“Start where you are, use what you have, do what you can.” (Arthur Ashe) From the Jack’s Winning Wordsblog earlier this week.
I understand where Ashe was coming from in this little quote, but, to me, it seems a little defeatist; a little too accepting of things as you find them; and a little to limiting on what you can actually do. There is no ‘stretch” in those statements. Those almost seem to be the aspirations of a plugger or a grinder. If I had to pick a fictional character to voice them, I’d pick Eeyore from Winnie the Poo.
If I were to rephrase this quote in a more positive and upbeat way, it would read like this –
“Start with where you want to be; visualize what you’ll need to do to get there; then, do what you have to do to achieve your goal.” ( Norm Werner)
It seems to me, that if you start each week with your goal to somehow make it through until Friday, then that’s exactly all that you’ll achieve. You’ll grind along using what you have and doing what you can, but at the end of the week you’ll still be where you started. Not very inspiring is it?
Now, I’m not saying that you can imagine yourself to success; however, a variation of imagining is visualization and that has proven to be one of the secrets to success of people who get ahead and for winners in sports. They “see” themselves being successful. They visualize the perfect golf shot or they “see” themselves getting the big promotion or creating the hot new company. However; actual success is the product of hard work, in addition to high aspirations. No one said it would be easy; but no one is saying it’s impossible either.
Every story of great athletic success also has a back-story of tremendous amounts of training and striving and putting in the extra effort to be the best and to get to that goal. Every Olympics has tons of those stories associated with the Gold Medal winners. Every story of success in business has a background story of putting in the extra effort to learn or to try and fail and start over again when others would have given up. You don’t get to see how many times that Olympic ice skater fell while trying to perfect her triple toe loop, but she could show you the bruises. You probably will never heart about the 4-5 start-up companies that failed before that young business success got it right, but they are out there in the dust bins of history. Winners get up, dust themselves off, learn from their failure and try again and again and again and again…until they achieve their goal.
So, here we are. It’s Wednesday and you’re half way to achieving your goal, if just getting to Friday was your goal. Woo Hoo!
What about your dreams? What about breaking out of the rut that you are in? What have you done about that this week? What about having something real to celebrate on Friday? You still have time. Forget about where you are. Where do you want to be? Forget about what you have. What do you need to do to get where you want to be? Do what you must to stay alive; but, then go beyond that and do what you need to do to get where you want to be – to get a new life. It’s only Wednesday, you still have time this week.
If you take the plunge to pursue your dreams you won’t be celebrating TGIF; you’ll be saying, “Oh crap, it’s Friday
already, I need more time to get stuff done.” Don’t worry, there’s always next week; and, if you start it with the right attitude of commitment to your dream you’ll have something great to celebrate again the next Friday.
I believe that’s another other key to success, learning to celebrate your successes, no matter how small; and learning how to build upon them. Every hour that you put in is an hour that someone else didn’t dedicate to their success and that puts you an hour ahead of them. Every class that you take gets you closer to your goal. Every sacrifice that you make brings you a step closer to where you want to be. Every time that you fall (fail) but get back up again is another indication that you will not be stopped by adversity. Celebrate that; revel in that; you cannot be defeated and that is something to thank God for on Friday and every day of the week.
Print this quote out and put it on your wall –
I know where I’m going, I can see what I need to do to get there; and, I will not stop until I have reached my goal. (Put your name at the end, because it’s your dream and you own it)
Now get off your duffs and get on with your dreams. Thanks God it’s not Friday, yet.