Streaks and Success
Last week on Sunday Success I jabbered on about using a streak to keep the streak alive. Success begets success, and the very real fear of failure provides motivation to push on to success. This very thing happened to me yesterday.
It was getting on toward my bedtime; movie night with the boys was done and Mrs. UpRight and I were tired and ready for bed. I had just tucked in my middle boy when I realized I hadn’t yet published. I (very) briefly thought about skipping yesterday’s writing, but that thought was overpowered by pride in my streak, and the knowledge that I’d be ashamed of myself for letting it go.
Because that is what I would have being doing, letting it go. Not having it broken, or taken away, those things are passive. Letting it go, an action on my part to break my streak and spoil my success.
Let’s bold that last bit:
An action on my part to break my streak and spoil my success.
Your Greatest Obstacle.
Herein lies one of the great keys to success, knowing that our greatest barrier to success, our biggest obstacle, our Nemesis, stands right before us, staring back from the mirror.
Yes folks, you are your own greatest obstacle to success.
Wait, wut? Me? My own greatest obstacle?
Yes, friend. You’re reading this on an expensive piece of high technology, in a climate controlled room. I doubt very much that missed a meal, in spite of the latest Chinese plague, because if you’re reading this, you’ve still got internet.
If you’re not where you want to be, get out of your own way, and go there.
As I look back over a life that is well past the midway point and contemplate my greatest failures the picture becomes ever clearer. The common theme of my failures was not some outside force keeping me down, it was I who:
- Accepted second-rate efforts where first rate was necessary.
- Made stupid choices that sabotaged my path.
- Took the easy way when the hard way was required.
- Gave up on big dreams because pursuing them was just too hard.
- Chose to play when I could have put in extra work.
And so on.
So here I am, past 50 and reinventing myself. Not because I’m not successful at what I do, I am. In fact, I’m pretty much as successful as I can be. From this point forward, everything in my chosen career is more of the same. Oh, it’s an enjoyable same, a well paid same, but it’s the same and I want more.
I want more for me, I want more for my wife and I want more for my boys, so how do I get it? How do I succeed more, in a field completely unrelated to what I do for my day job?
Well, I start by getting out of my own way.
How about you get out of yours?