Most of us have difficulty completely embracing motivational messages. Despite the popularity of many best selling motivational books and the success of so many well-paid motivational speakers, the fact is that the evidence of so much failure around us often undermines our total belief in the positive and motivating messages we hear. Too often a great speech, a great book or just a motivational moment functions like a meal that we eat and we find ourselves hungry soon after completing the meal. There are people who were excited about starting their 31-day journey a few weeks ago who dropped out, lost interest, become distracted or who have just given up on the possibility of being somewhere new by August 1.
How does that happen? What causes us to be totally committed to something one minute and just a few minutes later we abandon our commitment? What makes us cool down so quickly after having such passion for a particular pursuit? I have found that this happens for either one of two reason. Either we never truly committed in the first place or we were tricked into believing that what we desired was either not possible or no longer desirable.
I used the word “tricked” because the greatest threat to our goals and dreams is deception. That may sound strange because we have been programmed to believe that opposition is the greatest threat to success. But opposition is what actually makes us stronger, superior and successful. True greatness excels over opposition. Without opposition there is no way to know that greatness exists.
No – it is deception that undermines our dreams and our destiny. When we are deceived, we become convinced that our goals are unattainable because of some circumstance or occurrence. When we are deceived, we become convinced that there is something better than our goals. That is why it is so important to write our goals – to meditate on our goals – to pray about our goals – and to budget our time to make sure we are using time in pursuit of our goals. It is so tempting to allow distractions, discouragement or derailment to cause us to conclude that our goals are not worth the trouble or have become out of reach. Every great person that I have ever studied had to press through obstacles, endure some degree of hardship and stay focused on his or her goals.
Babe Ruth was both home run king and strike out king. That means that whenever he missed the ball, he kept swinging at the ball! He didn't give up. If Lebron James had allowed his missed baskets to convince him that he should forget about basketball, he would not have become a superstar and MVP. If Helen Keller had allowed her deafness and blindness to convince her that she was not important, she would not have become the first deaf blind person to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree from Radcliffe College. If Nelson Mandela had allowed his incarceration in prison to convince him to give up, he would have never become President of South Africa. These are but a few examples of people who were not deceived by their circumstances or their failures. Each of them knew what they wanted and were determined to let nothing get in their way.
So don’t be deceived or discouraged. You have the right and the potential to reach your goals. It’s time for you to really do you!