Challenge or Instant Hero: Which Do You Prefer?

Promises abound through the commercial media with instant results. Lose 10 pounds in one week with this miracle diet or piece of fitness equipment. Settle with this debt consolidation company and you’ll be home free financially within a year. Buy this particular program and all of your wishes will be granted immediately and without little investment of effort.

Sure the advertising appears enticing- but the fact remains that no one can hand you the keys to success, fame, fortune or happiness without your personal application and investment in the process. The odds are stacked against you if you believe you’re going to make your millions through gambling or the state lotteries that proliferate our country.

I believe taking the challenge to become a better person each and every day will make you a complete being- better than any quick fix, instant recipe cooked up to try to ‘pump’ you up. Let me give you an example from my life to illustrate this point.

I currently bowl two nights a week in two different bowling centers, one on Mondays closer to my work and one on Thursdays that I’ve bowled in for a couple of years. The Monday center is a small 12 lane house on an air force base, well maintained and very friendly. The shot they put out is fair, and you have to earn your scores as bad shots will result in pocket splits or 4-5 pin combination spares. The Thursday center appeals to the instant hero mentality. the bowler who wants to feel really good about their ability but can only be accurate within a 6-8 board margin for error.

I enjoy the challenge that Monday’s house represents, but I’m also aware of the fact that my scores on Thursday are definitely inflated because of the conditions and carry characteristics of the house- not because I’m that awesome of a bowler. Would I like to see the scores decrease a little on Thursdays? Sure- but I also know that the center’s belief is the higher scoring the shot, the more people will consume food and liquid beverages at the bar… thus increasing their night’s profit margins.

I’m going to do my best in all situations when it comes to bowling- that’s my personality. I just believe that there’s nothing wrong with having to work at a craft, applying technique, trial and error, outside help with coaching, etc., than to just go down to the lanes without more than 4-6 shots of warm up and instantly you can average 240. Have we as a culture become that jaded and lazy? Do we need instant gratification every time, or is there nothing wrong with having to work at something for months and months, years and years to reach a pinnacle development?

No one hits a home run every time they go up to bat. A lot of times the superstars you see on your television screens every day spent years behind the scenes improving their chances for the spotlight by practicing for hours, studying their heroes, asking the right questions and putting themselves in the right situations for success. There’s nothing wrong with taking a step back, looking at where you are and seeing what you need to do to accomplish where you want to go in 3 months, 6 months, a year, 3 years, 5 years or 10 years from today.

So if you want to improve in any particular area of your life, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Look at your network of friends, family, colleagues at work, people you may know that provide services for you and let them know about where you want to go and see if they have resources that can get you stepping in the right direction. Take the course on-line or after work that can boost your salary and make things easier for your boss. Show people you are active in your vision and they’ll be more likely to come along for the ride.

As far as what I prefer? I’ll take a challenge every time. Thanks to Mark Victor Hansen, I’ve learned that life is all about how we handle challenges that get placed before us- I refuse to let the word problems come to my table anymore.

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