Having heroes and people we look up to is important for perspective. They give us proof of the attainability of our dreams. The person I looked up to while growing up was Derek Jeter. His autobiography, The Life You Imagine, has had a particularly significant impact on me. Like most people of his stature, Jeter preaches a familiar, positive message:
“If you work hard, you can achieve whatever you set your mind to.”
Pause for a moment and hold your current feeling in your head. Can you really picture yourself having the lifestyle someone like Jeter has? At the same time this person says you can do it, you are both encouraged and somewhat doubtful. And understandably so.
Now don’t get me wrong, this message is a great one and it isn’t incorrect. If you’re determined enough, you could do almost anything. However, is it what a person zeroing in on a mission in life needs to hear?
Let’s try something different. Imagine yourself in an auditorium full of people who are listening to someone give a presentation or speech. In this scenario, it doesn’t matter if the speaker is successful or not. They speak and speak about success though, until they say this:
“Looking at you all, it’s clear to me none of you are talented enough to achieve your dreams.”
Again, hard stop. Think about your first thought. Personally, all I’m thinking in this situation is, “hell no. Maybe the people around me, but this clown is wrong about me. And I’m gonna prove it!”
Perhaps you think it in a different way. But I believe most of us would do the opposite of doubting ourselves when someone else casts doubt upon us. And this can be an incredibly powerful tool because of what it means.
- Pain is temporary, but even beyond that can be extremely positive.
- “Haters” or doubters are actually your friends. Once added to your list, you have a ton of friends!
- If you have your own doubts, they can be channeled if you separate yourself from them and use them as fuel.
So if you leave here with one thing today, know that I don’t believe you’ll be able to achieve your dreams. Feel free to either bombard me for it in the comments, or just go out and prove me wrong instead. You know you want to! 😉
Thanks so much for reading and I hope you’re enjoying the Civilands series.