Did you see this in your social media feed this week? To recap briefly; the woman in the photo, Jordan Alexander from Syracuse, New York had travelled 1200+ miles with her husband Steven to visit “the happiest place on earth” - Disney World, Orlando. Having spent a day at the park, Steven was fatigued and didn't want to take a ride on Splash Mountain. Steven's refusal to change his mind made Jordan grumpy, and so she decided to record her displeasure for posterity in this way. Jordan has subsequently explained – now that Steven has posted the image online and it's gone viral – that she posed like this deliberately, and it was all done in humour. Uh huh, whatever you say Jordan.
Now you're wondering what my point is? Self-sabotage is my point. Self-sabotage is when we decide we want something, but then go about making sure it never happens! Jordan had gone to considerable lengths and expense to visit the happiest place on earth, only to end up not happy. Jordan decided to be unhappy. I can understand how she was disappointed that Steven couldn't be persuaded to join her, but I'm guessing she's paid a lot of money to get to Disney World, paid a lot of money to get into Disney World, queued a fair amount of time to get onto Splash Mountain, only to reduce or negate any enjoyment of the ride. Even if she did pose for the photograph, she spent what little ride time she had thinking about and preparing for the snap. What a waste of time and opportunity!
Now, let me ask you this: what have you always wanted? What do you want now? What are you doing to actively make these things happen, or alternatively, can you be sure you're not actively sabotaging these things from happening? I have met so many people who say they want i.e.: a successful business, deep and meaningful friendships, a strong and healthy body, a fulfilling career etc, but then do just about everything humanly possible to blow up their chances of it ever happening. They do this by taking their focus off of what they want most, by being temporarily satisfied with what they want now. It's a choice, it's always a choice. It's the choice between a slice of cake now, or dropping that dress size ultimately. It's the choice of gaming 24/7 now, or studying, qualifying and fulfilling your greatest potential eventually. You get the gist.
KEEP YOUR GOALS IN MIND
The achieve your goals you must keep your goals in mind and remember that every decision, every behaviour you choose to manifest will either move you closer or further away from accomplishing those goals. I have often referred to Ben Hunt-Davis' philosophy (and subsequent book title) of will it make the boat go faster? Whilst training for the men's eight rowing for the 2000 Sydney Olympics, Ben would defer every decision he made to his central philosophy: will it make the boat go faster? So if friends invited him out for a pint at the weekend, and Ben determined this would not make the boat go faster, Ben declined the pint because he wanted a gold medal more – and gold he got!
You cannot underestimate how much every decision matters. Just as vague goals produce vague results, half-hearted effort produces half-hearted results. It's a choice, it's always a choice and you alone get to decide, time and time again. Sometimes it's easier not to think, be focused, mindful and resolute, but that's the difference between winners and losers. How many people do you know who throw up the “life's too short” or “life is for living” lines as a means to mitigate their weak choices or character? How badly do you want what you want
ARE YOU PREPARED?
What is it that you want? Do you even know for sure, or could you benefit from a little help establishing this? Do you know how to get it? Do you have what it takes to do what it takes to get it? How much do you want it – are you prepared to work and wait for what you want most, at the expense of what you want now? Are you prepared to self-sacrifice for a period or time, rather than self-sabotage your way through an entire lifetime? Are you wasting what time and opportunity you have right now, or are you optimising everything you encounter, good or bad? This is about wringing every last drop of experience out of everything that crosses your path. Or not, of course – the choice is yours.
I know from my own experiences, outlook, personality and from those I know and have worked closely with, that there is an abundance – an abundance – of inspiration, knowledge, expertise and opportunity out there, but your eyes, heart and mind must be wide open to receive it. To walk through this life choosing to be negative, closed, bitter, small, frightened and unfulfilled is a waste of time and opportunity. There's so much more for you, if you go after what you want most, rather than what you want now.