It’s not cool to admit this, but there are things in my life I don’t attempt or I attempt half-heartedly because I’m pretty sure I won’t succeed.
Weight loss is one. Growing my business online is another. Consistently making healthy breakfast for my kids is a big one. We are a cereal family most of the time. Cereal with a side of fruit for a sense of moral/nutritional superiority.
Sometimes I make lists about breakfast, but when 6:15 rolls around each morning, the chances of me following through grow slim.
There are so many things I avoid. Because success in these areas is difficult for me. Because nailing them would be a longshot.
And I’ve been thinking a lot about this for the past several days. Because I’ve found myself ALL-IN promoting a political candidate for public office for the first time. And this is very unlike me.
In the past, I’ve been quick to hide people from my Facebook and Twitter feed for posting too many political posts. I always vote. But privately and with dignity and respect for all the other parties and candidates.
But, if you looked at my social media feeds before October 5th and then after, you’d probably think I’d been hacked by an unemployed 30-year-old man podcasting from his mother’s basement. It is all Evan McMullin all the time around here. I’ve taken my previously-underused Twitter account to new places, hashtagging the crap out of Evan McMullin and retweeting and liking anything that promotes his candidacy. I talk about algorithms and “retweet limits” and twitter strategy with my new online friends. Political nerdery and fanaticism is in full swing over here.
And Evan’s candidacy is a massive Hail-Mary play.
But I. Do. Not. Care. This process is reminding me that it feels good to do hard things, even if success doesn’t seem likely. Because, if we only fight the battles where victory is certain we’ll miss out on the victories that really matter.
And I want to apply this thinking to other areas of my life. I want to dig in and think about what I’m avoiding doing because I think it will be too hard or because I don’t think I can succeed.
Thomas Edison is quoted as saying, “Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.”
So, we won’t be successful unless we’re willing to push through the times where we’ve lost all hope of succeeding. We won’t be successful if we give up. And we have to be willing to do the right thing, even when, especially when, the odds are against us.
I believe that some of the most important undertakings begin not because they are bound to succeed but because someone feels bound to do the right thing.
What “right thing” in your life are you avoiding doing because you don’t think you can succeed? Can you try one more time? Can you stand up and make a change?
Breakfast. Tomorrow morning. Overnight oatmeal in the thermal cooker. Never surrender.