You can do it on your own. You know that right?
By it, I mean anything.
Recently I saw a Facebook post of a young man holding up a sign that read “Please hit like. My mom said if I get 500 likes she will quit smoking”
REALLY? I mean I’d love for a person to quit a deadly habit but if Facebook likes are the lynchpin to your lungs turning black or not, you may have bigger problems.
Fact: We all have the same 24 hours to work with.
Fact: What you choose to do with that 24 hours will determine the next 24 and so on.
Ok, I get it. We’re not all Michael Phelps when it comes to work ethic and motivation. But it’s in you. I promise.
And it only takes a spark. It simply takes making a decision to go from desire to discipline, when you stop thinking about it so much and just do it.
One of my favorite stories of “Just doing it” is that of Formula One driver Alex Zanardi. In 2001 he was leading the pack in the closing laps of a race when a horrific crash took both of his legs. Determined to get back, he designed his own prosthetic legs and returned to the track just two years later. In 2006, he returned to Formula One in a specially designed car in which he adapted to steering with one hand and throttling with the other.
Imagine the courage and fortitude it takes to make a turn at speeds close to 200 mph using just one hand.
Zanardi said “I see the human being is an incredible machine, totally undiscovered in many ways. Every one of us has a hidden tank of energy that comes out when it is needed.”
A hidden tank of energy. YES!
Whether it’s overcoming the loss of your limbs or overcoming an addiction, God has equipped us with an internal force that is capable of conquering just about anything. But you have to be willing to tap into it.
How can you make use of this you may ask. Here are three keys which I know will help.
1. Have short term memory
Often the greatest obstacle to our success is the fact we can’t escape the memories of past failures. The ego has a funny way of reminding us that “hey, didn’t you try this once before and fell flat on your face? Are you sure we are equipped for this?”
The answer is yes, you are equipped. But you have to know that your past DOES NOT predict your future.
Easier said than done? Yes, but pound that in your head. YOUR PAST DOES NOT PREDICT YOUR FUTURE. Write it on your bathroom mirror if you have to. Heck, tattoo it on your forearm if necessary. The truth is, nobody likes a learning curve but the people who are most successful in life embrace it and have the ability to take their memories of mistakes and pitfalls and file them under “Ain’t nobody got time for that”.
2. Do it as though your life depends on it.
Does your life depend on it? Yes! A resounding yes.
A good friend of mine recently told me that when he was training at his hardest in the gym he’d tell himself “if you don’t lift this weight for eight reps, mom is going to die”. And guess what? He got eight reps.
Now that’s pretty hard core right? A mindset like that seems extreme to most. For him though, it worked. And my point here is not that everybody has to be that extreme but most people who aren’t achieving their goals in life don’t get off their asses unless they are in dire straights, with their back up against a wall. That’s not the time to take action.
What’s your goal? And why aren’t you doing it? Well, does your life depend on it? Perhaps not literally. If you don’t get that promotion or lose that 20 pounds you’re not really going to die are you? No. But your life does depend on it. Your quality of life. Your ability to hit the mark and then set the next target and hit that.
Get on a roll. A winning streak. Success begets success. That’s what life is, a series of small victories that lead up to a body of work which creates overall happiness.
One year at the annual Pat’s Run, a charity running event in Phoenix held in honor of the late Pat Tillman, the theme was Live Your Dash. I think that is so powerful. We all have a start date, the day you were born, and we all have an expiration date, we know what that is, just not when. It’s the dash in between that must be filled with substance.
And that’s the key. Substance. Not junk.
Each day you’re not adding to or fulfilling that purpose, you’re doing your dash no justice. Your life depends on you finding the motivation, leaving past failures in the past and waking up into action every day as if your life depends on it.
3. Think God
In the 1980 movie Oh God, Book 2, God, played by George Burns, appears to a young girl and asks her help in spreading his message and influence with a slogan. In her youthful wisdom she made it short and simple “THINK GOD”.
The first line of this blog read “you can do it on your own” but there should’ve been an asterisk by that. You can do it on your own, but God is the caveat.
If you don’t truly believe you are unique and special and have gifts to offer to the world, then you’ll surely fail. And you’re wrong.
For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. (Pslam 139: 13-14)
From the most gifted mathematicians and composers to the child who was born with Down Syndrome or the one who was orphaned, each human that sets foot on this earth is here for a reason. And there is no deed or accomplishment we do which can be labeled greater than our neighbors because we never know the ripple effect that every action has on our environment.
Open your eyes each morning and know God is working in your favor. He is behind the scenes plotting your success.
David didn’t take five stones into his fight with Goliath because he didn’t trust God would allow him to slay the giant with one. It’s that Goliath had four brothers.
Faith is the one item most essential to our tool belt.
Know that he has a unique purpose for you. In his book Awaken The Giant Within, Tony Robbins makes a great point, saying “God’s delays are not God’s denials….winter is not infinite: even if you’re having challenges today, you can never give up on the coming of spring.” Which goes back to my first point of having a short term memory, not carrying your past failures into your future.
So you can do it alone, but by alone I mean with you and God.
Socially Speaking, today is a new day. But you must take it by the horns and act as if God has a plan for it and your life (your footprint on the world) does depend on taking action.