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No-one sees the architect toiling away at his design, they just walk in and benefit from the end product.
No-one sees the writer typing out another great story, they just hold the book in their hands.
No-one hears the violinist practicing her scales, they just stand and applaud after another phenomenal performance on stage.
No-one see the painters wrestling with the canvas, they just stand in awe of the final piece.
No-one sees the business leader analysing, hustling and doing the boring paperwork, they just wonder how they got there.
Last week, my oldest son participated in his school’s swimming carnival.
Hayden’s a reasonable swimmer and loves to compete, but he has a friend who is an extraordinary swimmer.
At the age of ten, Charlotte is already swimming in open water events over very long distances and is a fish in the water.
After Charlotte’s first race (which she won convincingly), Hayden asked if she had heard him cheering her on.
She smiled and said, “no.”
So in her next race, he cheered even louder and after she won that one, she beamed and said that she had heard him.
It was a great moment between two good friends and it reminds us of an important principle.
If the people around you don’t work as hard as you, so be it.
And maybe they spend too much time complaining about life, that’s up to them.
It’s possible that they have peaked too early and scoff at the idea of continued personal development.
And perhaps they are afraid of the future and the inevitable change that it brings.
You may feel surrounded by those who have deep moral and ethical failings.
And their attitude towards those who are different to them may be full of vitriol and suspicion.
But you don’t have to be like that.
Sometimes, life doesn’t go according to plan.
Your business may be struggling or your missed out on another promotion.
Perhaps your kids are unwell, or misbehaving, or both.
There may be issues with your marriage or wider family that you are wrestling with.
It could be that you are having a faith crisis. “Is God real? Does He care? Does He care about me and my situation? Will He do anything about it?”
There’s no shame in having these moments, I know that I seem to have a had a few in the past couple of weeks.
No matter how hard you try, you’ll never be able to find the time to go to the gym or exercise more.
You’ll never find the time to read more or study.
You’ll never find the time to travel the world.
You’ll never find the time to tick off everything on your bucket list.
You’ll never find the time to play with your kids and enjoy being with them as they grow up.
Ants seem like they’re everywhere.
They scurry about on their little adventures and it’s not hard to find them.
I sometimes wonder, are these the same ants that I saw yesterday or are they new ones?
I could squash them, spray them, call the exterminator.
But still there are ants and they are everywhere.
A bit like opportunities. Read the rest of this entry »
I wish that I could tell you that there was an easy way to produce extraordinary outcomes, but that’s just not the way it is.
You won’t change the world on a whim.
You won’t do anything remarkable without trying.
You won’t get phenomenal results through half-hearted effort.
Your natural talent will only get you so far in life.
Your bold aspirations need to be matched by your consistent contribution.
There will be times when you will want to give up…
You will want to settle for second best from yourself…
You will want to stop experimenting and learning…
There will be times when you want to just look out for yourself…
January is such a lovely, idealistic month.
We enter it with grandiose ideas and bold resolutions designed to make our lives better.
We buy gym memberships and matching outfits.
We purchase personal development books and enrol in expensive courses.
We drink less, go to church more, swear less and eat more leafy greens.
And then the weeks tick over and the momentum falters.
This week, our oldest son Hayden started middle school.
It only seems like yesterday that he started primary school, but now he’s wearing a blazer and taking the next step in his education. I may or may not have shed a tear, I can’t quite remember.
In the last couple of days, he has expressed a small amount of anxiety over this next stage.
And then, on the night before school started he marched out to us and proudly announced, “I’m looking forward to a new adventure.”