Old video, timeless lesson.
The greatest reward of conquering something epic in life often goes unknown to the person that accomplished it.
Let me explain this a for quick second. Hold on tight it might get a little messy (you’ve been warned).
Crushing a task that seems so challenging, so lofty that you’re not even sure how you are going to achieve it (even though you know you’re going to scratch and claw to get there) provides a valuable lesson in character building.
However, attaining goals also inspires onlookers (known or unknown) to initiate an all out attack their goals, dreams, aspirations.
Seeing is believing, and when we see our peers accomplish something epic, it provides just enough of a motivational nudge for us to follow suit.
I call it inspiring the unknown, and it happens every single day.
Paying it forward. Nearly 2 years ago, while waiting in line at a coffee shop in Minnesota, I watched my best friend buy a lady’s coffee who was waiting in line behind us. When she asked why he would be so generous, he proudly announced, “It’s my pleasure, I am paying it forward and maybe you can do the same”. As he said this, 5-6 other people who were also waiting in line overheard his remarks. The lady was floored by his random act of kindness. I was floored at the impact of the event. I think about it often.
Imagine that. A single gesture can spread to 6-7 onlookers who then go on to tell all of their friends and family of what they had seen, which then spreads like wildfire to their social networks and beyond. Inspiration.
These days, I am more impressed by the average person’s journey to greatness than another superstar athlete or hotel mogul.
(Please know that no one is “average” and that we are all unique. We become average in our day-to-day actions/behavior).
Average people inspiring other average people to demand more of themselves.
We can all relate to the average person. The ripple effect of an average person pursuing greatness is amazingly simple. We see a person achieve their goals, then we want to achieve our goals. It becomes fuel. We witness their own personal victory, than we desire that same success.
That’s a fantastic reason to set targets in life and work relentlessly place the arrow dead center in the bullseye.
You’re killing two birds with one stone.
Bird #1) You’re proving to yourself that you’re capable of achieving more than you once thought possible.
Bird #2) You’re (without awareness) inspiring others to stop testing the temperature of pool and finally jump in.
It’s scary when standing at the bottom of the mountain, gazing up at the rocky terrain that you’ll have to traverse in order to get to the peak. Dead scary. It can be crippling actually, to the point that you never take action. We all approach these obstacles with a different mindset. Some people see them as speed bumps and some people see them as 20 foot walls.
But having the conviction to traverse that rocky terrain is what inspires other people to do the same.
If you have a pulse, you’ve undoubtedly run into that 20 foot wall and thought, “shit”. It’s easy to throw in the towel when that happens. In fact, it’s a hell of a lot easier folding your cards at the first sign of adversity than it is to grind it out until the bitter end.
A hell of a lot easier. But that doesn’t build character and that doesn’t inspire others. That creates feelings of regret.
As it relates to physical activity, I have thought about quitting more times than I’d like to admit during a workout/run/bike. More than I can remember. In fact, every single time I squat I feel like racking the bar 3 reps short of my scheduled reps for the day. It would be so easy. No one would notice, right?
Or how about eating habits? I would love to eat pizza everyday and wash it down with a couple of craft beers. Or eat raw cookie dough for breakfast every single morning. That would be great. But I cannot do that. It’s not conducive to achieving my goals nor is it the example/standard that I have chosen to set on this blog. I’d be letting you down and letting myself down.
In my athlete days, we would condition ourselves to the point of exhaustion early in the season to prepare for the physical demands of the season. There were many occasions, with my lungs in my throat, I considered dogging these conditioning practices just enough just to get by. My teammates wouldn’t notice, right? I could finish in the middle of the pack, not first but definitely not last. I didn’t have the heart to do it. Because if I chose that path, then the next guy would do it, then the guy after that would do it, and on and on.
If I dogged it, who does that serve well? Who draws inspiration to push on from someone else’s average effort?
It took me a really long time to realize that most shitty hands that we are dealt in life rarely involve events that we can’t handle.
We are equipped with the tools and capacity to endure mental and physical stress.
But occasionally, our internal wiring gets mixed up and our systems begin to malfunction. Our attitudes become vulnerable and we feel ourselves start to stumble toward what we want. Then crawl. Things get difficult. That 10 foot wall turns into a 15 foot wall, then a 20 foot wall. The negative self-talk appears.
When this happens, remember all of the people who need the motivation of your success to start making moves to achieving their own.
Someone is watching you, wondering if you’ll have the courage to keep pushing forward.
And when you do, that someone who has been lurking, waiting for inspiration, is going to spread their wings and take flight for no other reason than they saw you do it.
That’s one kind of trendy domino effect that this world needs.
Just like my good friend that chose to pay it forward.
Conquering and inspiring. Two great words to add to your life resume.
Cheers to inspiring average people to accomplish amazing things!