What happens when you reach a goal? Do you revel in its glory, pack things up, and head home? Boast to everyone that you accomplished your mission, or maybe you humbly sit at home and think about your success? What happens when we stop working towards the next goal? Many people will tell you to celebrate, take a break, that you’ve earned it, that you should take it easy and really appreciate all the work you’ve done. When you look at those people, do you see someone that you admire and want to be more like? If the answer is yes, maybe you should do what they say. If the answer is no, why would you listen to them and do what they say? Taking it easy and celebrating their successes got them where they are. Is that were you want to be?
I came to a startling conclusion that was both scary and invigorating. I don’t think I’ll ever be good enough for myself. I realized this when I wasn’t happy with the outcome of a workout. I completed the workout, didn’t quit, and was plenty tired when it was over. It wasn’t enough. Previously, my goal with workouts was to not quit. That’s it. Keep pushing, don’t quit, and make sure you finish. Some would argue that this is admirable, and everyone should strive for that. Ay, therein lies the rub. Everyone should aim for that. It’s what you signed up for. So what makes me so special because I finished and didn’t quit? Nothing. I set a goal, met it, and am now meeting it regularly. So why would I keep that as a goal?
Keeping Heraclitus in mind, where do we fall? Am I the warrior? No. Why? Because if I ever reach the top, I’ll have nowhere else to go. I like to think of goals much like the struggle of Sisyphus. If I ever reach the top of that hill with that boulder, I’m going to push it back down myself and start all over. Always a new goal, always working towards something, or as some might say, always a white belt.
I’m not a master of words, so I’ll leave you with one of the scariest truths I’ve had the privilege of reading. Think about who you want to be, take a step towards that every single day, and you will be that person.
Now is the time to get serious about living your ideals. How long can you afford to put off who you really want to be? Your nobler self cannot wait any longer. Put your principles into practice – now. Stop the excuses and the procrastination. This is your life! You aren’t a child anymore. The sooner you set yourself to your spiritual program, the happier you will be. The longer you wait, the more you’ll be vulnerable to mediocrity and feel filled with shame and regret, because you know you are capable of better. From this instant on, vow to stop disappointing yourself. Separate yourself from the mob. Decide to be extraordinary and do what you need to do – nowEpictetus