“Every single peak performing human being, every single high achieving man or woman, has been a person who has thrown off the natural tendency to play it safe and stay within the comfort zone, and has continually tried to exceed their previous levels of accomplishment, has continually moved forward into the risk zone, to try something more and bigger and better and more important. Every single accomplishment in the history of man, has come from men and women who have had the courage to take the risks, to step out even though they had no guarantee or assurance of success…
In studying the lives and stories of the most outstanding men and women of all of history, we find that every single one of them has been a great failure. People do not understand the importance of failure in achievement. The fact is that it is impossible to succeed without failing, that failure is an indispensable prerequisite for success, and that all great success is proceeded by great failure. Every single person who has tried to accomplish something outside the ordinary has suffered setback and obstacle and defeat and adversity and disappointment and heartache over and over again as they have moved toward their goal. There is no record of anybody ever having achieved any kind of success without having failed over and over again. The only difference is that the winners continually pick themselves up and carry on knowing that ultimate success is inevitable as long as they keep on going on.”
– Brian Tracy
Sometimes it’s easy to look at those who are more accomplished and assume that they are more gifted than we are, that maybe the things they can achieve are impossible for the rest of us “ordinary” humans, but that’s not the case! Ask anyone you admire about their journey to achieving something great and you’ll usually be surprised at the long path and the ups and downs it took for them to get there.
Four years ago, I couldn’t run a block without a side ache! Three years ago, I had never, even ran a half marathon. Two years ago, I failed at my first attempt at my first ultra marathon, having stomach issues that caused me to drop out at 23.33 miles. I came in last place when I tried again a few months later (and once again had stomach issues) – but I finished! Less than a year ago, I was pulled on a time cut off at my first 50 mile race at mile 32. One week later, I proved to myself and everyone else that I COULD run 50 miles and do so in the time limit! I didn’t quit! I didn’t give up! I learned from my mistakes, I got better and I kept trying! That’s what it takes! You have to believe you’re capable of more than you’ve done, that you have greatness inside of you! It takes an awful lot of hard work, hours upon hours and hours of running and working out in every kind of weather and past every kind of excuse to skip training to strengthen your body and your mind for the challenge – but in the end — you CAN achieve your goals! They are within your reach if you want them badly enough to do the work!
Running my first 100 mile race two weeks ago was such a surreal, amazing experience. It was life-changing for me! Achieving that dream took years, but I never gave up, I never settled for what I was because I knew I was capable of MORE! Most of the time it was not glamorous, though I admit that a passion and a love for running really helped. I actually LIKED the training – even the hard parts, most of the time. But, there was also lots of sweat, tears, injuries to overcome, falls on the trails and times of lacking motivation. But, in the end, the hard work was so worth it!
I have one bit of bad news for you. Even if you reach your “Out-of-this-world” goal — you can’t camp there and call yourself done! It doesn’t end in Glory Land. That’s really just another step up the ladder of life and if you keep pushing yourself, challenging yourself to greatness, to seeing where your limits lie – you’ll find insane amounts of confidence, a boatload of adventure and (if you’re lucky like I am — a ton of cool friends to join you along the way!) In my opinion, that just means you’ll have a life that was well-lived at the end – a collection of great stories to tell your grandchildren and so much contentment that you didn’t just waste your life away – taking the safe, well-traveled road – but instead lived your life like every day was your last – with vigor, courage, vitality and JOY!
So get out there and go for your crazy dreams! It doesn’t matter if you fail along the way! Who cares?! Get back up, dust yourself off and keep trying until you achieve it! I’ll be rooting for you!