GPS has been a wonderful thing in the lives of commuters everywhere. I remember traveling before I had it; I would get within an area, call who I was trying to come see, and be guided in by a human version of Siri with way more precision and care.
It was both terrible and hilarious. Sometimes I would be frustrated, sometimes I would be late to something merely because I wasn’t capable of finding where I needed to go. I often times felt lost without a way of getting back on track.
There were funny moments, however, laughter at the idiocy of myself as I was within 100 feet of the objective, with only a few more seconds of confidence and dedication I could’ve found what I was looking for.
Whenever there is a destination that is rather unknown, it is harder and harder to stay the course because you don’t know whether you are 1000 miles away, or merely 1000 inches.
Life seems to employ this game on many levels.
So yeah, that road map to success. I found it. It is freaking awesome. You may or may not read it properly though. You may get frustrated and give up still, but it is there. I’ll stop being so vague, keep reading.
The Roads I Know
The roads in and around your home you know well, these are the safety zones of your life. Have you lost 10 lbs on a number of different occasions? Have you run a sub 20 minute 5k? You know the roads to getting there.
The funny thing about the roads you know is that often times you take completely different ways to get there, simply because you can. I know 36 different routes to get to my parents’ house, my childhood home, because I know where I am going. I know the landscape within 5 miles of it. If I am detoured, I can merely choose an alternate route in a split second, with a complete comfort that I will eventually get there.
See where I am going?
Our goal with fitness and general life success is to expand our zone of comfort, to find alternate routes to success that we can knowingly travel. Think about the things you know you are good at: keep those in your back pocket, because those roads are often the start and end of every journey.
Yet the only way to expand our comfort, and to improve upon our success in life, is too often venture out into the world surrounding us.
Get By With a Little Help from Our Friends
Remember when I was speaking about getting help from someone to complete our objective? This is where our friends come in. Each of us have people in our lives that connect us to other zones of comfort. The neighborhood five minutes away, not foreign, but not our own, those areas in which we are familiar but not comfortable doing alone.
Have you lost 10 lbs in life but are looking to lose 20? Who do you know who has done that? You’ve run well in 5ks, but for some insane reason you want to run a half marathon (I hate running, as you can see). Usually you have a sphere of influence that you can tap that brings you one step further on your journey
My friend Chris is an accountant and also a video game sniper specialist. My friend Jesse is a world traveler and a real life sniper specialist.
Each of them could guide me in different areas outside of my own. Chris can help me with my business by giving me advice on proper depreciation schedules or tax deductions. Jesse can teach me how to clear a house in less than 3 minutes (we did this in reality on a (slightly drunken) night for Jesse’s wedding, GIANT FREAKING CHILDREN we are).
I may not know the road, but my friends can help. The one lesson you need to get from this is to learn to ask for help. Your friends and family have talents and areas that they have spent their lives attaining, why don’t you shorten the learning curve by asking for help. The road doesn’t have to be so unknown.
On The Road Again
Without knowing how to get to Oregon from New York, what would I do? Ask some people what roads lead there, ask time projections, find out if there are pit stops on the way, what gear I need, how much money I need, will I get a horrible illness!?!? These are all valid questions!
The simplest answer though is to go. You will have wrong turns and have to ask people for help (other zones of comfort) and you will most likely experience things uniquely your own. Do we abandon the trip if we were slightly off the mark? If we make it to northern California do we turn around and go back? Of course not.
That is what people do on diets and training for different goals though. That is what people do when the work of getting to be successful is more than what the stories said they would be. We often times read of the outlier’s in life, because those are the fun stories.
Teen builds super business in his garage! Man loses 120 lbs of fat in a year and takes back his life! Women run and actually feel good! These are the stories that get attention, because they show us the trips from New York to Oregon, and how this person was able to do it seemingly so well, there road MUST be the right one
That persons journey can help motivate and guide you, but you need to take the journey to see how it is for you.
I always wanted to start my own business. I read books, listened to other business owners, worked inside other businesses and admired the way other businesses were run. In the end, running a business showed me the things that I couldn’t fully grasp, the day to day and the ups and downs and what that meant to me.
When you are losing weight, you know you will have cravings, you will read how to pre-plan to stop them from over taking you, you will buy Tupperware to cook your food. You will plan food prep on Sundays and Wednesdays so that you just cook twice for the whole week. Then life will happen.
Friends will bring in cookies. You will be asked to go to dinner. Taco Bell will come out with some new ridiculously good looking weapon of mass fat building. Shit happens, and guess what, you will try and turn around and go home.
This is where thinking of the road map comes in handy. Instead of going home, you took a wrong turn, you might have even hit a dead end, but you can still get to the goal.
Ask for help from a local (someone who has lost the weight you want, a personal trainer, the internet), call home and check in (you know, because the world seems to end when things aren’t going your way), and get back on the road.
Life’s goals are just places on a map we wish to visit.
They can be near or far, but the way there is varied, don’t be discouraged by the bumps in the road or the difficulty of the terrain, you are usually almost there.
If you are going to leave the country, you often have 0 clue what to expect. There are a few people who may have been where you were who you know, but their experience is short and personal.
This is where experts come in.
Want to be better at public speaking, go learn from speakers and then give some speeches; want to lose 50+ pounds, get a personal trainer and let them help you and teach you some travel tips.
You can wing it, enjoy the journey and see the world, but know who you are. If you aren’t the type that enjoys the journey and is committed to the best/fastest journey, get help from people whose lives it is getting people there.
The Road to Success
It is varied, it is yours. There are faster routes, and slower ones, but usually dozens of ways of getting there. If you enjoy a view, take your time and find a path that makes you happy. If time is precious, use a guide to help circumvent the usual problems people see.
The biggest suggestion I have is to live a life that you have imagined. Do not allow your own fears of failure and road blocks to stop you from being who you want to be. Learn piano, lose the weight, run a 5k, lift a Buick off the ground. There is a road for you to take out there, you just have to believe it.