My trainer pisses me off.
She puts these heavy weights in my hands and makes me push them in various different ways to build various levels of strength in my body.
That doesn’t bother me so much. I can play that game.
But just when I think I can’t push any more or lift another time, she says, “Okay, three more. You can do it!”
That’s when I decide to hate her. Sometimes I spew mean things to her in between breaths. This makes her laugh.
The truth is, I pay her to do this to me. Because this is when I would typically stop.
This morning it dawned on me during my work out that this moment – when I just want to toss a dumbbell at her, but decide instead to lift the weight anyway – is what success is all about.
It’s about the uneventful little choice we make in the moment. Every moment.
It’s so typical (and tempting) to make success about the sexiness. About the “there” we arrive at.
“A million bucks!”
But the truth about success is that it’s really not sexy at all. That’s because it’s not about the arrival.
Success is about the choices you make each and every moment.
Not each and every day.
Each and every moment.
• Push the weights up three more times when you’d rather be in bed.
• Write the next paragraph when the family is watching television.
• Sit with your guitar and a lyric idea when you have no idea of the outcome.
• Market yourself and your product consistently when you’d just as soon give up.
• Practice shooting free throws a hundred times each afternoon for 4 years.
A few years ago, I mentored a woman who had big dreams and goals. She’d mention a new idea on a call, and together we’d break it down into small chunks and do-able activities to help her create this new thing in her life.
But after a week, she’d get bored. Frustrated. She hated just sitting there writing. And research wasn’t nearly as cool as the fame and glory she fantasized about.
She wanted to be THERE. To arrive in that sexy moment of success that is already guaranteed and sparkly. So, she did what most people do when they’re faced with their own illusions of what success should feel like.
She gave up. She went back to her self-created world view that none of “this stuff” works for her.
I was sad for her.
Not because I knew she could succeed if she put her mind to it. Not because of some grandiose outcome she’d never have.
But because she would miss out on the splendid truth of success: The miraculous unsexy truth of it.
When I am succeeding, there’s no one clapping.
When I am succeeding, there are no articles being written about me.
When I am succeeding, it is just me and my relationship to the moment.
This is not news-worthy. In fact, from the outside it looks downright boring. But on the inside, there’s an all-out ticker-tape parade in the streets of my head.
Because I am choosing to do what matters to me.
Because I am not listening to the gangs of critical voices that used to run my entire day.
Because I am willing to sit there in spite of not knowing the outcome.
This is the miracle of success. This seemingly boring choice in this seemingly not-so-sexy moment.
What boring unsexy choices are you going to make today?