Win Win

On a recent trip, I decided to re-watch the film “300” for motivational purposes. Just like a good book, a good film will provide you with a new insight when you take the time to watch it for a second, third, or twenty-seventh time. What I picked up from the film was the quote where one of the warriors is overlooking the vast persian army, stating his opponents inability to provide him a “noble death” over the years, with hopes that he might find one such warrior in the incoming crowd. He is accompanied by another man that cowers in fear at the sight of the endless armies. In the setting of a movie, the cowardice is quite apparent, as it is overshadowed by the bold statement of bravery by the Spartan warrior. However, life presents these parallels in much fainter terms.

My thoughts have been doing some serious heavy lifting lately. There are a lot of important questions on my mind. Reading through my grandfathers book, I can only wonder what he would have done if he were in my situation. Would he panic, or be cool and collected as he approached his goals? Opa was a brilliant man, but mostly found himself excelling in environments that he did not necessarily create; he succeeded in the military, academic setting, professional career, and job as a family man. However, he was often given parameters to stay within and/or succeed within.

This fact has made me do a lot of thinking about what it is that I do, career-wise. I am a huge fan of entrepreneurship and the mindset of a creator. However, it takes recognition and dutiful accomplishment in order to find the type of success I’m looking for. While I get the adrenaline rush of locking in new clients, there’s a big difference between that sort of recognition and the pat on the back one might receive from a senior-level boss who has decades of experience that qualify the pat on the back as deserving and earned.

I’m not sure if this makes sense, but that idea has really gotten me thinking about what it is that I do vs. what it is I’d like to do. Whenever I close a deal or deposit a hard-earned check, I have a deserved sense of accomplishment. However, I’m the only one that I’m comparing myself to; there are no other employees that can gauge the measure of my success, height of my goals, or ratings of my performance. Yes, I get that’s a lot of “Me. Me. Me. I. I. I.” but that’s just the nature of the beast.

My older brother, Steve, put this in a very appropriate frame. Those who instinctively shoot for the top of the achievement chart are often able to get along with all other individuals on the other levels of the goal landscape. A hardworking man who survives by manual labor might not find much in common with a high-level CEO…but the CEO may find quite a bit in common with the work traits of the manual laborer. I’ve identified this quite a bit in my own life.

One of my greater joys comes from spending an afternoon underneath the hood of my car. This type of work provides me with a sense of satisfaction and stress relief that is hard to find elsewhere. However, I do not feel that I’d be happy as a mechanic, though I tend to be quite handy in working my way around a car. One of my other skills is in the realm of data entry, as I have been gifted in finding every possible shortcut in doing so that completes the work in a fraction of the time. However, I would not want to do this for the rest of my life.

The joy that I have not yet discovered is working within the element that I long to be within; creating new ideas, finding solutions, and developing websites, companies, systems, and products that make the lives of others better through innovation, quality design, and ingenuity, while being paid well to do so; either as the result of being an employee, or receiving payment from a company I have helped start.

That goal, and the eventual accomplishment of it, is what makes these difficult days worth it. It is what helps me sleep at night, when I know that I’ve taken a step closer to one day finding that place in life. If it happens, I will know it has not happened by accident, but intentionally and dutifully.

Perhaps I think too much. It’s a good possibility. However, I know that each day is bringing me closer to accomplishing this goal, and I must grit my teeth and hang on for dear life. The most rewarding things in life require the most sacrifice.

What would Opa do? It’s a thought that has been on my mind constantly. I am reminded of the story where he made a bet that he could do anything he set his mind to. In this case, it was earning over $600,000.00 in one year (this was pre-1950, mind you) when the original bet had been to see if he could earn $50,000.00. I do believe we are capable of achieving whatever it is that we set our minds to, should we also be willing to set our hands to the task and make the sacrifices required.

At this point, I am not sure what sacrifices are required in order for me to find the goals I’m looking to achieve. I’ve decided to correct this problem by making sacrifices that cut away areas of comfort in my life that I feel may subtract from my drive at accomplishment; moving to a distant city, sleeping on the floor of an apartment, and forcing myself to work harder than I ever have before. If nothing else, this will achieve discipline and help me figure out if I am willing to make sacrifices that I’ve been previously unwilling to make.

Let’s turn our pain into pleasure and see where life takes us.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Contact us

Give us a call or fill in the form below and we'll contact you. We endeavor to answer all inquiries within 24 hours on business days.

    Wishlist 0
    Continue Shopping