Just under a week ago, I came across a quote by Melody Beattie that got me thinking about what really happens in that space between what we say we want and what actually happens.
But first, here’s that quote:
Do not ask for love unless you’re ready to be healed enough to give and receive love. Do not ask for joy unless you’re ready to feel and release your pain, so you can feel joy. Do not ask for success unless you’re ready to conquer the behaviours that would sabotage success.
I was particularly interested in the last sentence. Of course success means different things to different people but the premise is the same: regardless of what you say you want, set out to get, would like to achieve – there are some behaviours that are sabotaging your success. Are you willing to conquer them?
As you grow in life, and experience more and more of it, things you knew earlier on take on a completely different meaning. I am reminded of a couple verses from the Bible: first Corinthians, chapter nine, verses twenty-four to twenty-seven:
24 Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. 25 Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. 26 Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air. 27 No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.
There is no question that Paul was talking about self-discipline, self-control and the importance of finishing well.
Olympic champion Dan Gable, the legendary wrestler with an unmatchable work ethic and dedication to success moves audiences to tears whenever he shares his tale of tragedy, perseverance, redemption, and ultimately, heartbreaking courage. Today his accomplishments remain unparalleled in the sports world.
In an essay called The One Thing You Must Do, Craig Ballantyne highlights Gable’s story. “His training habits became legendary. He was the first one into practice and the last one out. Workouts were performed with the mantra of “Push to Collapse.” Each session was dedicated to working so hard he would have to be physically carried off the wrestling mat by the end. One by one he exhausted all of his training partners on his high school and eventually college teams. Gable went on to win the Gold medal at the ’72 Olympics by dominating his competition, no doubt in large part due to his training philosophy and dedication to working harder than anyone else in the world.”
How many of us are willing to break through the limitations of our mind, to challenge ourselves to do whatever it takes to get what we say what we want?
If you think that you can achieve success without changing anything in your life then I can guarantee that you won’t.
A similar fate will befall those who decide to acknowledge those behaviours that need changing and continue making excuses as to why they are, the way they are.
If you are the person who agrees that you SHOULD change…that there are definitely things that you need to work on BUT you can’t do that right now because you need to do X, Y, or Z first…then you will just keep on putting off what you MUST do and never follow through in making the changes necessary to enjoy success.
If however you’re someone who takes your success seriously then you will immediately begin taking stock of yourself. You will start to critically review your behaviors looking for those weak spots that need reinforcement. You will be willing to put your pride on the shelf, shove your ego aside, and start to do whatever is necessary to work on and change those habits. You WILL realize your greatest dreams of success.
Knowledge is only as good as it is applied and used. You can read all you want. You can be the best repository of information on any and all aspects of personal development and business success. However if you NEVER take action – you will never succeed.
Since March, I started a new habit of walking every day. I recently challenged myself to walk up Patience Hill, where I live in Tobago. I fondly call it my *beeatch*. The first time I walked that hill…I felt like I was wading through molasses. My legs felt heavy and my body felt unable to move forward. I walked that hill recently and was surprised when I got to the end. I did it in a much shorter time than I had ever done before, and it seemed easier to do. It occurred to me that my initial thoughts, when I first considered walking up that hill was that it was tough and challenging and I would never be able to do it comfortably. After two months of walking regularly I built the stamina to conquer the hill!
And so it is with everything. You have to really want something. You can’t say you want this today and that tomorrow. Stick with your goal. Be stubborn about it, but be flexible about your methods. Keep changing your approach until you get what you want. If you’re serious you need to be working toward that goal EVERY SINGLE DAY! And with every new day and new breath of life, you must be willing to act in the direction of your dream. This is the only way.
What you sow you will reap. We all have limitations. We all possess certain behaviours that hinder instead of help us. Let go of the excuses and latch on to the process of changing those behaviours. If you put in the effort you will begin to see changes. Your behaviours are your life. As your new behaviours become ingrained they’ll soon be like second nature to you and then and only then will you begin to benefit from the success you so richly deserve!