One of the habits of the elite is fairly straightforward – they set their own goals and they set lots of them. This doesn’t make them bad teammates, it makes them better ones. You see, excellence is always individual before it becomes organizational. In other words there are never excellent organizations or teams without at least a few individuals modeling the way. The few always put the team first. This does not diminish their aim for individual excellence, in fact, it enhances it.
One of our goals at BTL is around helping our clients achieve their dreams and by so doing achieve our own. Our goal is bigger than ourselves which gives our own, individual aims more juice, not less. We dream big and hope our clients do as well. Sometimes we believe in our clients and each other more than we believe in ourselves. This is not a sustainable position as selfless as it sounds. You see, leaders are believers. If you, leader, do not believe in yourself you’re going to have a hard time getting your team to go further than you’ve gone in terms of dreaming big. Your belief is contagious, leader. So stop second guessing self. Be hard on self, not down on self. Dream big. Dream stupid big. Dreams energize stretch goals, at least big ones do. Let me tell you a story about a new one of mine.
This past month, Miss and I took our adult children on the trip of a lifetime to Greece and Italy. While in Athens we took a family photo in front of the original Olympic Stadium. This sent a chill down my spine just imaging the grappling and running that those stones had seen. I began to imagine running in that stadium back in the day and let my mind fully picture what it must have been like. Very cool. Didn’t give it another thought. As we headed home, I told Miss we would most likely never be back in Athens or Amalfi but were definitely going back to Santorini and some other Greek Islands. I just couldn’t see a reason to return, especially to Athens…
Less than ten days ago, during practice with krazy Kyle, I was showing him pictures of our trip and up came the picture in front of the Olympic stadium. Kyle, without so much as a second thought, blurted out how cool that was ‘cause he was going to be in that stadium in November of 2020. “What are you talking about,” came out of my consciousness instantly. So, he told me his story. He’s always wanted to run the original marathon from Marathon to Athens and next year he was going to do it. My mouth dropped wide and my mind twirled up the memory. I’ve never run more than eight miles, never thought about running a half much less a full marathon. Never. In that instant, however, I decided to run alongside my client. I’m going back to Athens in 2020 and see this goal with crystal clarity. Once I get the dream crystal clear in my cranium, it’s as good as done. I don’t give myself any option out. It’s simple. Dream and do. Dream and done so.
So, my goal is set.
November 8, 2020, I will run alongside some 60,000 other souls and retrace the steps of Phiedippides from back in 490 B.C. My goal is not to achieve some set time. My goal is not much different than my goals when climbing the Alps of the Tour de France – just don’t stop. Keep pedaling, make the next corner, bathe in the beauty, and enjoy the chosen suffering. This time I’ll tell myself another few words – left foot, right foot. Left foot, right foot. Good. I’ll be Sixty one, the perfect age to take up distance running. I’m hoping Tay, Miss, and others will come along. I know it’s going to hurt but I can already see the stadium coming into view and feel the chills coursing up and down my spine. The dream is big. The long term goal is set. It’s decided. Lots of short term goals will pave the way forward starting now. You are not too old, too tired, too this or too that. You are meant to model the way for your team, leader. Do not expect them to dream big when you continue to play small. Dream and do. Don’t let others tell you what you can and can’t. Set goals and stretch to reach them. Get out of your comfort zone, into your challenge zone, and right up against your sense of panic. Set your goals here. I mean come on man, whats the point of doing what you’ve always done? What’s energizing about that?
November 8, 2020 I’m going to be sweating bullets anticipating the challenge, beauty, and camaraderie of suffering that lies in the 26.2 miles ahead. My goal will be clear – don’t stop until we cross the finish line in Olympic stadium. I’m smiling as I imagine. Big dreams energize big goals. Big goals catalyze smaller ones. Goals are good. Set some for you, friend. Good.
Live hard. Love harder (Thanks, Teeks)…