Is this how you function? Are you a rabbit, who, when pressed into action, will run like crazy and accomplish a task? Seems like saving your own life is motivation enough to get even those among us with minimal drive prompted into action. But here is the question:
What happens when there is no fox on your heels?
In the case of the rabbit, it is running for its life, and has been forced into action. The fox however, he is hungry and while the need to eat is a reason for taking action, he will survive for a while without success. In the case of the rabbit, if he fails at this mission, the mission of evading the fox, his life is over. If you need the motivation of something truly pushing you to get things done, you are going to struggle getting anything more than the bare minimum accomplished in life.
Teaching yourself the discipline of doing what is at least necessary, if not above and beyond that, is a critical life skill. Want to get a raise at your job? Better outwork your peers and get yourself noticed. Lost to an opponent recently that you shouldn’t have? Hit the gym and the practice field. In the above analogy, work for the rabbit would be running just enough to elude the fox. Extra work would include speed training, extra running sessions, etc. to make sure you were fit enough to outrun three foxes if necessary.
When was the last time you stepped back and looked at your life objectively? Do you have a set of defined, written goals that you are working towards? If not, how do you know what you SHOULD be working on? Are you maximizing your time each day to meet the goal(s) you have? If furthering your education to get a better job is on the agenda, are you taking the online classes or are you “waiting for the right time” to get started? Are you outrunning the fox, or are you outrunning the fox AND doing extra to prepare for the next time you two cross paths? Self awareness is crucial, and if you value yourself and your goals, you need to develop the ability to objectively evaluate what you are doing and how you can improve.
If you are trying to improve your backhand, you need to spend extra time working on it, ideally every day, until you erase the previous method of hitting a backhand out of the memory system and replace it with the new version. You need to relearn this skill on the practice court, test it on occasion in a practice match, and solidify the skill before ever taking it into battle with you. If you don’t, the fox is going to catch you. It would be the equivalent of you trying on a brand new pair of running shoes right before you try to outrun the fox. Extra work is where improvement lies. You need to do more than others; this will close the gap, catch up on lost time or experience, and level the playing field to some degree. This is not a guarantee to success, but NOT doing it is a guarantee for failure. The extra work you do puts you in position to be better, aim higher, achieve more. It does not anoint you to a new level in and of itself.
Regardless of what it is that you want to achieve, it is imperative that you be honest with yourself and the effort you are putting forth. Do you deserve to get eaten at this point? Maybe so; but only you will really know that. I have crossed paths with so many people over the years who are right on the cusp of doing something great, but they never realize it. They can’t picture it, write it down, and execute that last 10% to get over the hump. They stay in their safe space, unfettered with strain and effort, staring up at a would-be peer, or watching from the sidelines.
What do you want? Start there…define the goal(s), write them down, and formulate a plan to achieve them. The only thing that is gong to get you there is hard work. Luck is made by preparing for an opportunity, and then being ready AND capable of capitalizing on it when it does happen. Don’t wait for life and death as a reason to run; run now and run again later. That way, when it does come time to run for your life, you are far better prepared than most. You will MAKE the fox will give up sooner, and allow yourself to get back to your improvement schedule.
STOP PROCRASTINATING. The sedentary rabbits get eaten first….Get to work!