At the beginning of this week I wanted to feel expansive. Don't laugh, I know it sounds grandiose. That's what planning and sticking to the plan does for me in the face of a to-do list and schedule that are completely whacked out for the next two months. And my kids don't even play baseball :o)
I was expecting to use our results from this week's Family Surfing Night for a blog post this week, because you know - Family Surfing Night was on the schedule and all. We did have the companion Family (Sitdown) Dinner, however FSN was bumped by a high level discussion about the cell phone bill. Let's just say a family plan with six lines plus travel to Mexico can be a tricky proposition. Our cell phone carrier already credited us $347.00 - yes! three HUNDRED forty seven dollars!! - and we STILL need to speak a supervisor. Maybe the supervisor's supervisor. ¡Ay, caramba!
Postponing Family Surfing Night had me casting about for a post topic, and I came upon the following that I wrote sometime in the dim past. I can't remember why I wrote it, but write I did, and then promptly forgot about it. That's how all the forgetting is these days ... prompt.
When I hear authors and writers speak about writing, so often they say to write what you yourself need to hear. Dear Me, do I ever need to hear this one. A wonderful family vacation where eating was so much fun, plus a few emotional weeks, plus an exercise schedule out of sync equals : hello ten pounds I thought I'd lost, but now I've found. Sigh.
If you're in need of a little motivational reality talk, this one's for you. And for me. Mostly me.
I'm not sure anything is worse than seeing no progress in the face of trying. so. hard.
You fix the goal in your mind and in your heart and begin the march toward it. It's personal, so there's no one to walk beside you to ease the tedium of the journey. It's just you and the trail. There are days when you can feel the press of the heart change just there, so close. And then there are days when it seems you're just walking in place, and nothing you do sets you forward.
Chuck Swindoll compares striving toward a goal to climbing a mountain. You begin, and although the peak is admittedly high, you expect you'll be there within the hour - maybe an hour and a half. And you keep looking up to the top to check your progress, but it doesn't get any closer. Each step is a groundhog day, and with every glance to the top you become convinced you're frozen in place. The peak rises there above you, the gap between it and "you are here" maddeningly vast.
In the face of no apparent progress, of course you cast about for an easier route. You search for a shortcut, but the truth is there's only one path to the top. It's those moments when your effort seems to render no progress at all that it's so critical to just keep going. Just keep going, even though it seems to make no difference.
Because the thing is, there isn't a short cut. There isn't a tomorrow that's easier, or a method that's easier. Our human nature wants to choose the path of least resistance, the easiest way, the shortest cut. But that path brings you nowhere near your best self, and it does nothing to develop and challenge your skill and your talents. The path of least resistance takes you straight to mediocre, just enough to get by, and the smallest possible life.
And REALLY, if you stop trying right now, you'll see that what you're doing DOES matter. If you stop trying right now, you'll be slipping back down the mountain, faster and faster, further from your goal before you realize it's happened. And when you finally finish that out of control slide and look up to see where you are, you'll see that whatever it is you're doing right now that you think doesn't make any difference, actually represents half a mountain's worth of progress, and holding onto that progress is far better than losing ground and having to start at the bottom again.
So don't stop. Keep going. You can do this.
Where you are is lots better than where you were.
And now, because it fits so nicely and oddly enough I will never see this video too many times,
here's a bit from Shia Lebeauf that says it all.
It gets me every single time ... simultaneously, I laugh and want to do something great.
So come on ... let's DO IT!