Last night it hit me.
You can call it the wet, cold mackerel of truth. You can call it having the curtain lifted. You can call it being honest with yourself. But whatever you call it, it is devastating. It was suddenly very clear to me:
1. I don’t know what I am doing
2. I am not making any progress toward my goals
3. My goals are hopeless and unrealistic.
Suddenly I was in a funk.
My life was in shambles. I was doing too much in too many areas and as a result spreading myself too thin. I wasn’t doing enough about the important things and spending too much time on trivialities. I way overestimated my ability to take on the challenges of my goals and therefor couldn’t hope to be successful. I was spinning my wheels. I wasn’t getting traction. You name the failure cliché and I was flogging myself with it.
I should have been depressed.
Surprisingly I was not. It was almost comforting. If my perception of reality last night was correct then all I had to do was relax and let mediocrity roll on. No more daily challenges to be more, do more and learn more. No more pressure to engage and relate with new people and new experiences. I could just relax and let my life flow on as usual. No more pressures. Everything would be fine. We can get by with my retirement income. My car is good for another 180,000 miles. We really don’t want to take that cruise. I began to wallow in the comfort of mediocrity. I slept well.
Back in perspective.
Thankfully, a good night’s sleep helped me get my life back in perspective. The ‘truth telling’ of last night was in reality a lie. I am making headway on my goals. I am staying focused on strategic activities and letting some of my marginal ones go. I may not have everything figured out. Some of my decisions may be flawed and need changing down the line and I may have to adjust my priorities from time to time. Daily I am learning new skills, understanding myself better and managing and focusing my limited time and resources to make my dreams happen.
Today I took the tasks were causing my funk and addressed them. It only took a few minutes and they went from being problems to just issues to take care of as needed. Then I sat down and planned my day and now am doing what I need to do.
The reason for dragging you through my journey is not to pat myself on the back. I want to illustrate how small things can influence my attitude and how much I am drawn to comfort and security. It was enough to make me distort reality, convince myself that black is white and almost enough to keep me satisfied with the usual routine over making a difference and being exceptional. What made the difference for me is the reading of good books, the examples of people who make their own good luck and the honest reflection of how far I have already traveled on my journey. I am certain that successful people deal with this struggle from time to time but keep moving. I know that there are many other people with tremendous potential that aren’t able to argue against self doubt and stop fighting because they haven’t read one more book or learned from one more winner how to fight the battle for success. You surely fit one category or the other.
Have any readers made that transition from knowing you can’t to knowing you can? Are you choosing to reject the ordinary and aim for extraordinary? If so, what made the difference and how does it keep you going against your own denial?