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When you begin a project it’s impossible to prepare for all the obstacles, difficulties, and challenges that lie before you. It doesn’t mean don’t plan. It just means you need more than the right connections, financial resources, and blueprint for creating what you hope to achieve.
A fixed rigid mindset will be your detriment. It is important to be stubborn with your intent to fulfill a dream. It is also essential to cultivate physical and mental agility. Adjusting your plans and approach in order to complete your goals is crucial. People who are unwilling to adjust and create new pathways become unbending which contributes to falling short of fulfilling their aspirations.
Here is a list of considerations that come into play while you attempt to fulfill your pursuits whether it be entrepreneurial success, addiction sobriety, emotional serenity, or whatever else you aspire to achieve.
#1: Intensity. Creating dreams requires intensity. Merriam-Webster defines intensity as extreme energy or force expended. A synonym for intensity is passion. You will not be successful with a half-hearted effort. You must prepare your heart to be intense.
When I was a kid my favorite football team was the Chicago Bears and my favorite player was middle linebacker Dick Butkus who just passed away a few days ago. Butkus was a living incarnation of intensity on the football field. During plays he was knocked down, he popped back up and sprinted to the other side of the field to make the tackle. Those who played or watched him knew that he was intense about achieving his goals on the football field.
When I was Little Leaguer, I was intense about winning. When I pitched, if the players in the field were not “talking it up” with chatter, I would go to the teammate and get on his case. I thought that was what it took to win.
We are not all football or baseball players or fans. Some people in pursuit of achievement do not fit the projected stereotype of one who is intense. They may appear calm and quiet but when you connect with their spirit you discover a burning intense desire within. The takeaway is that intensity is a necessary ingredient to fulfill whatever you are passionate about. A half-hearted effort will never fulfill your dreams.
#2: Detach and surrender what you cannot control. You will not be able to control all of the factors as you pursue your goals. You must learn to be flexible and live life making constant adjustments. The more rigid you are, the more you must have what you want when you want it, and the less likely you will create your dreams. It’s not like you cannot create success but it is more likely success will begin to own you rather than the other way around. Rigid people lose sight of the goal along the journey and even once the goal is accomplished, there is a subtle sense of hollow fulfillment.
Practice the Serenity Prayer, “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot control, change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”
Detaching from what you cannot control, being clear about your lane of responsibility, and staying there is the hardest simple thing to do in pursuing a life goal. Dream fulfillment is dependent upon your capacity and commitment to let go of what you cannot control. Detachment is a daily lifestyle, not a one-and-done event.
#3: Play the hand you have been dealt to the best of your ability and you will win! When things don’t work out as planned, it is easy to become stuck in self-pity. You will need to assess what are the strengths and resources you have to draw from and adjust your focus and strategy as you move forward. If you allow yourself to get bogged down in discouragement, self-pity, and self-defeat, you will not fulfill your dream.
Sunny Weingarten is a perfect example of someone who refused to be mired in self-pity. Sunny was a friend of mine when I was a minister in Denver, Colorado. He was a key member of the board of directors for a citywide ministry that I engaged. Sunny was struck down with polio when he was a young boy. His days were controlled and confined to an iron lung every day of his young life.
Sunny was determined to live life outside of the iron lung. As a young adult, he disciplined himself and practiced forcing air into his lungs sort of swallowing and forcing air into his lungs outside of the iron lung enclosure. Eventually, he conditioned himself to live up to 10 hours outside of the lung. He purchased a Van, hired a driver, and engaged in life, including activities on my board. He was a powerful energetic force. He began attending Denver Bronco football games and never missed a home game for over 20 years! In the course of time, Sunny tapped into his creative spirit and designed a lightweight portable lung that allowed him to operate outside of the lung for the entire day. Soon, drawing from his entrepreneurial spirit, he organized a company and flew around the world making a living selling his Port-a-lung to those in need!
Sunny demonstrated passion with intensity, a willingness to surrender what he could not control, and played the hand he had been dealt as well as anyone I knew. Though confined to a wheelchair in the day and an iron lung at night, Sunny lived 70 years of life a true winner.
When you are discouraged and tempted to wallow longer than necessary in a mud hole of self-pity, remember an old saying that says “When you don’t like the way you are sailing, don’t curse the wind, change your sail”.
Play the deck you have been dealt with intensity, detaching from what you cannot control, and what you desire and hope to create will become reality.