“In order for people to get really good at acting, they must get their butts kicked in the process” – Tom Hanks
You know the feeling. There you are, happily making your merry way through life, having chosen a path or activity at which you want to improve.
Things are going OK, and then WHAM! Something bad happens, something big goes wrong, and it all suddenly starts to feel a whole lot less fun. You ever had that sort of thing happen? Maybe you have taken up a new hobby and it goes well until you hit that brick wall and suddenly it is no longer fun. Or maybe you are starting up your own business and you get hit by a slew of problems which threaten to scupper your business before you even get started. Or maybe you are making progress with your confidence and suddenly something unexpected happens which knocks you back to a state even worse than when you first started.
I know I’ve experienced pretty much all of those, and I suspect you’ve been there too in some way or other.
And what is most people’s natural reaction at that stage?
Usually, to decide it’s too hard and not worth the effort and to give up and go try something else instead. Usually ultimately with the same results! So they develop a pattern of going from new thing to new thing, giving up when it gets tough.
I bet you know people just like that. You know the ones – they have a string of abandoned projects or hobbies or whatever trailing behind them; I wonder if you can spot such a trail when you look in the mirror?
And a common question people ask after a while is “Why is this so hard for me? Look at Fred Bloggs, he made it big, why can’t I? I bet he never hits these problems.”.
The thing is, not only has Fred Bloggs almost certainly hit those problems, he has also hit countess other similar and larger problems too along the way. Which is precisely why he has succeeded!
Our success is not determined by the lack of obstacles; our success is determined by how we handle those obstacles.
Most of us, when we hit problems which are large enough, take that as a sign to give up and do something else because well, we obviously weren’t meant to do that particular thing, right?
Whereas the highly successful person encounters the same problems and instead of giving up, simply meets the obstacles with gritted determination to grow large enough to overcome them and to go on to become more successful.
It is those butt-kickings which life so gleefully doles out to us which, far from preventing success, actually allow and enable us to grow and achieve the very success we seek, if only we would stay the path and seek to find ways to learn from them.
Sure, it is not easy – but then again, if it was easy then everyone would be masters of everything!
It’s not easy, it can be challenging and highly disruptive, but when we take the time to stop and decide that inside this butt kicking lurks a powerful lesson if only we would take the time to look and learn, that is when the magic happens and we grow. Our reward is a greater level of success. And, of course, ore butt kickings which only serve to offer us even more lessons so that we can achieve even greater levels of success and mastery.
So next time you hit one of those oh-so-demoralising obstacles, next time life kicks your butt, just remember this; you are still alive, and while you are alive there is always a way around whatever you are facing, there is always something to be learned. If on;y we would look deeply enough and have enough determination to say “Screw you life, I AM going to succeed!”.
Who knows, do this often enough and you may grow to embrace the butt kickings for the boost they give you as they help to kick you up to a higher level!
So what to you think? Leave a comment and let me know!