“The greatest pleasure in life is doing what people say you cannot do.” Walter Bagehot
In life, you get what you put into it. There are those who try and dictate your story, but ultimately, it is YOU who makes the choice of the path you will take.
If there is one thing I can’t stand, it is someone who blames others for the outcome of their life.
“If my Father had been there I would be more well rounded.”
“If she would have cut me some slack, I would have succeeded.”
“If they would have only supported me, I could have made it.”
But what if we didn’t base our success or failures on others actions or perceptions of us? What if….you and I stopped playing victim, and proved them wrong?
If there is one thing I LOVE it is proving someone wrong. I can’t help it. The cockiness in me just comes out when someone thinks they are right, I swoop in and totally contradict them. The absolute pleasure in it literally makes me want to do a happy dance.
Of course there are times that I listen to the person for so long, I start to believe that maybe they ARE right, and I am the one who is the fool. Their arguments, evidence, and opinions are so convincing, I start to almost believe the way they do. But then…. deep down inside, that competitive spirit awakens, and I know I must set out to prove them wrong.
My whole life I have been a creature of habit. It is really sad how utterly predictable I am.
I hate change.
I never finish what I start.
I am always late.
I have had the same fashion sense since 1993.
I eat the same thing for breakfast EVERY morning.
I am irrational and emotional.
I hate committing to anything.
While I am a wonderful, adorable, fun loving gal, I am wishy washy and often flake out when the chips are down. I can come up with a good excuse for anything. Trust me… I wrote the book on excuses.
When I decided to change this past year, most people didn’t take me seriously. They took it as another random idea I had and went on with life. Most family and friends were supportive, even though they knew I would eventually flake out as normal.
As I set my goals for the year, they were a little ambitious.
Go on a vacation
Start being on time
Get out of my comfort zone
Hike 100 miles
Put others first
While these tasks may not seem like much to some, to me….they were a REALLY big deal. I discussed my plans with a close friend, expecting some support and love, and in turn I got,
“You know you’ll quit by June don’t you?”
In my friends defense, they were speaking out of experience. My record on accomplishments was pretty short. Normally, I would have looked at my friend, and agreed with their question, however, this time I took it as another challenge.
I started off strong. I planned my vacation. Started getting places on time. Laced up my hiking boots. And started helping my friends. By Easter, I was tired. The thrill was gone and I was ready to quit most things.
I didn’t want to take my vacation because that would involve spending money. I wanted to be lazy and be late everywhere. I was tired of doing hard things. I was over getting up at 3:30 every Saturday to go hiking. I was tired of people.
But, I had goofed back in January when I made this challenge to myself. When I did so, I not only promised I’d finish to myself, but I had also promised God. Making that promise to Him is where I goofed, because now I knew if I quit, I was not just failing me, but I was failing Him.
So I kept on. The hardest change was getting out of my comfort zone. I love my friends and my family, and I am extrovert, but I HATE being placed in situations where I am the new kid and I have to make new friends. Even as WONDERFUL as I am, I always worry, “Will they like me?” “What if I say something stupid?” Putting myself out there in a vulnerable state was a scary and risky ordeal for me.
But I did it, and BOY have I been blessed. Over the past three months I have met and became friends with the most AMAZING people. People that I would have NEVER met, had I not stepped out in faith.
Since setting my initial goals back at the end of January, I accomplished 90% of them already. Most of them I didn’t even realize I had done until they were long over. I should have been relieved they were done, but I wasn’t. I liked not being the flake anymore. Going back to the old me, just didn’t seem possible, so I started setting new goals. Bigger goals.
This past weekend I had dinner with my friend, who back in January, told me I wouldn’t finish. He looked at me and uttered the words I had been waiting months to hear….
“You know what…I was wrong. You are actually doing it. I am so proud of you. I don’t know how you did it, but you have.”
Music to my ears! I could not help but have a satisfying grin on my face as I explained to my friend that his telling me I would never finish is what pressed me to the finish line.
There are always going to be those who tell you that you can’t accomplish something. Sometimes they tell us that, based on our past. But, it can be just that….THE PAST. We don’t have to use the past or those telling us we can’t as excuses to not accomplish incredible things.
Toss out the excuses. Make the sacrifices needed, and get out there and turn those “You can’ts” into “I did it!”