A goal isn’t a goal if it is easy to accomplish. A goal is something that you have to work at. A goal means challenging yourself, facing a fear, overcoming disadvantage, taking charge, living proactively instead of reactively. Goals require hard work and perseverance. At times, you will falter. You will struggle. You may fail. Through it all, it isn’t the accomplishment that is important but that you pushed yourself through the challenges in order to succeed.
It is easy to stand on the sideline and watch the world move around you while you wish away your life. I know, I’ve done it. A large portion of my teenage years were spent smoking pot, listening to rock n’ roll and sleeping. While none of these things individually are the reason why I was unmotivated to be successful, they were my escape from reality. It was my way of ignoring the fact that I was failing to live up to my potential. I was insecure, I doubted my ability, I was afraid. Worst of all, I was comfortable. I had become complacent and accepted my mediocre existence.
It took a long time for me to realize that life has so many opportunities to offer and that I was missing out. Getting thrown in jail really helped me to understand the path that my life was taking. In many ways, sitting in a jail cell with no one to talk to, coming down from my high, was the best moment in my life. I knew that I needed to change my life.
Just like people struggle to lose weight or struggle to finish running a marthon, I struggled to get away from drugs. I lost all of my friends and it was hard to change my lifestyle. I fell back into drugs a couple of times before finally walking away from it for good but the struggle was worth the effort. I am able to reflect back on that moment of my life and appreciate the lessons I have learned.
It is easy to be discouraged when things don’t work out as we had planned or if results are not as immediate as we would like. We forget that success isn’t something that happens overnight. When we think about climbing a mountain, we envision ourselves standing at the summit, casting our gaze towards the distant horizon but forget about the six hour hike to the top.
Success comes to those who are willing to persist during moments of struggle and pain. Our struggles and perseverance are what set us apart. Those who stick it out will see the rewards of their efforts and those who don’t, won’t. It is your struggles that give you character. Your struggles make you who you are today.