I was watching the opening ceremonies for the Winter Olympic Games and for some reason I forgot to change the channel when there was a commercial break. Surprisingly, I’m happy that I forgot.
The commercial started by asking a thought-provoking question, “Why do we always set our sights on the finish, when the most important moment is the start?”
It then showed a young would-be Olympic skier, looking up the mountain and dreaming of what could be. Then, it follows him up the mountain until it ends for him, now a young adult at the beginning of his Olympic race, and again restates that the start is just as important as the finish.
What a great thought, especially today, in the middle of our hectic lives. Modern life seems to condition us to focus exclusively on the goal and on the end. Yet, it’s in the beginning where we can really set our sights to achieve something amazing.
At the start, there are no boundaries, no one telling us we can’t, no obstacles that are too hard to overcome. Like that young athlete in the commercial, the world is full of wonder and possibilities.
Do you remember what that felt like?
How many times have you talked yourself out of starting something really great by skipping ahead to the “how” phase before you’ve actually processed the “what” part of that great dream?
It’s easy to become cynical and negative about achieving greatness when all we can think about are the challenges that await us along the way. This defeatist thinking becomes a pattern or a habit causing many of us to stop thinking altogether about greatness, and stay stuck in the mediocrity or “good enough” zone.
I think the start, and everything in between is actually more important than the finish, because once you begin your journey there are so many other accomplishments and milestones that you get to experience along the way.
Think about the last time you accomplished something you were really proud of. Now, identify all the amazing lessons you learned during the process.
I would venture to say that many of those lessons have helped shape the person you’ve become today, even if the outcomes weren’t exactly what you intended.
Why is it that we only remember the grand prize, when it’s all those things we tend to forget about that really matter and really count on our scorecard?
Are you taking the time to celebrate all those milestones? Are you even aware that you’re accomplishing them? Or, are you so bent on getting to the goal that you miss out on recognizing them.
Start being an intentional participant in your own life, which by the way ought to be more than a list of items that you check off at the end of the days and weeks.
I believe in the power of goals and goal setting. I am also certain that the beginning of the process, the wonder and excitement that takes place at the start of creating these goals, and celebrating all the stepping stones and big rocks that we accomplish along the way, are just as important as the goal itself.
It’s really not our goals that define us. It’s the person we become in pursuit of those goals that really counts. That’s what’s important, and that’s what I’m convinced people will remember long after you’ve stepped onto the podium to accept your Olympic medal.
Ask yourself this week:
Have I focused enough attention on the start?
How has being so completely focused on the “gold medal” or the goal impacted myself or my team, good or bad?
Where am I missing the most important milestones in my business or in my life?
Where will I become an active, intentional participant in the most important game of all – my own life?
Why do we always set our sights on the finish, when the most important moment is the start?”
How will I get started today?
Thoughts for the Week:
“Be willing to be a beginner every single morning.” – Meister Eckhart
“Nothing is predestined. The obstacles of your past can become the gateways that lead to new beginnings.” Ralph H Blum
“Coming our of your comfort zone is tough in the beginning, chaotic in the middle, and awesome in the end… because in the end it shows you a whole new world.” – Manoj Arora
“I’ve been running so sweaty my whole life, urgent for a finish line, and I have been missing the rapture this whole time of forever being incomplete.” – Alanis Morissette
“When we have arrived at the question, the answer is already near.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson
Looking forward to our next conversation
Another great “Quarter Turn,” Tim! These insights are spot on and always help! Thanks for posting!
“Do you remember what that felt like” took me back to my youth when I had ambitions and dreams that I felt could not be denied. Those emotions are what I shall strive to recapture now. Thanks for the message.
I love your articles. This one made me sit back and think about what I do and don’t do. Love it. Sandy