I want to tell you about this card that you see in the picture. I have carried this little card in my wallet for years, to keep reminding myself that (1) you have to have a vision and a goal, and (2) you must be able to focus on achieving it even if no one else sees the same glory and triumph that you do.
I am not the smartest, definitely not the prettiest, not the most well-built and for most every skill I have been born with or have acquired, I can find a video of someone on YouTube in less than 5 minutes who can do it way better than me. Take for instance playing guitar. I can entertain my friends and family and impress a few people with my guitar skills, but compared to millions of other guitarists I am a nobody. I am nothing. I am mediocre.
But there is that one thing I have really made my own that I do better than a lot of people I have met. To many people this might be an afterthought, something that motivates them for thirty seconds when they read it, or something that they just shrug off. But I have turnt this into a life philosophy - NEVER, EVER, GIVE UP. And I mean it, if you want something bad enough, the only way to get it, is to never give up until you have it. From a different angle you can say: "If you fail at first, try again, and again, until you succeed". And this is where I kick dust in many other people's faces. The easy way out is to give up, to me this is not an option. If I cannot beat you with skill or ability, I will take you on with perseverance. But I have not developed this attitude and way of thinking to compete with others, I have done it in order to keep improving myself and to better myself for the benefit of those around me. And many times I have succeeded, simply because I never give up. Not for any other reason.
Three things that are key to such a philosophy, that are not always obvious, are the following:
- In order to "Never give up", you actually have to have a goal, or a vision, or a "prize to be won". You need a target. If you are not driven and focused, you have already given up. That was the first lesson I learnt.
- In order to set a vision, you need to want to be in a better position that you currently are. And many times that means that you have to work hard and you might fail multiple times and you might get stuck in a position where you do not want to be. Such is life, life does not owe you anything. You have to lift yourself up, and sometimes you are forced back to the drawing board.
- You need to look beyond the now and the immediate. I developed the ability to construct in my mind the situation that I would like to be in, despite where I am now. And it is always better than where I am. That does not mean that I live an unfulfilled life. On the contrary. I am happy and positive and motivated every day of my life, but I am always on the move, there must be progress. If you do not move, you are staying behind.
Until today this attitude has become a way of living to me. My golf buddies sometimes remark that they have not seen anyone so motivated to play the sport, despite having to overcome a total lack of natural talent on my side. But I have decided not to give up, and I have set goals for myself. And sometimes I had to scale down on those goals, but I have never ever gone onto a golf course without wanting to be better than the last time. And this I have integrated into my personality in everything I do.
It is unbelievable how many discoveries will await you if you change your attitude - when you keep on trying, keep on going, never giving up. The great thing is that you will constantly experience small successes, small victories. That will motivate and energise you even further and life will unlock its magic moments to you and lead you on a path of constant fulfilment.