When I was 7 or 8-years-old, I was a liability to any football (‘soccer’) team. If you wanted goals scoring in the opponents goal, I was not your man. If you wanted goals scoring in your own net, then perhaps I was a secret weapon! When I first went to University at 18 in the late 1970s I was approached by one of the Liverpool University football teams to play in goal.
I am no Steve Jobs but I think we shared one thing in common: we were not prepared to let failure, hardship, struggles or projected thoughts of others deny us of what we could achieve.
Sure, there were lots of thing’s that I tried & at which I sucked; but there were lots of things I didn’t know I could do & do well, until I tried them.
The title of this blog came from a short conversation I had with Matt, my son, this morning. Even at 21, he has plenty of presentations under his belt. But he did one this week where he felt really unhappy with the result & so he doubted any future of doing them regularly or perhaps even professionally.
It wasn’t that he couldn’t do it. It was that his confidence had wained because he had a rough ride on one occasion which seemed to question his future ability to ever do another good one.
At least in his head!
If you have grown up with friends, family, colleagues, the media telling you that you can’t do it, won’t ever achieve anything, won’t ever be able to (you complete the sentence) then I am here to tell you that you CAN.
This isn’t some vague hokey-pokey good wishing for when all the planets align or the universe to say, “Now is the time.”
It is an assurance based on my own past experience, the experiences of my friends & on the experiences of thousands of thought-leaders & game-changers over the centuries.
Sure, we may have to commit ourself to pain, frustration, concentrated learning, reading, working with mentors … whatever it takes. But, if we are determined to become great at something we are already competent or good at, we can move onwards & upwards.
Forget comfort & convenience. Forget getting there quickly with little effort. Forget achieving without investing.
See where you are now, set where you want to go, identify the steps you need to get there & then, above all else, TAKE ACTION, one small step at a time.
The biggest barriers to achievement are not usually in our physical bodies or external circumstance. Large though these may be, the biggest barrier is usually our thinking. Change our thinking & we change our achievement. Look at paralympians outperforming ‘able-bodied’ athletes. Look at Helen Keller, enjoying fulness of life, writing books, inspiring others after she had been struck blind & deaf as a child through illness.
We often have to unlearn stuff we have been doing on reflex for the past 10, 20, 30, 40, 50 years or more & relearn. We often have to unlearn stuff we’ve been told that isn’t true. It isn’t easy. BUT IT IS ACHIEVABLE.
I hope this has set your thought processes in motion.
Even if we only have one thing we can change to improve our life, don’t we owe it to ourselves & those around us to give it a go. Perhaps when we have done that we will find something else.
Today is the best day to start.
Take care until next time …