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Friday, January 17, 2014

Bigger or Smaller?

There is an AT&T commercial running on a TV near you where the host asks a bunch of kids, “Bigger or Smaller?”

The kids scream out “Bigger”.  They then talk about why a big treehouse is better than a small treehouse.  The commercial ends with the announcer stating, “It’s not complicated.  Bigger is Better and AT&T…..”.

Obviously, Bigger can certainly be awesome.  But what happens when something is too big?  Is it possible to dream too big?  Can a project seem too big or difficult to finish?  

The answer is Yes,  We face things every day that are huge and seem impossible.  At the beginning of each year, many people make resolutions and set goals for themselves. claims that only 8% of these are achieved.  Whether it is to lose weight, exercise, spend more time with family or get organized we fail 92% of the time.

I believe most of these are unsuccessful simply because they are too big.  We visualize what we’ll look or feel like once we achieve our goal.  Some people get paralyzed before even starting, but most dive in without any real plan of action.  The luster tarnishes quickly and we quietly quit pursuing that which we proudly proclaimed just weeks or even days earlier.

The remedy for this is to focus on today.  We get so caught up in what we hope to be that we lose focus on who we are and what we can control at this very moment.  The reality is that we’ll be better tomorrow if we do a better job with today.  

I’m reading yet another account of someone’s experience thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail.  The 2,180 miles from end to end is attempted by thousands of people each year.  About 25% of those who start actually make it.  For months, they hike.  Years of preparation all boil down to just that.  Wake up each day and start walking.  Doing that day what they can to achieve success, not in the long run, but on that particular day.  In their case, stack up six months of these back to back and BOOM.  You are now a Thru Hiker.  An extreme title for any outdoorsman.

Maybe you haven’t accomplished something so daunting.  Yet, I guarantee you have had successes in your life built in that very same manner.  Taking the necessary steps at each critical point to claim victory.

Over the past few weeks, I have reflected on things that I have accomplished that I never thought possible.  Things I’ve attempted in the past only to fail…sometimes on day one and sometimes months down the line.  Yet, I finally crossed the finish line in a handful of those things.  I guess that tells me not to give up.  Nothing is too big with planning and perseverance.

So, Bigger or Smaller?

I’ll still take Bigger, but I know that Bigger is only better if we get there through small and often uninspiring achievements each day.

Run in Peace, Rest in Grace