The Olympic games are underway, and it’s all very exciting. But let’s be realistic – these athletes are the top in the world. And the ones we get to see on TV are at the tippy tippy top.
Kind of hard to relate to at a personal level. I don’t know about you, but I sure don’t feel like my skills are the best on the planet.
The challenge, though, is to always be striving.
That can get depressing. If I’m always striving but never achieving my lofty goals, I’m in a constant state of disappointment.
So here’s the real trick: To maintain a constant tension between working for change, and accepting what is.
Striving and settling.
A great visualization of this is a rubber band: there’s a connection between working and achieving, but you don’t want so much tension that it breaks. And ideally, you want the two dynamics to be with each other a bit.
Suppose that you’re working to get a promotion at work. That requires learning new skills, and developing great relationships with your boss and other decision makers. It’s not comfortable, and it’s not an exact science. But you’ll only make progress if you strive to achieve that goal.
But recognize that it may take a lot of time, and more work than you expect, to get the promotion. Perhaps you’ll never get it. Depressing? Maybe, if you don’t spend time thinking about how the striving in itself is a good thing. You are, after all, still developing skills and improving relationships. That will give you more flexibility no matter what direction your career takes.
Be happy with the fact that you’re working toward a goal, and going in a useful direction. And simultaneously strive for something even better.
I saw an interview with Kimberly Rhode, the lady who got the gold medal in skeet shooting yesterday by hitting 99 out of 100 targets. Her new goal? To get 100.
Always striving, always growing.