October 30

Getting where you’re going

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Skip the ep3 intro and start at 2:14 on the Youtube video…

In very few places are there true equal playing fields. Sure, we’d like to think that talent or intelligence or some special skill is the thing that will get us where we want to go and make us who we ought to be. But it’s something like the god particle–that thing that weaves itself between every decision, every step, and every breath, putting us right in the path of where we need to be, every time.

So at the beginning of every year, we sit down to watch the biggest game in American pro sports, the Super Bowl. The two best teams from each conference square off, and whether one of those teams has our hearts or not, it’s always still fascinating to have watched them navigate their way through the gauntlet of opponents to make it to this promised land.

But here’s the thing: no matter which two teams are left at the end of the year, there’s almost always a debate about whether, exactly, those were the two best. Because sometimes, those last two teams left out of the 32 in the league, and the fraction of that that makes the playoffs, are not the best two. They are simply the ones that made it to the goal.

So what are they, lucky? No, there’s not that much luck in the world. Sure, maybe they had one or two breaks along the way, but you know what they say about luck: that’s just opportunity meeting preparation. So even with a break, they’d have to be close enough for a blown call or a dropped ball to even matter. I don’t buy the luck argument.

So is it cheating that got them there? This is the worst excuse of all because that would be too elaborate of a scheme to concoct. Okay, yeah, we know Russia is known to help people cheat from time to time, but really, what could be gained from that for a sports team? Not buying the cheating argument because (and again, Russia not considered here) it almost always comes from losers.

So if it’s not purely talent, and it’s not purely luck, and it’s not cheating, then what is it?

If you know me then you know my story. I’ve been focused and working toward my dream my entire life, trying to get to where I want to be. But careers in entertainment don’t have a blueprint or a set strategy. Some people get there at 20 while others don’t make it until they’re 50, some older. If we say that all of them have equal talent, then what is it?

I listen to all the great speakers: from Les Brown to Elizabeth Gilbert, Lewis Howes to Oprah Winfrey, and pretty much everybody in between. I listen to their strategies, tips, how-tos, courses, masterclasses, which are all intended to guide you toward, not necessarily for a successful career, but a successful life.

The consensus belief is that keeping the right mindset is the most important thing you can do. It sort of goes with that old adage: if you believe you can, you’re right; if you believe you can’t, you’re also right. Maybe none of this is the thing. Or maybe, all of it is. In sports, they call it the “intangibles.” Sometimes this means your attitude, leadership ability, intelligence, heart–the stuff you can really measure but they can be a force multiplier–something that causes a ripple effect and makes any and everybody around you better.

So you’ve got the strategies and courses and tips, the positive mindset thing going on, and then you throw in the intangibles.

Of the two teams left standing at the end, are we to believe that the victor must have all of this or more of it than the runner up?

Here’s the answer: I don’t know.

Nobody knows. Nobody has your answers. Because the thing is: there is no strategy to this. There is no map or blueprint or guide to show us every step we need to take in order to be who and where we ultimately want to be.

That’s the difference between sports and life. In sports, only one can win; in life, we can all win.

I’m learning that the best fuel to put into your tank every day is whatever kind you need that will keep you going until the next day. And when the next day comes, fill up again until the next day. Because chances are, even if you know where you want to go, there’s no straight shot to getting there. The road is far more winding, bumpy, and just plain longer than you will ever have anticipated.

And that’s okay. You can slow down, you can even pause for a moment to catch your breath, but when it comes to getting where you want to go, the only strategy you need is to just keep going.

featured image by: Mateusz Sałaciak


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