What Used to Fuel My Motivation
It used to be my mission to have my cake and eat it too. I’ll never forget when colleagues in the sports industry first caught wind that I was pregnant. I can’t even tell you how many times I heard, “There’s no way you’re going to be able to have a child and continue to run your company at the level that you do”. From that point on, I made it my personal mission to prove them wrong–might I remind you that not only am I strong willed, but I am also equally competitive. I’m not saying that proving others wrong doesn’t serve as sufficient motivation in and of itself, but on a personal level, there needs to be something deeper that is driving your efforts and your focus. Motivation needs to be complimented by direction.
For so long, it wasn’t about doing what I wanted for the sake of my own life, but rather, to prove a point to everyone who had doubted me. The thing is, when you enter into situations where your sole focus is striving to prove a point, three things happen: One, your vision becomes clouded by the desire to receive the approval of others; which sidenote, you will never be able to make everyone happy. Two, it becomes far too easy to lose sight of your original goals and motivation. And three, voices of doubt and anxiety not only creep in your thoughts, but they are granted a portion of mental real estate within your mind.
I started to realize all of this after I had reached my “goal” and became a mother to my beautiful Skylar. Not only did I have my cake and eat it too (AKA giving birth, going right back to work, and continuing to develop my company) but, when you look at the numbers, and see that during this time I actually grew LW Branding 200%, I would say crushing my goal is a better way to phrase it. I had done it. I opened my company’s first official office in downtown Chicago, I added multiple people to my team in that same year, and most importantly–despite the odds that were against me–I could now say I had proven my naysayers wrong.
Now…well, now what? Here I was, standing at the top of the mountain that I had worked so hard to climb, and for some reason, it didn’t feel as good as I expected it would. Actually, let me rephrase that, it felt good–really good actually–but it wasn’t as fulfilling as I thought that it would be.
How I’ve Learned to Enjoy the Ride
It’s easy to set our eyes on the prize and then strive to immediately reach the top at all costs. However, the biggest lesson that I have come to learn–and now seek to apply to where I am at now–is that there is no destination. Yes, there are mile markers along the way, but as cliche as it sounds, the beauty is really in the journey. I challenge you today to look at your own life, and ask yourself what it is that you’re striving for. What does the top of your mountain look like? Is it a job title, a career, a certain client list, a number in your bank account, or maybe a relationship. What kind of feelings and emotions have you attached to this goal, and what would happen if you readjusted your focus?
“there is no destination.”
I am by no means suggesting to throw in the towel when it comes to working towards, and crushing, your goals. Continue to show up everyday, work hard to become the best version of yourself that you can be, be wise in how you allocate your resources, but be sure to view those shiny things as mile markers, compared to a grand finale destination.
I have to admit that it took countless attempts of falling flat on my face to finally start seeing and appreciating the beauty in the journey itself. The phrase, “Have your cake and eat it too”, is one that so many people tirelessly strive to reach, but I can truly say that, “Having your cake, and enjoying the ride” is so much more fulfilling.