I believe we all have a natural desire to be significant and to be contributing members of society. Yet few of us truly feel like we are creating the rules that will allow us to succeed. One way to escape from this in today’s world is to live our lives through other people via reality TV, gurus, experts, music groups, sports stars, business experts and other heroes. This is not the road to success.
Rather than encouraging us to do and be the same, this constant focus on “exceptional people” can keep us from building our own life of significance. We feel if our sports hero wins, we win. Or if my business guru is paying attention to me, I’m significant. While we idolize our hero, too often we lose site of what got them there. And I can guarantee you that with very few exceptions, it wasn’t talent, but struggle.
Is it possible that deep and willing commitment to the persistent effort it takes to get to your Big Why is what actually creates meaning and joy?
Are we too focused on the result, thinking that “arriving” will make us happy? Why do athletes, music heroes, and business people who are already at the top of their field and financially secure keep going? Why don’t they retire as soon as they get there?
I believe it is because they have found the secret (such an over used term) of meaning and joy. They understand that joy is not found in the destination but in the journey, and that love of the process of persistent struggle is the key to joy.
How did your star athlete get to the level they are at? By persistent struggle on the weight machines, on the track and daily work at perfecting their craft. Relentless, consistent, persistent struggle. And a deep love for that process. Yo Yo Ma (world-famous cellist) once told my daughter “The key to becoming a world class musician is to learn to love to practice; to practice very day as if you’re sitting on stage at Carnegie Hall for your debut concert.”
Do you love the process or are you focused on the result? Measure the result, but focus on the process, and learn to love the process of building your mental muscles. Learn to love the process and the ongoing development of both your craft and your business. You will find the most meaning and joy in having made it through the tough times and having created success by loving the persistent process of getting there.
Your heroes didn’t get there by talent. They got there by learning to love the process of getting there. Take the things in this blog with you into the real world, get beat up, fall down, get back up a little stronger, and do it again. Build your mental muscles one at a time, but relentlessly. Unswerving commitment to the process of getting there is the only thing that will get you there. We get what we intend, not what we hope for.
Circumstances don’t make me who I am. How I respond to them does.
Respond with tenacity! That will get you there! Do what it takes to build a business and a life of significance!
Let’s do it together!