Month: June 2008

Pressing Toward the Mark

I was talking to an online friend today and we were throwing ideas back and forth at each other, something we do with much regularity. It’s just so good to have a sounding board as a blogger, someone who helps remind you why it is you’re doing this thing it is you do when the comments are down and the stats are low. I have truly come to consider this person as a friend and even though we’ve never met, I feel a kinship with her, because she challenges me as a human being. But in a really good way. Does that make sense?

I really want to have success when it comes to blogging, but how do you measure success? By subscribers? By visitors? What is it that determines that you have arrived as a blogger?

I don’t really know the answer to any of those questions, but what I do know is that comfort is the enemy of success. I will never be comfortable in my blogging skin until I win. It’s my nature, because I’m a competitor. And if I’m wanting to compete, then I’ve got to get out of my comfort zone and figure out what price I’m willing to pay for success. A famous coach once said that “Compete and comfort only have the letters ‘com’ in common” – it’s not easy to win and be successful if you can’t get up off the couch.

Success is about control – something we all have. And I think there’s 4 or 5 key things that have to be done in order for you to have any measure of it.

1. You have to start. Whatever it is – blogging, dieting, a new business, the first step is just getting started. Timing is never perfect to go out and win. The earth, moon and stars are never going to be in perfect alignment for it to happen and there will always be a reason not to do your best. The key is to just get going with it. So many times I drag my feet because I think the task is going to be too hard, but once I get momentum, it’s always so much easier than I thought.

2. Be honest with yourself. Quit trying to come up with reasons not to just go for it, because honestly, success is not convenient. It’s not convenient to get up early and stay up late and work harder than anyone else. But that’s what it takes. Going the extra mile, giving better customer service, doing the thing that no one else wants to do. Tackling the hard subjects, paying a price no one else is willing to pay.

3. Take Action and Stay. Life is an endurance race – you can’t just decide one day you’re going to run sprints and then poop out at the 50 yard mark. See it through and finish the race well. Paul said it best when he stated, “I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus”. Pressing toward the mark indicates leaning into something, staying with it, finishing strong.

4. Decide what you’re willing to accept. If you’re willing to accept the least common denominator, that’s what you’ll get in life. You have to work on your thinking every single day by choosing to be positive — it’s not always easy to look on the bright side. My mama used to say it’s easy to grow weeds, but hard to grow vegetables – so you should choose to plant seeds in your life that will grow something good.

5. You’ve got to avoid the curse of comfort. Quit living in your comfort zone and worrying about what people are going to think. Go for it and do something great with your life – people tend to get comfortable and decide, “Well, that’s enough. I’ve grown enough.” No! Winning in life isn’t comfortable! And we are all dysfunctional, so quit trying to use that as an excuse too. None of us are perfect and we all have baggage. The biggest obstacle I think we face is the one that greets us in the mirror every day. (and I’m preaching to myself here, lest anyone think otherwise).

This month has been uncomfortable for me. I’m stretching myself beyond what I think I’m capable of – but the challenges are good for me. They are making me realize that I can do more than what I’ve been doing. I can try new things and the world doesn’t implode around me.

With every new challenge I have a choice – to compromise or confront. Which will I do today? I don’t want to ever say I compromised. I like what Hillary Clinton said before she conceded “I can take getting beat, but I just can’t take quitting”. I don’t know what the prize for winning is, but I want it.

I want to win. Who’s with me?

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13 Real Life Excuses Made for Being Late to Work

1. While rowing across the river to work, I got lost in the fog.

2. Someone stole all my daffodils.

3. I had to go audition for American Idol.

4. My ex-husband stole my car so I couldn’t drive to work.

5. My route to work was shut down by a presidential motorcade.

6. I have transient amnesia and couldn’t remember my job.

7. I was indicted for securities fraud this morning.

8. The line was too long at Starbucks.

9. I was trying to get my gun back from the police.

10. I didn’t have money for gas because all of the pawnshops were closed.

11. I tried a new way in to work and it took me two hours.

12. I saw a bright shiny object.

13. I felt it was better to sleep at home rather than at the office

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