Please do not read this post if you are easily offended by NSFW language. I am not trying to alienate or offend anyone but believe there is value in word choice. I also apologize to my Mrs. Finke, my high school biology teacher, who always said that “cursing was a sign of a weak vocabulary”.
There is a scene in “The Untouchables” when Elliot Ness (Kevin Costner) is asking Jim Malone (Sean Connery) how to “get” Al Capone. They are sitting in a church and Malone’s response is, “What are you prepared to do?” (You can watch the clip if you click here)
This is the most essential and vital question we can ask ourselves in context of our goals because the answer then impacts and drives (in theory at least) our daily activities. I believe that the answer to this question is really what prevents many of us from reaching our goals because we are not honest with ourselves from the start.
It is at this point that I diverge from most folks who discuss this issue. There is no judgement involved in this for/from me. My only goal is to empower you to be honest with yourself as to what you are willing to commit to as you begin to think about your dreams, aspirations, goals, or whatever you would like to call them. Dreams and goals are easy because they do not cost us anything. In fact, they are more harmful really because our failure to achieve them feeds the gremlins who told us we aren’t worthy, don’t deserve it, or whatever other head trash you might have. In fact, Scott Adams, the creator of Dilbert, wrote a great treatise on “Whey big goals are for losers” that I would recommend checking out.
The challenge is to get excited about the “work”…the tactical steps that will be required each day to make that goal a reality. This is the sticking point for us because the day to day things we have to do aren’t fun or exciting. I think the biggest issue for us is that the small stuff doesn’t generate enough positive reinforcement from others. No one is there congratulating us or patting us on the back when we perform some mundane, yet essential, tasks that will eventually lead to the achievement of a meaningful goal. So here is where the NSFW piece comes in. I saw this graphic the other day and have since printed it off and have it sitting on my desk. We all have to find something that resonates with us and this really nailed it for me because I think we like to overcomplicate things. We want to create these elaborate and complex plans to make it appear that what we are doing is challenging. In reality, it really isn’t…it is really as easy as this…
I can think of no better way to close this out than to offer this benediction (using the term very loosely)…
“Remember this lesson. History does not teach fatalism. There are moments when the will of a handful of free men breaks through determinism and opens up new roads. People get the history they deserve.” – Charles de Gaulle
What history will you deserve?