In real life however, our challenge is different because unlike in story books and fairy tales, the metaphorical finishing line is not always clearly signposted. So all too often we forget to pace ourselves, or we lose faith and give up one step too soon.
The challenge in achieving greatness in life is that you don't always know how much or how long it will take to reach your end goal. Adding to the challenge, is that the end of your story is unknown - we don't know for sure if we will achieve the greatness or excellence we dream of - and the not knowing plants doubt in our mind. After all, if we don't know we will succeed, how long and how hard should we try? The reasonable part of our mind argues that giving too much might be wasted effort, and so these worries feed and nurture the seed of doubt inside us, and our self-doubt quietly and insidiously grows.
Yet if you look at the success stories of our time, you'll find that the key for most famous people and incredible achievements was simply taking that next step - going a step further than you had planned - sometime several steps! Most importantly, it meant going a step further than others were willing to take. The key to being the best is often NOT being reasonable in our thinking, not hedging our bets or entertaining doubt, not being reasonable as we consider our chance of success - in fact it often takes an unreasonable person to go further, with conviction and resolution in the face of uncertainty.
But to do this, we have to have focus and we have to believe in ourselves and our endeavour whole-heartedly, even when the odds are stacked against! Like when we watch a movie, and certain parts seem impossible, we need to just go with it and ‘suspend our reality' in our mission to achieve our objective. In real life there aren't always signs that paint the path to our end goal for us. And so we can't know if we are on track. Often we don't even have a clear finish line in our head but we have to keep going still. What started out as a 10km run, may end up being a marathon - the question is, will you still be in the race to win it at the end?
Do you know what your end goal looks like? Will you recognise it when you arrive? What will it feel like? Look like? Sound like? By making your end goal vivid, bold, clear and inviting, all of the barriers in front of it become less significant.
When you do this you can recognise that a barrier, or ‘no' along the way, really means ‘not now, under the current circumstances', rather than being a complete rejection or dead end. With ‘not now' your brain can see options not just failure - now you can adjust your angle, change your offering or change the circumstances!
It's about powerful thinking so you don't see ‘no' as a brick wall but rather as a detour, where you are challenged to find a new way through. If we see all ‘failure' as feedback' as part of our still ongoing journey, it becomes useful and the negativity disappears. The possibilities become endless and we no longer let failure deter us, because we see it as part of the journey, not a barrier to our end destination.
So here is my challenge to you, should you choose to accept it and imagine what could come of you taking the time to do this with me as you progress on your own journey. The challenge is this:
1) Stop being reasonable and get clear about what your success will be like;
2) take the next steps to get there and
3) go one step further, and enjoy the journey.
Have a positive, powerful and pro active week. For more to help you on your journey please visit us on iTunes and download our podcasts, which this is based on.