Friday, June 7, 2013

100!


“If you want it
You already got it
If you thought it,
It better be what you want…”

Madonna – Four Minutes

“A little luck helps, but it’s your choices that matter.”

Heard on What’s Next, an educational video game

“You always have to give 100%, because if you don’t someone, somewhere will give 100% and they will beat you when you meet.”
Ed Macauley


So here it is – my 100th blog entry.  Wow!  I didn’t see this coming.  When I wrote the first blog at the end of December, I had no idea this would happen.  Although I often talk of vision and goals, I had no vision or goal when I sat down to write, nothing concrete anyway; I just wanted to feel better.  I was feeling pretty unhappy and I just wanted the pain to go away.
It occurs to me that wanting the pain to go away is why some people inflict pain on others, kill themselves, or become addicted to something legal or illegal.  It’s also the reason why people write, paint, dance, teach, sing, start a business or charity, or do something that is creative, interesting and important.  Everyone wants the pain to go away.
In my previous blog I said that pain is not necessary to create; self-discipline is.  But pain comes to each of us and each of us has a choice to use that pain or let pain use us.  That’s really all there is. 
I can lose my temper or I can walk away. 
I can overeat or I can take a walk.
I can gossip or I can stay quiet.
I can paint or I can watch TV.
I can work a little harder or I can browse the Internet.
I can wake up a few minutes earlier or I can hit the snooze button.
I can pray or I can judge.
I can fail and try again or I can fail and quit.
I can be my true self or I can try to please others.

There are two problems when trying to make good choices.  The first is that the good choices are usually harder.  Or they seem that way.  They actually aren’t; they just seem that way.  Bad choices are actually harder because they contain bad consequences.   But bad choices often look so good.  Thirty minutes extra sleep sounds much nicer than exercising or writing in the morning.
The second problem with good choices is that we are confronted with them constantly.  Constantly.  Constantly!!  We don’t even know we’re in a war for our souls and so we drive 80 miles an hour, or criticize our children or cheat on our taxes or take shortcuts at work or school.  When I’m confronted with a good choice, then I’m usually confronted with a bad choice, too.  And bad choices just seem easier. 
And sometimes the choices that aren’t good aren’t bad either; they’re just not good.  For example, there is nothing inherently bad in watching TV; it’s just not usually the best way to spend my time.  So maybe that’s what I’m looking for and what I need – the best choices.  
Voltaire said, “The perfect is the enemy of the good.”  Current translations including Jim Collins, author of Good to Great say, “Good is the enemy of the great.”
I want to be great.  Not necessarily rich or famous, though I wouldn’t mind that either.  No, I want to be great at what I do, at whatever I’m doing and especially at what I’m called to do.
And that takes focus, humility gratitude and mindfulness.  And it takes time.  So the more time I put into the things I’m called to do, the greater chance I have at being great at them.  The more I give 100%, the greater chance I have of writing another 100 blogs.
And as I’ve said before, in this way, though I am unique, I am not special.  Anyone can be great.  Greatness is not a status.  Greatness is a choice.  And to make that choice, all I have to do is
Get Started and Keep Going.