Anything worth a damn ain’t easy. Anything easy ain’t worth a damn” – Anonymous
Everybody wants the “good life”, but not everybody gets it. Every barrel racer wants to be Lisa Lockhart, Tammy Fischer, Mary Burger, but their not. Why?
Those are obvious statements for obvious reasons, but have we questioned them? Why haven’t we if not already?
A mentor told me, meaning more now than ever, is in order to get what you want; you must deserve what you want. Life is not a fair place that rewards undeserving people.
The same mentor went further saying, “Life is personal Gil, every atom of it“. That statement and the one before are powerful. They make you ask the question.
Are you worth a damn?..
I believe the hardest thing to do is admit your shortcomings. What’s harder is understanding them. Harder than that, accepting them. It’s sad to think this is where most people will stop reading, for the majority aren’t willing to ask that question.
Let’s agree, it’s hard to think someone doesn’t want to be great. I’m sure I’m safe to say, to an extent or another; people want to be great. With that said, greatness requires getting personal.
My Reality Check
I’ve always wanted to be great! When I was six I told my mom I wanted to be in a history book. That kind of honor makes me smile. She asked for what and I replied, “What’s it matter as long as I’m in it?”
Obviously, it’s a little animated, but my desire for greatness never faded. I say in What Separates Good Barrel Racers From Great, “I’d rather die“, to be lost in the blackness of non-existence, “than be average at what I do“. Again, “I’m not kidding”
Every boxer had a plan until Mike Tyson punched’em in the face. Everybody wants until those “wants” punch them in the face. This is what you ask for when you pursue great achievement.
Greatness is a lifestyle, not a result. The results (achievements) are byproducts of your behavior. If you want to be great, you literally have to act like it. You have to do what’s demanded of it.
Nothing great comes easy. Another obvious statement. What’s missed is it’s never easy for anyone. It’s not easy for Hailey Kinsel, Taci Bettis, Tuff Cooper, Trevor Brazil, etc. You name them; it’s not easy for them. Competitors are great because they accept the demands and the repercussions in effect.
It’s not glamorous. It can be, but it’s not. Nothing’s glamorous about Jimmie Smith (2018 Rookie of the year) being dead broke (financially) on the side of the road with her truck also dead broke. (Literally; Married With Horses Episode. 17)
You’re comfortable with being uncomfortable. It’s not comfortable looking in the mirror acknowledging what you see must change to the degree of your wants. You must be equal to them.
The belief you can stay the same, never change, and still obtain great achievement is a lie. I’m jealous someone came up with that before I did.
Early in my sales career, I recognized I wasn’t good enough. I changed everything. Changed friends, habits, practices, principles, ethics, values, all the way to family dynamics. Gilly got personal.
Who I was at 18 changed at 20. I was different at 20 than I was at 22. Gilly at 22, is now different at 24 and I will, most likely, change again at 26.
It’s painful. It’s painful physically, mentally, spiritually, and emotionally. Sometimes you lose yourself and forget why you do what you do or understand it.
It’s lonely. The more successful you become, the fewer friends you truly have. People hate you for being willing to do what their not. Another reason people don’t see achievement.
It’s massive responsibility. Massive! Where one is willing to instigate, responsibility awaits to be carried. Note how I worded that. Responsibility is not given or granted. It’s taken by those willing to carry it.
If so…”agonizing”, why do it? Why do competitors like Ivy Conrado, Fallon Taylor, or Brittany Tonozzi, do what they do?
I think it’s a combination of factors. It’s put best by Steve Jobs.
“People say you have to have a lot of passion for what you’re doing and it’s totally true. The reason is, it’s so hard that if you don’t, any rational person would give up”
“It’s really hard, and you have to do it over a sustained period of time, so if you don’t love it, if you’re not having fun doing it, and you don’t really love it, you’re going to give up”
“That’s what happens to most people actually. If you look at the ones that ended up being successful, unquote, in the eyes of society and the ones that didn’t, often times the ones that are successful loved what they did so they could persevere when it got really tough”
“The ones that didn’t love it quit because their sane, right? Who would want to put up with this stuff if you don’t love it?”
See the video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PznJqxon4zE
What does one love so much? How does loving what you do fulfill you enough to carry such demands?
In high school, I was an angry kid. Football was my escape. I loved playing and weight lifting. At least I thought I did.
Looking back, there were moments that limelight what I think is a deeper motive or “love” for something.
There was a game where players (key players) were ineligible to play because of failing grades. As coach realized we didn’t have a return man, seconds before kick-off, I was promoted. Already defensive captain & on special teams, I didn’t get many breaks this go round.
By the end of the third quarter, the right side of my right cave was numb, something was wrong with my right forearm, my legs were zapped and my headspace fuzzy. Yet, there I was, receiving another kickoff. I distinctly remember asking myself (sarcastically), “what am I doing!?…”
That kick return finished me. Like a Spartan my team knew me to be, I accepted my death, watching #19’s pursuit of me as someone clenched to my left leg. I died at our 40-yard line on the opposing team’s side.
laying on my side crooked, I remember staring at the turf just outside my face mask debating whether to get up. Choosing life, I swung my elbow across my body to sit up. I sat up to a sight initiating a feeling I’ll never forget.
My team, both on and across the field, were all looking my direction intently. As I sat hunched over myself waiting for someone to practically carry me to our side of the field, I couldn’t help but smile with a pinch of delusion. I loved my underclassman and knew they loved me.
“You good, 29?”. “…Gucci, ref”
I wouldn’t know, but my intuition says all competitors mentioned in this writing would here to the love of their people. You, I, their competition, family, the rodeo/barrel racing crowds and so on.
Usain Bolt stated multiple times at the Olympics, he was there for his home, country, and family before his record-breaking run. Winston Churchill said, “We make a living by what we get, but make a life by what we give”
What are you willing to give? Not too, but for? I played for my team. Churchill fought for Britain. Bettis for her family, and parents for their kids.
The same mentor also said, “There are three types of people. There are people who wonder what happens, there are people who watch what happen, and there are people who make things happen”
Ps. if you want to know the truth, ask why three times.
How’d I do? Email your comments & feedback to: [email protected]