“It’s the possibility of having a dream come true that makes life interesting.”
Life surely has a way of making itself interesting, even if it comes in ways we never intended. I can tell you, although this year has certainly been a change, I am better understanding the idea of falling in love with the process.
We all have goals in life, dreams that direct our journey everyday; however, there come times when it becomes difficult to stick with them. I am battling with that right now. We all can relate when I say that it is easy to get started when we have a goal or dream. The hard part comes when we are forced to follow through and stay focused when that process becomes long and difficult. As a result, it then becomes depressing when focus or motivation is lost and the goal has yet to be reached.
An insight I have quickly learned is that successful people do not have this unstoppable passion and willpower. Instead, successful people are the ones who stick with their goals without letting emotions determine the course. The ability to do the work when it’s not easy is what separates the successful with the unsuccessful.
It’s Not in the Event
Far too often, we misconceive the definition of our goals and make it all about the results. Successes become misconstrued as an event that needs to be completed and achieved, and forget the journey and process is what puts substance to the dream.
When I moved to Arizona to train with the best coaches and athletes, I expected a shortcut to my goal of becoming the world’s best sprinter. After over 4 years of “struggling”, training myself, working several jobs, I thought the struggle would be over and I would immediately hit the ground running. Instead, I am hit with more trying times, with motivation quickly diminishing. It is not because training isn’t going well, or amazing relationships are not being made, or even nothing is being learned, but because the goal is seen as one event that needs to be reached.
I have not run how I wanted, but the season is only halfway done. I haven’t traveled like I used to in previous seasons, but I get a guaranteed ticket to travel and compete at World Championships. I still have no major sponsor, but I have seen a tremendous growth in supporters and support. Reaching our goals is what we use to define to ourselves, and to the world, who we really are. Nevertheless, we have to realize that how a person went about to reach that goal is what makes the achievement so credible. The journey and process a person chooses to go through is a true definition of who they really are.
Am I on the right path in defining myself?... Well I am the only one who can answer that, so it seems like it’s time to take control and enjoy the scenery on this drive to the top.
Jeremy Dodson is a Track & Field Olympian who struggles with the idea of perfection, hoping to break the barrier we place on ourselves so that genuine living can take place for everyone.