There is something to be said about accomplishing big goals and dreams.
Something to be said about doing well and standing out.
For most of my life I was good. I was good at things, better than average, but never exceptional. I remember having a little debate with a friend about this one question when I ran track.
“Would you rather be the fastest slow person or the slowest fast person?”
This question would constantly spark the thought of being good but not great. Now years later, I am at a different point in my life where I finally can say I’m not good anymore, I’m great. Looking back and looking around, I see and know that there are a lot of people who want to be great.
Well, how do you step up from that to the next level of achievement and accomplishment?
Simply put, one key factor was the shift; the shift from external to internal. I would race against my friends and try to beat them, be the fastest on the relay team, score the most points in a basketball game. I constantly and consistently compared and pushed myself based on external stimulus. Sure, those were good motivators for improvement but the thing about it is that if your environment does not push you then you don’t push either and so there is no need for improvement.
Like most people that don’t like what is going on in their lives, there are bills to be paid and, you must eat. There are too many months and not enough money. Those on the “struggle bus,” grinding it out have external factors pushing them into the dreams of the good life, of being able to pay bills on time, put a good amount of gas in the car, and buy a good amount of groceries. These are the good goals that the external world pushes us towards. So then, What happens when goals are finally achieved and things are flowing? What can we use to keep things improving for us? For instance, Why not pay 3 months in advance for rent? How about eliminating all bad debt completely, like student loans? Though at this point in life where we are stable professionally and financially, a lot of people do not really or easily move from this point. This is now the point where the internal drive is the force behind movement.
I remember deciding to start focusing on my personal records when I ran track. I first started focusing on shaving seconds off my own time simply to become the best I could be and that’s when I started to break those P.R.s. I was at my peak once I shifted my thinking. Subsequently, that is what helped me to begin to really surpass my teammates performance wise. But then I got injured and that’s another story. But it was this shift in thinking, once I applied this thought of how I could make myself the best version, that I became the best I’ve ever been. Things went on the up and up for me. I began to create better relationships, do more and continue to increase my skills and have people see me more and more as someone who was amazing at something.
However, this shift came with a decision and the decision was that I had to put that “fire under my butt.” Instead of my bank account saying you can’t buy this, I said, “no I can’t buy this now, maybe later.” Instead of my class schedule or my job schedule dictating when I would hang out with my friends and go out, it was my routine and deadlines for goals that dictated it. My responses went from “nah I can’t man I got school work to do,” to “nah I can’t, I got some work I need to do for my personal projects.”
You must light that fire under your butt, hold yourself accountable and move your motivators to internal sources. You should ask yourself, why you should keep pushing yourself towards your goals and why you want to achieve them. Hold yourself accountable and your goals seriously; focus on what you need to do in the present to move you towards a better future. Once you start to focus on your personal goals and achieving more and more of them you will see and feel that jump from doing good things to being amazing. It is always an amazing and humbling experience to know that people want to learn MY style of dance and think I’m an amazing dancer. Had I not pushed myself, focused on my growth and surpassed my best, my current reality would not be possible. My constant goal is that this time next year I want my worse day to be as good as, if not better, than my best day of this year.
Hopefully this mentality will do you some good as well.