“You really think this could work?” my brother asked during an impromptu outing at a restaurant we frequented often. In between sipping my room temperature tap water and devouring warm tortilla chips, I replied with a smile, “anything’s possible, if you’re willing to put in the work.” Conversations of business and big dreams dominated many of our outings which in many ways, I’ve grown to appreciate more and more as the years have gone by. After the aroma of fresh salsa, Latin Jazz and great company had then faded into a freshly cemented memory later that evening, I thought of the people who’ve had dreams and desires of great achievement themselves but never quite saw them come to pass. Why? I wondered as the cool autumn breeze slipped it’s way through the crack of my window as my car continued it’s glide down a near empty route 50, with home set as my final destination. Nearly lost in a sea of unbridled thought, I found that solitude almost spiritually evoked some of my greatest inner conversations — that night was no different.
Not even 10 minutes after crossing the threshold of my home, I lied in bed that night staring at the ceiling bound awake by that nagging thought. We’ve all known well intentioned family members and friends who’ve had a brilliant ideas, only later to find that they’ve abandoned them to newer, much shinier sure things, or so they believed. I’ve discovered this is in part due to a lack of singularity of focus which is at the crux of success in a particular area. To put it frankly, many give up before they could ever have seen the traction they so earnestly desire. So what separates the winners and the losers in this thing called life? I’ve spent the greater part of these last few years pondering what traits are developed in those who create massive success in their lives and why so few ever tap into their greatness. What I’ve discovered for myself is both note worthy and inspiring.
Nearly everyone wishes to become something meaningful in this crazy world of ours. Humanity’s quest for meaning has led many to ponder the great mysteries of the universe in order to find the significance of our earthly experience. This yearning is what drives us to wonder the possibilities. Dream big, which has become my battle cry is deeply intertwined in our innate need to become more, to grow — a empowering evolution of sorts. It doesn’t just end with having a dream though. With every dream comes a moment when we must boldly take the first step which is often the hardest of them all. Often that’s where the difficulty reveals itself. “But where do I begin?” many ask. Perhaps it’s getting up early in the morning to brain storm ideas. Maybe it’s putting on your running shoes and going for a walk every evening. Could it be finally starting that business you’ve passionately put off for years promising yourself you’d figure out the details some day? You’ve got to decide and discover where you wish to go. The answer is within you, it just takes time to put it all together. Other’s find themselves quitting the journey not long after the journey had begun, feeling the pain of opposition, they convince themselves the dream wasn’t for them. Flowers have never bloomed over night. Caterpillars do not metamorphosize into beautiful butterflies in one night. Things take time and they take concerted, conscious, and continuous effort.
Discipline, which greatness relies upon, is a ten letter word that seems to evoke a defiant clamor even among the mightiest of us but it’s power is unmatched in those who harness it’s power. In the not so distant past I had difficulty exercising discipline in many areas of my life. If I didn’t feel like doing something, I didn’t do it and complained when I didn’t get the results I was looking for out of my life. Starting things and never finishing became the theme that had shown it’s ugly face time and time again. Many night’s I’d pray wondering why the good lord handed me the cards I felt I was unjustly dealt. The real reason my dreams had not began to materialize was simply due to my unwillingness to get started and my reluctance to practice disciplined concerted effort. The things we do as teenagers stumbling through life foolishly believing we had all of the answers. I cringe just thinking about it. Thank the Lord for maturity.
As the proverbial ink begins to dry on this essay, I hope you begin to think of your own life and the things you’ve always hoped to accomplish. I encourage you to find a quiet place in your home, perhaps a park or anywhere you feel completely comfortable and really examine your sincerest desires. Have you been putting things off and not giving yourself a fair chance at the success you’ve always wanted? Have you been saying, “I’ll get to it tomorrow?” Self examination alone is one of the things that will separate you from the rest of the world who toil their entire lives away as a mere shell of their truest potential. Many are distracted by entertainment and other time wasting avenues but there’s something different about you of course. You won’t be like the rest of humanity who squander their time away only to feel the sting of regret as the train of life approaches the end of the line. You’ve got the power and the ability to be more than you ever thought possible and that power is already on the inside of you. Les brown said it best when he said, “you must be willing to do the things today others don’t do in order to have the things tomorrow others won’t have.” With only one life to live, living each day leaving nothing left to chance should be one’s highest priority. Choose today, to go hard after your dreams and I promise you’ll never regret it.
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