Denzel Washington once shared with a group of graduating students, “dreams without goals are just dreams!” While the late Kobe Byrant argued that “great things only come from hardwork and perseverance; no excuses.” Both of these profound statements stood with me since listening intently to their interviews some time back on YouTube.
Intuitively, these statements caused me to challenge myself on whether I should really be accepting the title of “workaholic” as labelled by so many or to defensively argue that my chosen disposition is consistent with the important life lessons being imparted by these great icons. My simple interpretation of the guidance being offered, stands to reason that both men were emphasizing the importance of being prepared to put in the work if you are truly to yield the desired success!
It is highly unlikely that you would find any successful person saying that the journey to pursuing their dreams, and ultimately success was a simple one; achieved without activating an intentional game plan, supported by consistency and discipline. Almost certainly, the immediate response would be to highlight the number of sleepless nights, and perhaps even sweat, tears and relationships lost in pursuit of reaching their goals.
Recently, not one but two of my team members said to me that they did not want to ever become a Director. After getting over my initial shock and disappointed because both individuals possess such great potential, I quickly realised that they get to see first hand the demands of performing at executive level. The situations presented that I am required to maneuver daily and the pace generally required to stay ahead of the game. Of course, it would have been remiss of me not to share my perspective as I am a firm believer that nothing worth having in this life, tends to come easy.
You see, in the moment, the challenges faced both in our personal and professional lives can really throw us off our game, causing us to maneuver through some really turbulent times. Over time however, we come to realise that the struggles, frustrations and disappointments faced, become the foundation that helps to shape our future; these are all part of our personal journey. Nevertheless, the attitude and mindset adopted throughout our daily encounters is hands down what will fuel the ability to develop those important coping skills that position us for long term success. Through our daily actions and reactions, we are either developing habits that highlight an attitude of gratitude for the opportunities that come our way, challenges included or allowing the fear of failure and frustrations cause us to become stuck where we are. There is no easy, clearly marked path; personal transformation and development is an uphill journey. Success comes to those prepared to truly embrace and endure the climb….