You must start somewhere. It doesn’t matter what your goal is. Where you want your journey to take you. How you define success. You must start somewhere.
Throughout life we are faced with challenges and changes. Those who face those challenges head on, find the opportunity for success, enjoy the climb up the mountain are the greats we read about, watch on tv, follow on social media. These individuals are no different than you and me though. They are just a bit farther along the climb, while we are closer to the starting line.
At 25 years old, I never imagined I would look at a flight of stairs in shear frustration; feel guilt for being unable to walk my dogs because walking caused unbearable pain throughout my leg and back; or be told by a doctor I could choose a cane or a wheelchair.
A few months, a reconstructive pelvic surgery, and six titanium pins later, I was laying in my makeshift bedroom of a living room on the pullout couch talking to my physical therapist. I was going to have to learn to walk all over again. During the surgery some of the muscles, tendons and ligaments had been cut and reattached. I would need to rebuild the strength of not only the bone, but that of the soft tissue. The plan we developed incorporated use of a passive motion machine, strengthening bands, core strengthening exercises, crutches, and steady progression to walking on my own. I wouldn’t be jumping into a marathon once the dressing was removed, I had to continuously work toward my goal, even when it was hard. Even when it was easier to lay down on the couch, to cover myself with a blanket and pretend I wouldn’t have to ever leave the house.
Eventually though, my mom would have to go back to Alabama and her job, my dogs would need to be walked, and I would need to leave the house.
So, my journey of a thousand miles needed to start with a single step. A step off the couch. A step toward the kitchen counter to do my exercises. A step out the door and into the world. I had to face my challenge.
Despite every frustration I faced along the way, I continue to work to get back to the physical condition I once was. I apply myself because I have conditioned my brain to see this as a NEED. I need to be able to walk my dogs; I need to be able to carry a backpack or 40 lbs, I need to be capable. Yet when I look at the success of others instead of applying this same mentality and knowing I can overcome the challenges on my journey I envy their success. I tell myself I could never have a business or a home like that. When I know I actually can. I let the emotion overpower me.
Instead of looking at the greats, the successful business owners, public figures, and just seeing them as where they are, we need to look at the success of their journey. Learn from what they have conquered, the plans they implemented and apply such things to our lives. If we want a clean house, we need to start by removing the excess. If we want a successful business, we need to start with a product or service to fill a need.
No one is an overnight success. Oprah, Michael Jordan, Magnolia at the Silos, the Facebook empire, each is just further along the journey, but they all were at the starting line once.
Where do you want to go? What life do you want to live? What have you overcome and can reflect on to motivate you toward your goals?