I came to a realization this morning. It may not have been a big one, but it struck me as worth sharing. That realization was this: every success story I’ve ever read or heard about started out with someone taking a dream and changing it into a goal. In that moment, when they decide they are going to make their dream come true, the successful person commits. They commit to the work it will take to make their dream come true. They change a dream into a goal and compile the goals into a plan and work that plan until they reach success.
The realization that every success starts with a single commitment seemed startling to me. I mean, it’s so obvious, right? But if it’s obvious then why isn’t everyone successful? Because obvious and easy are two different things. Commitment and determination work hand in hand. If you don’t have both then you’re just spinning your wheels.
You see, saying you’re committed is easy. Saying you have determination is easy. Believing yourself to be tenacious is easy. Fighting through challenges, setbacks, temporary failures and everything else that comes along attempting to block your path to success… that’s not so easy. That takes commitment and determination.
What IS easy is running into a setback or a challenge and giving up. It’s easy to think, “Well, I never really thought I’d make it anyway.” THAT is YOU defeating YOU. That is you deciding to abandon a goal (and a dream, by the way) because you don’t want to do the work to overcome whatever challenge has been put in your path.
In my house we have a theory about how to deal with obstacles that block our path: over, under, around or through. Over, under and around are the easiest ways to avoid an obstacle. By going over it, under it or around it, you avoid having to remove it. You simply take it out of your path by changing your path. However, if that particular obstacle can’t be overcome by going over, under or around it, then we go through it. Even if it’s a mental exercise, we blow that obstacle up. Explosives can work wonders (figuratively speaking). Destroy that obstacle and then keep moving forward.
That is where the commitment, determination and hard work all come into play. Commitment is definitive. It is maintained until a goal is reached. The compilation of goal attainment is how success is achieved. As I said at the beginning: it all starts with commitment. That’s how you turn a dream into a goal and compounded goals into success. Commit.