How many of the X factor winners can you name? Maybe you can name them all. But out of them who has actually gone on to have a lasting career in the music industry? Of those who achieved a Christmas number 1 after the show was over has gone on to have another one? Not very many I bet. Even Leonna Lewis hasn’t released anything is a while.
We all want to be successful but very few of us want to put the work in. We want success now. But when we get it overnight can we keep itgoing?
When I was a kid I hated being made to practice the piano for 1 hour a day. It’s not that I didn’t want to be good. I just didn’t want to put in the effort getting there.
Funnily enough things haven’t changed. I still don’t want to put the work in. So I want to be a great writer but I don’t want to write every day to find my voice or I want to run a marathon but I don’t want to run small amounts many many times to build up the stamina. I want community but I don’t want to have to grow intimacy and closeness every day, especially when it’s tough.
We often see where we want to be but are not prepared to do the small steps to get there.
The reason I think I and many other people feel like this is because we get frustrated when we start out and realise we aren’t as good as we thought. So when I went for a run a couple of weeks ago and realized I had lost most of my fitness and I was slow and dead after just a mile, I felt awful and wanted to be marathon fit already. I haven’t ran since.
But what if we look at it differently?
We all know the cliché taking it one day at a time. It’s true, but what if we saw our attempts each day as they really are. That is, the best that we can achieve right now. So when I run if I can only run a mile and have to stop to walk every so often and finish in over 30 minutes that is alright because right now that is my best. I have given it all I can. This is my peak fitness right now.
Or when I write tomorrow I write one blog but that is all I can come up with presently. That is my best. Yes in a few weeks I may be able to write 3 or 4 blogs a day but that is then and right now I owe it to my current best to achieve it.
Suddenly I am hitting my best work every day rather than feeling despair as I compare it to some hypothetical event in the future.
Soon though we find that we can run faster longer, we can write better and clearer and we can tell how our friend is doing without even having to ask.
This is how we get better. Not by beating ourselves up because we aren’t living up to our expectations (as reasonable as they are) Not by pretending you are better than you really are. But by achieving your optimum result whatever that is today.
Afterall, all you can do is your best.