I am going to ask you a question in a few moments, and I want you to think long and hard on it. And when you come up with an answer, and want to share it, hit reply and tell me what it is.
Success, from the outside, looks a lot like a shiny present, doesn’t it? Nicely bow-tied, its wrapping glistening under the blinking lights on the Christmas tree.
Tidy, wrapped, and pretty.
But you should know better by now. Success isn’t pretty, it isn’t straight-forward, and it is definitely not wearing a bow-tie.
WE ARE STILL PERFECT WHEN WE SET OUR GOALS
When we set a goal, and take the time to write out what we need to achieve it, is the best part of the process. And it is where a lot of people get stuck.
Because at this point we are still perfect. We haven’t had to endure any stress, any roadblocks, or any difficulty. For the only moment in the course of the process, things are absolutely perfect.
We are perfect.
Sure, you haven’t actually achieved anything yet, or gotten yourself any closer to it.
You can see down the road at that awesome goal, and you know that you’re capable of achieving it.
FAILURE SHAPE SUCCESS
In a perfect world, we set goals, plan them out, and then knock down the roadposts one-by-one on the way to achieving our goal. Unencumbered by things like illness, or injury, everything happens exactly as we hope and plan they will.
We both know reality and experience dictates otherwise.
Things come up; you tweak your shoulder, get the flu, false start at an important qualifying meet. Some of the things we can control (not being prepared enough, not taking care of ourselves better, etc), others we cannot necessarily control (family drama, illness & injury).
Those bumps in the road remove the glitter from success and gives it the texture of reality.
THE PATH TO SUCCESS GOES UP A MOUNTAIN OF FAILURE
Success, whatever your idea of it is, is far from perfect, glossy, or problem-free.
There will be setbacks, roadblocks, detours and family emergencies along the way, many of them we completely did not anticipate.
Fumbling, falling and stumbling is okay – and this is a hang-up many swimmers have:
If things don’t go perfectly right from the get-go then it’s clearly not meant to be.
It’s hard to let our ego step aside for a moment and accept failure for what it really is – a teacher.
It provide us with the feedback necessary to move forward. Provides a realistic assessment of our abilities. It shows us where we are weak, where we need to prepare more, while also highlighting where we are strong, where our strengths lay.
What do you think, are you willing and capable to fail repeatedly on your way to your own “ugly” success?