Last year I ran a 5K Race for life in support of Cancer Research UK. For me, whose running style is inept and inadequate to put it kindly, this was a pretty huge achievement. And I raised nearly £1,000 for an important cause so all in all a huge success.
Last week my friend ran the Paris Marathon. A much better achievement for someone who is a bit of a running pro and who’ll no doubt go on to run many more marathons in future.
This September two of my friends are taking on the ultimate challenge; climbing Mount Kilimanjaro. Both are doing it to raise money for a good cause. But more than that, both are doing it for the sense of personal achievement that comes from pushing themselves beyond all previous limits, and stretching themselves to physical and mental heights they hadn’t previously thought possible.
I have huge admiration for anyone who sets themselves a challenge and strives to achieve it.
If we didn’t do this, we’d never grow and develop. If humanity hadn’t strived for bigger and better things then we wouldn’t have civilisation as we know it today.
Which leads me to think that there might be a downside; appearing small and insignificant at first, it could grow to become very important and destructive. For humanity, we became greedy, we wanted more, we controlled further and we’ve damaged our planet in seriously scary and irreparable ways.
For individuals, we can easily want to achieve more, earn more, and push further. But if we don’t stop or know our limits we can become injured, even killed but certainly burnt out in the pursuit of the wrong measure of success.
What’s your biggest life goal? What’s the next challenge on your to-do list for the year?
It doesn’t have to be physical either. For some of us, the best achievements in life come through mental pursuits. Writing the next book; composing a new piece of music; getting onstage and talking at a big event; and many more. There are plenty of exciting opportunities out there.
Completing this A to Z blogging challenge is an important one for me this month. But I’m already thinking about what comes next. Jumping ahead too quickly? Probably. At risk of burning out if I don’t focus before I flit to the next? Definitely.
The key is finding balance and focus.
Getting a balance of mental, physical, work-related and completely random goals will keep you fresh, varied and intriguing to others. Getting the focus right between striving, achieving, reflecting and moving on will enable you to do great things in your life and still come out smiling and punching the air in happiness; rather than panting for air and dragging your exhausted body behind you.
Keep striving, keep pushing and keep focused.
And I’ll keep watching.