Friday, May 26, 2017

Between Total Failure and True Potential

On my morning commute, I usually listen to a podcast. I have a few favorites that I rotate. This morning, one of the hosts that I have been listening to lately, Jason Stapleton, said something that I know in my head, but really hit home:

"Do you want to have a chance at a better future? If you're not willing to give everything you've got, every minute of your life, every day of your life then you will live somewhere between total failure and your true potential. Nobody can do that for you."

He was talking about how the average Joe will not be willing to sacrifice now in order to build a better future for himself. Jason said that he sacrificed 10 years of his life to build what he wanted. He said that most people will not sacrifice some time with family, some sleep, or recreation to work hard in order to rise above the mediocre life.

The episode was ending just as I was pulling into the parking lot at work. We have a parking problem at my job. More than half of the employees have to park on the street or in a nearby parking lot. It's a pain when you do not get there early enough to get a spot in the lot or at least a decently close spot on the street. I typically get a parking spot, but traffic was not cooperating this morning so I ended up on the street.

The frustration rose in my body as I thought about how unjust it was that I had to park on the street. Then I thought about what Jason had said.

Am I willing to make sacrifices now so that I don't have to come to this office building in the future? Am I willing to give it everything I have in order to never have to be told where to go, when to be there, or where I have to park?

I used to think I was. But I'm not sure. Do I have what it takes? Does it matter enough to me?

It's not that there is anything wrong with being mediocre and having a regular 8-5 job. But most of us will be in big trouble if that paycheck stops coming. Most Americans wouldn't be able to survive without their job. Most Americans have zero income except what they earn from their paycheck every week. There would be no way for most people to avoid getting behind on bills and going into debt within a week or two of losing their job.

I want to break free of that. I don't want to rely 100% on another company for my livelihood. But if I want to break free from that, I'm going to have to give it everything I have, every minute, every day to get there.

Until then, I'll be living somewhere between total failure and my true potential.

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