The New Year is almost here. It fills the air with possibility and hope for the year to come. People are busy making New Year resolutions and returning all their unwanted Christmas gifts. As this New Year approaches, it is important to reflect back on the year that is passing. Reflect back on the goals you accomplished and the ones you fell short on. Reflect back on the changes you have made, good and bad. Reflect back on the people who have come and gone. Most importantly though, reflect on yourself. Were you happy this year, did you do great things, or was this an off-year for you? Based off the reflection you make about yourself, you will be able to set yourself up of a successful New Year. You will realize the characteristics you want to change about yourself and the ones you have already improved on.
So many people make New Year’s resolution about things that want to change and improve in their lives. The unfortunate thing about these resolutions is that they fade away with the buzz of the New Year. People have so much promise and potential but life gets in the way. They get too busy to accomplish the goals they set for themselves at the drop of the ball in Time Square.
However there are those people whom, despite the struggle and complications of life, accomplish their goals. Why is that? I have a theory. Most people create goals for themselves under the guise of New Year’s Resolutions. This is an external motivator. It is motivation that comes from an outside source. It is similar to the way you feel after watching an inspirational video or hearing a motivational speaker. While the source is fresh in your mind you are motivated to become the person you have the potential to be. Once that source fades, so does your will to accomplish your goals. This is way as the New Year fades so do the resolutions.
On the other hand though. The people who accomplish their goals are motivated by something far more powerful that an external source. They have internal motivation. This is the motivation that makes you wake up one day and say, “Wow, I need to change my life.” This is the motivation that causes someone to get in shape so they are no longer tired after walking up the stairs. It is the motivation that causes someone to quit smoking so they can see their children get married. This is the motivation that makes some dig deeper while others give up. Yes, these internally motivated individuals may make these goals in the form of New Year’s Resolutions but they are more than that: they are life changers.
Last year I can easily say was the best year out of my life so far. It was filled with great people, good times, and amazing personal growth. I am going to use this as my internal motivation to make sure that I accomplish my life changers. I will make this year better than the last. I will become one step close to making my life extraordinary. I challenge you to do the same. Instead of just making a New Year’s Resolution, find your internal motivation and change your life.
Arthur, the man in this video, went through an amazing transformation that many, including experts, told him could not happen. He refused to accept that he wouldn’t be able to walk unassisted again. He wanted to change his life and knew it was possible. He knew it wasn’t going to be easy and he fell many times but the key was he got right back up. The part that inspires me the most is when he tried to walk. He fell right on his face. At this point many people would give up but he did not. He knew that “if he couldn’t do it today, that doesn’t mean he wouldn’t be able to do it someday.” Imagine if everyone had that type of attitude. Imagine all we would accomplish.
The other day I was playing basketball with my younger neighbor who is just entering high school next year. We were catching up after I had been away at school all year. I asked him if he knew what he wanted to do later in life and he said be in the NFL and followed it up quickly with “but I will probably be a math teacher.” I didn’t think about it then but I wish I did because if he wants to he can get into the NFL. Yes, it wouldn’t be easy but it is possible and as Arthur demonstrates, that is all you need.
If you have a dream you have to go for it. Don’t ever let anyone tell you that you can’t do something. The only things you can’t do in life are the things that are impossible and that is a very small list.
However, if you listen to the people who tell you that you can’t, then they are right because if you want something and it isn’t easy you are going to need to put your all into it. When the other people are taking a break, you have to be in there working hard. When the others give up because they did it wrong too many times, you have to do it until you get it right. When you feel like giving up, you have to dig deep and decided if you really want you dream. When no one else believes in you, you have to believe in yourself.
I am a firm believer in the old cliché you can accomplish whatever you put your mind too. Once I figure out what I want to put my mind to I am going to work as hard as I can to make sure it happens. I challenge you to do the same. Has there ever been a time where someone told you that you can’t do something and you proved them wrong? How did it feel?
Almost everyone wants to make a lasting impression in one way or another. That impression may be made in another person’s life, through the work one does, or through the legacy one leaves. However, the greatest work is the work that a person does not see the end of. This type of work is always being worked on and improved. It continually helps others and allows them to succeed well beyond expectations.
Let’s say that you are starting or leading a club. You want to lead this club to be best that it can be. You work hard to accomplish this goal but there are two ways you accomplishing this goal can work out. The first way is exactly what you wanted to happen. The club is great under your management; it gets new members, it raises more money than ever before, more people are interested in it, and the club has reached a level of success not previously seen. This is a great thing to accomplish but think about this, were those years the best years ever? I got this idea from a leadership conference I attended last weekend. The keynote speaker, Justin Jones-Fosu, told us to try to make it the best year so far. If you make it the best year ever, no subsequent year can be better. This is the second way you can accomplish you goals: make it the best year so far.
To make it the best year so far, you have to do great work. You not only need to accomplish the goals you want to but along the way you have to help develop the people around you. You have to make each and every person around you a better person and try to enhance their skills. By doing this you are empowering others and helping yourself out. If the people around you are continually improving that will allow your club to improve and make it easier to achieve the goals you set. Additionally, this will set the club up for success when you are gone. The club will not crumble once your leadership is gone because the other members will have empowerment that you left them.
Although using the idea of a club to express this idea makes it easy to see, it does not have to be a club and you do not need to be in a leadership position to do great work. You can empower everyone around you and try to make them the best them they can be. The better they become the better you will become. This is why doing great work should not be measured by the accomplishments you achieved but by the way you achieved them and the accomplishments of the people you influenced. You should never see the best of your work because it should never stop. The people you work with should always be in a position to continue your work and continue improving upon it. You should always leave people with the ability to improve and set them up for success; that is the greatest work.
I am going to start measuring the work I do differently, how are you measuring your work?
People always say I am going to do this and I am going to do that, once the right moment comes; when this happens, I will make that happen. But why do people have to wait for the right moment? Why does everything have to be exactly right to do something that you want to do? What happens if that moment never comes? Will you just give up on your dreams and forget about whatever it is you wanted to do? In life we have a limited amount of moments and we cannot sit around wasting them waiting for the right one to come along. We cannot wait for the right moment to happen, we have to go out and make it happen.
To make the right moment happen we have to go outside our comfort zone, we have to try new things, we have to take chances, and we have to be amazing. I think this is why a lot of us do not make their moments happen: we are afraid. We are afraid that they cannot be amazing. We believe we are average and will never be anything more and you know something, we are right. We will never be anything more than average if we do not stop waiting. Michael Jordon did not just sit around and wait to get better at basketball. Steve Jobs did not sit around and wait for someone else to build the Apple empire. Beyoncé Knowles did not sit around and wait for someone to discover her talent. All these people did not wait, they took action. They were not afraid of failing because they knew that if they did not give it a shot, they would fail anyway. No matter what you or anyone else does, you will never accomplish your goals if you do not give the effort to make them happen and stop waiting.
Waiting is just wasting time, time that could be spent doing what you want to do. Whether you want to do a new sport, join a new club, meet a new person, or become a doctor; you have to go out and make it happen. Stop looking for excuses on why it is not the right time and see the reasons why you should make it the right time. Take advantage of the day and amaze yourself. Attempt to make yourself feel the nervousness that you feel when you are outside your comfort zone. Get those butterflies in your tummy because that is a sign that you are growing, learning, and making something happen.
I am tired of waiting, how about you?