The Road Less Traveled by Jon Bartos

Since the beginning of time, man has been relentless in the pursuit of finding that one magic thing or improvement that will help him to achieve his desired objectives faster, cheaper and with less work.  Whether it be that one magic ingredient, alternative products for a cost-saving shortcut, or the miracle tool that cuts the work time in half, let’s face it, we are obsessed with anything that promises faster, more immediate results.  Like the continued search for the Fountain of Youth, it is pure human nature to look for that one thing that will help us easily get what we desire and get it right NOW!  We as human beings are impatient.  We no longer want to wait to get what we want.  Like the immediate gratification of drinking from the fountain of youth, we expect the results by the time the liquid is swallowed.  And the demands don’t stop there.  We want to get stronger, look younger, lose weight, work less but make more, etc.  We want more money so we can buy bigger houses, better clothes, vacation homes, more toys, additional cars, and the list goes on.  We want it all, and we want it right now.

To help us get back on the right path, we need to keep in mind a basic universal truth in life which is this:

Anything Worthwhile Requires Hard Work

The fact is that nothing of real value in life is free or easy.  If it is worthwhile, it takes work and consistent hard work most of the time. Anything easily gotten is typically easily lost. Having that knowledge up front and knowing that we will need to pay that price, no matter what that will be, is of critical importance to a successful outcome.   What is worthwhile to you?  Things like relationships, our children, our careers, our clients, our health and our success are those most often mentioned.  To be willing to do what it takes to achieve a goal however is just the beginning, continued success takes even more commitment and hard work.   Even as the world’s #1 ranked golfer, Tiger Woods still spends hours and hours hitting golf balls daily to get better at the game.

John Burroughs said, “For anything worth having one must pay the price; and the price is always work, patience, love, self-sacrifice - no paper currency, no promises to pay, but the gold of real service.”

As you can imagine, keeping a keen eye on your goal and continually pursuing it is very tough. Things often come along to throw us off track and our focus can become diluted.  To stay on task for the long haul is so very difficult.  Life has a tendency to put adversity in our path to test our fortitude and to insure we are really committed to reaching our goal.  Adversity can come in all sorts of different forms of challenges to overcome.  But realize,

“It’s very tough to achieve one’s goals today. Only because quitting is so damn easy”.

If quitting weren’t so easy, then more people would be living the life of their dreams and achieving the results they want to see today. 

Despite the ease of quitting and the challenges that life can often send our way, there is something that significant that we can use to overcome any adversity and keep us on task in achieving what we want. 

That is establishing a powerful “Why”.

Your “Why” is the real reason you are going after your goal in the first place.  It’s the leverage that will make you want to walk through a brick wall or climb any mountain top.  If you have a strong enough “Why”, the how becomes simple.  If you can harness the power of a strong reason or “Why”, there isn’t anything you won’t be able to achieve in life.  And life will not be able to put enough adversity in your way to stop you from your destiny.   

Your “Why” could be about your children, your spouse, a special group or organization, a friend or it could be about anything that will give you the passion and the drive to achieve what you must achieve.  Here are some questions that can help pinpoint your powerful “Why”.

  1.  What am I most passionate about in life? What am I willing to work for?
  2.  What problem would I like to solve that has affected me or others in my life?
  3.  Whose lives can I positively impact by achieving my goals?

On our journey to significance, we need to realize that all things worthwhile require hard work.  We need to understand that upfront, expect it and welcome it.  We also need to understand that success does not come without conviction and true purpose.  Life in turn will show us the adversity card in order to make sure we really want to achieve our stated objectives.  To overcome this, we need to have a strong “Why” to fuel our fire.  A strong “Why” will make the “how” seem much less daunting and manageable.  It will be like taking baby steps toward achieving your ultimate objectives!

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