and life goes on. In fact, after a while, missing goals becomes just a normal part of life. It just becomes a habit.

Now, I guess if you never set any goals in the first place, you wouldn’t have any reason to hang your head. You can’t miss the target if you never take the shot. And for some people, that’s their built-in defense mechanism against disappointment. “I know I’ll never accomplish that. Why make myself feel like even more of a failure? I’ll just keep doing what I’ve been doing. It’s not that bad.”

And, therein lies the problem – “it’s not that bad.” We not only allow ourselves to get comfortable with our current circumstances and convince ourselves we’re happy about it. We may have distant visions of a better life, and we may even dream a little. But what if, in the process of trying to build something better, we lose what we’ve got? “Things aren’t so bad. Don’t rock the boat.”

It’s all a matter of habit – something to which we’ve become completely accustomed to the point that we don’t even think about it. Everything from what time we get up each day to how we comb our hair, brush our teeth, and even the order of body parts that get washed first in a shower, is habit. You do the same thing the same way every day, and it becomes a normal part of life.

The same is true of our circumstances. We may think they’re controlled by external forces, like our family heritage, our neighbors, our co-workers, and most of all, the company payroll clerk. “If only I had more money, I could change this!” “If only they’d give me that promotion.” “If only I’d been born into a wealthy family.” “If only …” Yeah, fill in the blanks. The end result is pretty much the same.

Because, at the end of the day, it’s just an excuse for not doing anything to change our circumstances. It’s a habit. It allows us, at least in our own mind, to place the blame on some other person, thing, or event. “It isn’t my fault!” Well, okay. If that makes you sleep better at night, hang onto those excuses. But make no mistake, life won’t suddenly change just because it feels sorry for you.

It’s one thing to be content with your life. That’s a goal we should all strive to achieve. But being content doesn’t mean we can’t want something even better. It doesn’t mean we can’t set an even stronger example for our children. And it doesn’t mean we can’t get up each day and try a little harder to achieve even more in life. Being content isn’t living – it’s just a comfortable path to the end.

And it all comes back to habits. Are you in the habit of setting goals or avoiding them? Are you in the habit of working toward those goals or sitting there thinking about it? Are you in the habit of accepting accountability for your circumstances or making excuses? The answer to each of those questions feeds into another important habit – the habit of success.

Yes, success can become a habit, one that consistently leads us to bigger and better things. And it’s a habit every one of us can develop the same as we developed the habit of going to work. Success begins with a dream. It means setting aside those feelings of comfort and contentment and working toward something better. And it means doing that every day until we reach our goal. It’s a habit.

It’s been said that success occurs when our dreams are bigger than our excuses. Embrace your dreams and step over those excuses. Leave them behind for the next person. You’ve got bigger and better things to do.

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

© 2019 Dave Glardon – All rights reserved

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s