"A gold medal is a wonderful thing. But if you're not enough without one, you'll never be enough with one." ~ Cool Runnings
Cool Runnings is a cracking film. If you haven't seen this 1993 classic, do yourself a solid. It's particularly well suited to a day in need of a little feel-good motivation.
We can all call to mind an actor or athlete who attained an eye-watering position of fame and fortune — seeming to have it all — before suffering a devastating public implosion. After reaching the highest pinnacle possible, they're left wanting at the peak. And it's all downhill from there. As Jim Carrey said of his own experience, "Everybody should get rich and famous and do everything they ever dreamed of so they can see that it's not the answer".
We all appreciate this to some degree. So why is the pursuit still so compelling?
The answer lies in our human hardwiring. Abraham-Hicks summarises this perfectly, saying, "The reason you want every single thing that you want, is because you think you will feel really good when you get there". With even a moment's reflection, we can see this truth. The agent, the role, the award — we simply expect we'll feel better there than we do here. Hence the chase and hustle and striving.
Yet, there's a (lesser-acknowledged) part two to the Abraham-Hicks statement above: "If you don't feel really good on your way to there, you can't get there."
Fortunately, this nugget reveals how we can see through the illusion of mega-success, dodging the pitfalls while achieving our goals. And we can start right where we are. Today.
Our time is now
Dojo regulars will be well acquainted with the first three steps. Each only requires a little time and space to revisit or reimagine:
- Our personal definition of success.
- One goal that better aligns us with this definition.
- Our reverse engineered game plan.
This is the tactical practical component. If we're serious about kicking goals, it's also the most valuable gift we can offer ourselves.
Counterintuitively, we now momentarily set aside the above. For a flower to grow petals (i.e. experience magic), it must have a stem (i.e. a rock-solid foundation). These first three steps are our stem, now for the petals.
Circling back to the Abraham-Hicks quote above, we want to get crystal clear on the feeling(s) we expect "making it" to bring. Brainstorm anything that comes to mind (some homies will prefer to do this with pen and paper, others will do better to spitball in a voice memo).
In our research of actors and athletes, we've found two predominant feelings lead the charge: "enough-ness", and "special-ness".
For many, the quest for success is directly linked to a desire to feel whole, complete, enough. For an almost equal percentage of the population, the striving is driven by wanting to feel valued, meaningful, special. Sometimes, it's a dance of both.
Whatever our answer may be, our task is simple: we start to cultivate these feelings internally — today — before we get there externally.
This task is simple, but it isn't necessarily easy. In reality, we're already enough, we're already special. The problem is that we've collected a shed tonne of stories that persuade us otherwise. And, for some bizarre reason, we humans have a hard time letting these tales go.
But let these tales go we must — however we, being the unique garden flower we are, feel inclined and are able. Because we've truly "made it" when we experience the feeling of success regardless of the external circumstances. And, paradoxically, when we begin to vibe on this plane, those previously elusive external trappings start to waltz their way into our world. It's a most obnoxious mind-pretzel, we know. But we have to "make it" before we "make it".
"Made it" starts now.
Thoughts / feedback / challenges? We'd genuinely love to hear.