The text message read, “I am tired of living on the defensive, can you help?” I could have pecked out that text message many times. I think most of us could. We might say it any number of ways but it screams one thing—“I’m stuck, can you help me get unstuck.”
Stuck is that sinking feeling you have in the pit of your stomach that says you are on the defensive. It a position in the race where progress is halted and you begin drifting away from the finish you envision.
Did he say what I thought he said? He most certainly did. He called it, “a phenomenon.” It is most certainly an annual event. But to call it a phenomenon would be overstating it.
A phenomenon is defined as an unusual, significant, or unaccountable fact or occurrence; a marvel or remarkable occurence. So it is clearly not a phenomenon. You might argue it is significant (it is), but remarkable—unfortunately not.
Starting is easy—it’s finishing that is difficult. You’ve been there. We’ve all been there. One lap, one quarter, one period to go. How you finish is what separates a good legacy from a great one.
When the finish line comes into view it can give rise to a range of emotions—especially if the stakes are high and the important people in our life are counting on us.
Do you believe in miracles? “Great moments are born from great opportunity!” These were the opening words to a pre-game speech that became the prelude to one of the greatest moments in Olympic history. Words that shine a light on the key to conquering giants.
How great an opportunity—David versus Goliath great.
Why would you make a change when things are going well? Who would think it good advice to abandon something in the midst of success?
A good thing is a good thing—right? It would be foolish to jump ship or change course when the view and the forecast looks perfect. But is it?
What would be different in our lives, relationships, performances and contributions if we focused on the wildly important? You know the people and goals that we plan to focus on when our feet hit the floor in the morning—maybe after the first cup of coffee.
I knew this was the right question after hearing my friend describe his past week as, “Crazy, busy, overwhelming and out of control.” Ever feel this way—maybe all the time?
A good friend sent me a text. “Jim, can we schedule a bi-weekly call for you to coach me? I have a lot on my plate and at times it can be overwhelming.” I am rarely surprised by such a request because I know exactly what they are feeling and experiencing—don’t you?
Most people I meet are like my friend—ambitious, loving of family and friends, passionate about the things that stir their soul, desiring to live with purpose and wanting to know that what they are doing is going to produce meaningful impact.
Don’t you love the elation you feel when you cross the finish line of a successful race? Don’t you still recall a few great celebrations after accomplishing a big goal or dream?
We all have. And when we set our sights on a new finish line (an important goal or big dream), we are filled with great intentions and expectations. But then something happens. Your race grinds to a halt as resistance robs you of your passion and enthusiasm.
You’ve met it. It may have defeated you—maybe still defeating you. It is a constant companion of anyone who dares to run the courageous race—to pursue impact that positively impacts the important people in their life.
It does not discriminate—it hates all dreams and pursuit of meaningful impact. It doesn’t care about your talent, circumstances or condition. It is a force that stands between you and the starting line of the dream that stirs your heart. It is the blow that deals defeat and pushes you to curb when the finish line is in sight.
Can you? Or can’t you? I wrestle with these questions all the time. Two seemingly simple questions that commonly separates achievement and failure.
The pursuit of difficult goals present challenges and frustrations that bring us to a moment of truth where talent, past accomplishments, or ability will likely not determine success. A moment of truth that commands in us a belief that we can do it, a point where you don’t worry about whether anyone else thinks you can – you step out and do it.