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500+ for 50 – day 7: the two c’s to suCCess

I think that most people would agree that anytime we are in pursuit of a goal or a dream, there are two distinct hurdles that we must clear in order to achieve the success that we desire.  The first of these obstacles is the willingness to try.  And the second is the tenacity to stick to our chosen path until we reach our final destination.  Sounds pretty basic, right?  It is.  But the truth of the matter is that that these two mental obstacles handcuff most people for their entire lives.  Who knows what greatness might be achieved if we all took the initiative to get going and not resign until we reach our peaks.

In our country, it’s become far too easy for the average individual to sink back into his chair and view the world from the sidelines.  We are all engaged by the people that we admire.  Athletes, entrepreneurs, artists, scholars, servicemen…the list can go on and on.  We love playing the role of the fan.  And although we may feel that we live and die by the actions and words of our heroes, our risk is non-existent.  It’s the individuals doing the work, making the sacrifices, and chasing their dreams that are truly the risk takers.  They’ve made the investment in personal growth.  Too many of us are simply living our dreams vicariously through our idols.  After all, it’s far more comfortable to exist in a world where there is no threat of personal failure.  So “let someone else do it” we say…”I’m not good enough anyway”.

That little negative self-directed statement is enough to keep the average person living a life completely off course with their vision and purpose for the majority of their time on this earth.  That’s a sad truth.  Fears of risk, failure, and judgment…these anxieties are dream killers.  They do nothing but limit a person’s ability to live a fulfilling life that will serve to enrich the lives of those around them.  There is no validity to the negative self-talk that we speak.  We are the product of a perfect God.  Where we see flaws, the Good Lord sees our greatest strengths.  Those people that you admire on TV or in the news, they are no different than you.  They’ve just committed their lives to success.  And I can assure you that each and every one of them embodies two very special qualities: courage and consistency.

You cannot go anywhere without courage.  Courage is the ability to step forward in spite of the fears and threats of pain that will inevitably arise when we decide to chase our dreams.  It takes guts to get started.  I heard one of my favorite speakers declare once that “if your dream doesn’t scare you, it isn’t big enough.”  No one is immune to fear.  But we all have the ability to choose how it is that we will react to it when it presents itself.  When you decide to blaze a new trail in your life, you will face anxieties that you never even knew existed.  It’s our body’s natural reaction to send us into protective mode when we encounter something new because it is has perceived that a threat has been made that will set us off balance.  You’ve got to roll with it and push forward.  Your goals and dreams need to reach a level of importance to you that you will not retreat.  You have to be invested in the idea that you’re ready to lace them up and take the field.  Your days of being a fan are now over.

Once you’re moving in the right direction, there is no doubt that your adrenaline and momentum will provide you with a euphoric high for days or even weeks that you will not want to lose.  But life is not going to always provide you with sunny skies and a clear road ahead on the pathway to success.  You are going to encounter adversity.  Not once, but time and time again.  And this is where the second “C” comes into play.  Consistency.  It’s got to be the most difficult thing for dream chasers to master.  Every New Year you see people willing to get started on a new weight loss goal.  But how many treadmills are turned into clothes racks just a few months later?  That’s because the individual’s desire for success was not strong enough to motivate him to master the consistency needed to hit his targets.  There are going to be bad days.  Consistency is anticipating difficulty and sticking to the program anyway.  It means running when your legs ache, it means studying when you’d rather watch a movie, it means sacrificing financially when you’d love to treat yourself to some worldly comforts, it means getting up early when you’d rather sleep in…you get it…it means not changing your course of action for ANYTHING.  The people who are truly successful at achieving all that they desire do not miss a step.  They form habits that guarantee success by maintaining a consistent effort at all times.

We’ve all got a unique star gazing child inside of us that’s just begging for chance to play ball.  And our greatest contributions reside within that dreamer’s eyes.  So take him or her out back and toss it around a few times.  You might be offered the courage to build something spectacular.  And with consistent, determined action, your finished product will be sure to shine.

May God Bless!

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