Don’t be afraid to give up the good to go for the great.
~John D. Rockefeller
I recognize that winning is not everything but the effort to win is.
I can’t take credit for finding this quote. It actually came from Brook Noel’s “Good Morning” affirmations. For those not familiar, Brook Noel has this awesome organizational program called Make Today Matter. In one of those “Good Mornings” it had this quote along with the affirmation: I exercise my power and choice to live my dreams. Great affirmation. Love it. But mind kept replaying the quote.
I guess it’s because we always hear that phrase “well, winning isn’t everything.” Sometimes I tend to agree with it. Other times I don’t. When I really, really, really wanted to win at [insert whatever it is], it’s hard to agree. When you’re dealt a bad hand, literally and figuratively, or when someone cheats (because we all know it happens from time to time).
But what got me are the words that follow that phrase–the effort to win is everything. The effort to win. That changes the perspective for me because isn’t that the real reason why we get upset when we don’t win? It seems the effort we put into the task deserves a win? But when your focus is on the effort, the process, and not the result, or the outcome, it seems to fulfill itself. At least, that’s the way I read it. You did good. You tried. You worked hard at it. And that should be what matters in the grand scheme of things. If you strive to do the best, you’re doing the best.
What a paradigm shift!
As an aside, this Good Morning really was a good one. Brook notes Zig Ziglar’s whole quote which mentions how women gives birth to boys and/or girls and not doctors, lawyers, etc. yet when you read obituaries doctors, lawyers, etc. dies so somewhere between being born and dying we choose how to live. Very awesome food for thought.
“What are you going to do after graduation?”
“Are you saving enough for retirement?”
“You know, if you just stick it out a little while longer you can apply for that higher position.”
Now don’t misunderstand me. I understand the importance of at least having an idea of how you want things to go. Planning has its time and place.
What I’m referring to is when planning turns into this rigid scheduling that ends up exhausting you. When what you plan becomes the sole focus and takes over every aspect of life. When your plan is so rigid that it sets you up to feel like a failure.
There are times I feel judged for not have a detailed, step-by-step life plan for the rest of my life. The truth is I was one of those people. Maybe not the down-to-the-last detail kind of planning, but I had this idea of what life is supposed to look like (graduate high school with a diploma, go to school for a degree, find a home, get married, have kids, work, then retire–something like that) and then life throws you a curve ball. You get the rug pulled from under you and all of a sudden your plan just doesn’t make sense or there is no way your plan will work given your new circumstances and yet you keep trying to follow your original plan.
Am I rambling? It seems like I’m rambling.
Point is, sometimes you just need to breathe. Trust. And let go. Which is why this quote is relatable. For me, I plan the major things (family parties through the year or a doctor’s appoint on my next day off, things like that). Then I keep a general idea of what I want done and just go with it. It’s scary at times and, again, those looks of judgement catches my eye once in a while, but for the most part I can breathe easier. I don’t feel so confined or like I’m a disappointment because Step B did not come directly after Step A.
You don’t always need a plan. Sometimes you just need to breathe, trust, let go and see what happens.
Everyone has a chapter they don’t read out loud. Unknown
Seriously. Everyone. And it doesn’t have to be dark or negative or something ghastly or shocking. Sometimes there are things that are private. Things that you only tell people who have earned your trust. And sometimes not even then.
Silent doesn’t mean bad either. You’re just a bit more selective. You hand your book to that someone and have that someone read it to themselves.
So, hats off to your own thoughts, to your moments, to your silent chapter!
Someone once asked me “why do you always insist on taking the hard road?”
I replied “why do you assume I see two roads?”
Maybe it’s because I’m taking a philosophy course (which I don’t think that’s entirely why) or because I’m always curious or because I’m always open to other perspectives (not that I agree with those perspectives, but I don’t mind listening to them), but this quote appealed to me because why is it that we assume others can see two roads?
We hear it all the time “why do you always have to do it the hard way?” or “I guess he/she has to learn it the hard way?” And I understand that in some cases, with most people, there usually is an “easy” way. When we don’t listen to those who’ve gone through things before, like our parents. When we read instructions or understand things could be done differently but we chose to do it the hard way, but what if, for that person, there is only one road? Everyone is different. No two people learn exactly the same way so why do we assume there is always an easy road and a hard road?
Truth is, maybe we shouldn’t assume. Maybe that experience, even though it may be “the hard way” to some, is exactly the way it has to be done for us to learn. Maybe our easy road is a hard road for others. How presumptuous it is to assume there are always two roads.
While I believe that in some things there are two roads, this quotes has me thinking that perhaps it is better of me to assume that this is the exception and not the standard or at the very least that in some cases, in certain experiences, to other people there is only one road. (Hm, how very INTPer of me, *laughs*)