One of my original mentors from the Maxwell Leadership Team is Paul Martinelli. He made a
comment that made a lot of sense to me, “Most people say they want a lot more than they actually do and they settle for less than they could actually get.” And the sad thing for me - I can look back at my life, and there are far too many occasions where I resemble this thought. There are times where I reflect, and realize that I am not achieving everything I want.
I have been mad, or at least disappointed with myself too many times.
Part of me wants to blame my previous employer, but that’s not really how I function. Instead, I look at what others didn’t see in me (early arriver, late to leave, willing to do what others may be unwilling to do). Maybe, I didn’t have enough initiative. Maybe. And yet, there was never someone who chose to “invest” in me. At the least, I did not feel that those who were in charge, managers, did not take me aside and acknowledge my ambitions and willingness to work harder than others (if they had, I would consider them leaders, instead they were simply managing their part of business). I would bring up my interests and ambitions during annual and semi-annual reviews, but found most unwilling to share any honest perceptions. Because of this, I spent most of my career investing in myself. It’s what has led me to take other paths that would bring other opportunities, including starting my own business and taking the leap! Additionally, I have tried to watch for this in others, what I wanted to be seen in me.
If you see yourself as willing to go that extra mile, but struggling to see opportunities come your way - consider sitting down with someone to discuss your dreams, goals, and aspirations. A Thinking Partner may be just the type of person that would add value to your search.
When I learned to ride a bike, I did not have the luxury of training wheels.
There are pro’s and con’s to training wheels. They do provide an improved initial balance to aid in the learning process. And yet, they also challenge the ability to make adequate turns, especially a U-turn. (I really hated that limitation.) And while not getting hurt is a nice feature; I think it lengthens the earning process. The more there is to lose, the more you want to achieve faster.
Similarly, in the learning process, when you get into any personal growth study, one of the factors that holds us back is that voice in the back of our head that questions whether we want something or not. It makes us wonder if we are worthy. And what it comes down to is a test of our Desire. If your desire is lukewarm, your success will be as well. However, if you have a burning desire, then you will not want any more failure than is absolutely necessary; and your real success will come that much faster, and more reward.
It’s up to you whether your personal growth process has training wheels or there’s a fire in your belly, and you can’t wait to get to the other side!
Certainly, many of us have questions about whether we are good enough. The earlier we realize that if we really want something, we are good enough. Consider how many times Abraham Lincoln failed; and now is considered one of the best presidents ever. How about late starter Colonel Harland Sanders…..without him, we wouldn’t have KFC (Kentucky Fried Chicken). A few facts to put his “overnight” success in perspective - In 1930, at the age of 40, he began to introduce the world to his southern style chicken. He perfected the 11 herbs and spices in 1939 and then truly was competing with the hamburger in 1960, at the age of 70.
If you want to follow your dream, we must realize that everything worthwhile is uphill (John Maxwell). If you truly want it, you must ACT. And in the face of difficulties, you must find your “yes” to keep going. Remember this, and it may be the most important - do not negotiate with our dream! (Thank you Paul, for teaching me!)