I enjoy watching the Winter Olympics. The extreme athleticism and precision shown in each sport is remarkable. Even more amazing is the fact that the difference between gold and silver and bronze or no medal at all, can come down to hundredths of a second. It’s been said several times this week, “the clock doesn’t lie,” which for some is a friend, for others a foe.
I’m confounded by how these athletes can devote years of their lives to extreme non-stop training, the overcoming of injuries and even the expense, only to have their efforts rise or fall by less than the snap of a finger. Or even worse, a slight slip which abruptly alters the results. Yet they do it, day after day, year after year – some for the hope of gold – others for the dream of becoming an Olympian. All have a profound dedication.
I don’t know about you, but these kinds of events and the people who do them inspire me. They make me want to be better, not necessarily at sports, but at what I do. Yet, when I look at my own life in comparison to their relentless drive to achieve, I’m saddened by how inconsistent I am. I go in spurts. I’ll push myself for a week or two, but then as soon as I don’t feel like doing whatever, I don’t. If I have a deadline, it’s easier. Like finishing a painting; if it’s for a purpose, I’ll get it done. But, if it’s just for fun, the pressure is off and I allow my emotions to dictate whether or not to bother. The reality is, quite often I don’t bother. However, if I push myself to paint, I’m always thankful for the time in my studio and wonder why I didn’t feel up to it in the first place.
The same rings true with exercising. I enjoy physical activity, it rejuvenates me, so why is it a struggle at times? If I have motivation, like some unwanted weight gain, I’ll walk, workout and even push myself. As soon as I’m back to the weight I want to be, ah, it’s so easy to not feel like braving the cold and fighting with the wind and snow, especially if I had a busy day at work. Excuses. Excuses. Again, the effort is always worth it.
To be successful, we cannot simply rely on how we feel. There will be days we look forward to the challenge and press through. But when those dreary days of winter or the fatigue from a long day get the best of us, sometimes all it takes is pushing ourselves past the present moment into the process, to find the motivation needed to triumph. And, sometimes having an encouraging friend or family member can make a significant difference as well. Someone who will not only help keep us accountable, but who will enjoy the journey with us, even when it’s hard. Don’t live by feeling alone.
I will never win a gold medal, but I can win at the goals I set for myself once I make up my mind and don’t live by feelings!
I’m the author of: Created to be Creative
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