Today I spent a lot of time thinking about the times in my life when someone told me I couldn’t do something, and the determination that comes about to prove them wrong. The first time in junior high when I would win sprint races for our annual field day. My junior year of college winning a singles qualifier in bowling to represent the northeast for a national tournament. The times when other people wondered why I would be promoting certain bands that may not have been as popular from the start- then would go on to gain record deals and international critical acclaim.
I think when you make a commitment to see things through, no matter what, you can take any criticism or walls placed in front of you and find a way to make what you visualize as reality. A combination of belief, action, and course correction when you see challenges placed in front of you can show you that you can turn anything around.
The latest book I’m reading is Sean Stephenson’s Get Off Your “But”. Here’s a man confined to a wheelchair due to brittle bone disorder, and never let his condition stop his dreams as a motivational speaker, author, husband, and giver to mankind. One of the thoughts I love in this book is looking at connecting with people rather than merely communicating. We are definitely in an age where instant access to communication is a reality- yet how much are we really plugging in to other people’s lives or are we more concerned with talking about ourselves?
My family works with both of our daughters on a concept called radical acceptance. Simply put, you have to assess where people are at in their lives and accept them at that level. As much as I want my youngest daughter to be at a different stage in life like my oldest daughter, I have to accept the fact that she’s still processing her past trauma. I need to love her, support her, care for her- and hope that one day she’ll be ready to make the turn around. Some days are easier than others, but today she made more of a concerted effort to listen, communicate her feelings rather than acting out, and seek out affection and cuddle time when she needed them.
Look into your own life and think back to your biggest success. How many times did people think you couldn’t do it? Do you believe they were jealous of your determination, your focus, your wherewithal, your commitment to the task at hand? Understand that even now you can make a choice today to go in another direction and take the first steps to achieve one of your life long goals.
When I make a decision I go into it with 100% determination that I’m going to see this through to the end. I believe it’s better to go in wholeheartedly and fail than to be non-committal to avoid risk. At least when you fail you are falling forward into a new opportunity to make a better decision the next time. Did Thomas Edison fail 10,000 times when discovering electricity- or did he discover 9,999 learning experiences? How many times did you have to fall when you were learning how to walk? How many musicians do you know in your lifetime that spent 5, 10 , 15 years at their craft before they landed a record deal or went on to some form of success?
There’s always a way to solve any challenge. If the questions aren’t generating the answers you seek, focus on asking better questions. Find out if anyone in your family, workplace or network of friends can help provide insight or resources into the dreams you desire to make reality. We all have the same amount of time in a day- 24 hours. We can’t generate any more of it if we try- so we might as well make the best of it living with passion and commitment for all of our benefit.