Why You Started

“Remember Why You Started.”

-Author Unknown

Image from family-180.com

Image from family-180.com

We are now almost two months into the new year, which is a good time to check in, revisit resolutions and key goals, and your most desired intentions.

How are things going?

See if you are exceeding expectations, are satisfied, somewhat satisfied, a bit stalled, or even at a dead stop.

Did you do what many people do by simply taking on too many things at one time? If you did, consider paring down the list to the one thing you most desire, and remind yourself why it is your top priority.

Examine this goal with your head, your heart, and your gut, to rekindle its importance and value. Some might suggest “your why should make you cry.”


With this renewed commitment in place, please devise an unstoppable and fully guaranteed plan of action in which you will use all the resources and support structures available to remember why you started, and to finish strong.

A Wonderful Thought

“What a wonderful thought it is that some of the best days of our lives haven’t happened yet!”

-Author Unknown

image from searchengineland.com

image from searchengineland.com

Today’s quote caused me to pause a bit longer than I normally do as I look to the New Year ahead. Instead of looking at the year as a whole, or even fleshing out the priority goals and objectives I wish to tackle, I plan on looking at each day as a unique and precious gift.

One way to see the value of this exercise is to take a trip into your past to examine and pleasantly re-experience, through memory, some of the really great days and experiences. As you take the time to do this, count how many great days you can recall. The list will probably be finite.


How can you design the coming year, proactively and intentionally, to have as many remarkable days this year as you have had to this point in your life?

Better to be a lion

“It is better to be a lion for a day than a sheep all your life.”

-Elizabeth Kenny, unaccredited 20th Century Australian nurse

Image from Flickr by Tambako the Jaguar

Image from Flickr by Tambako the Jaguar

Take an inventory of your life’s greatest moments—the ones where you did or were part of something remarkable, noteworthy, and of course, memorable. What were you doing at the time? I would guess that on many of these occasions you were reaching for some goal, striving for something you desired, or operating beyond your comfort zone inspired by a high-priority commitment.

Rarely do great accomplishments occur when we simply move day-to-day, grazing on the same grasses of our personal or professional worlds.


How and in what ways can you rally your inner lion to courageously roar, chase, and pounce on the successes you desire?

“Be mindful of the future…”

“Be mindful of the future… but not at the expense of the moment.”

– Qui-Gon Jinn, a fictional character in the Star Wars saga


Image from ompuertoviejo.wordpress.com

Image from ompuertoviejo.wordpress.com

I’ve noticed recently that many people get ahead of themselves, living far too often in the future. See if any of these scenarios apply to you:

  • You are constantly thinking about the upcoming weekend.
  • You find yourself frequently envisioning your next vacation.
  • You can’t wait to retire from your job—which may be many years away.
  • You often anticipate your next job or promotion, or the one after that.
  • You can’t wait to have that next new suit, car, or bigger home.

Although I am a big advocate of having goals that spur all of us on to achieve better futures, I see far too many people missing out on the daily activities that make their journey worthwhile.


How would being mindful of the present provide you more satisfaction in your personal and professional life, as you pursue your goals and visions for the future?

“Coasting only happens when …”

“Coasting only happens when you are going downhill.”

—Mike Rayburn, one of the youngest inductees in the Speaker Hall of Fame

Photo from dimitri.co.uk

Photo from dimitri.co.uk

When was the last time you took a bike ride outdoors? Try to remember a specific ride with many hills. Close your eyes and visualize the effort and “burn” it took to climb the steepest and longest hills. Experience the relief of going over the crest, when you began coasting, allowing gravity to make your journey far easier.


Examine some of the current professional or personal hills you are on, or intend to climb. How will the pursuit of reaching the top make you even stronger for future challenges?

If you happen to notice that there are very few or no hills ahead, perhaps you are coasting, and headed downward. Make a point, once you have relaxed or recovered, to find the next hill worth climbing.

“There is no elevator to success…”

“There is no elevator to success. You have to take the stairs.”

-Author Unknown

Stairs to the Crown of the Statue of Liberty  Photo from Buildipedia.com

Stairs to the Crown of the Statue of Liberty
Photo from Buildipedia.com

The Statue of Liberty in New York Harbor has 356 steps.
The Washington Monument in Washington D.C. has 897 steps.
The Eiffel Tower in Paris, France, has 1,710 steps.
The Empire State Building in New York City has 1,860 steps.

Your journey to success has     ?     steps.

When I was a young adult, I visited New York City, seeing many of its sites, including the Statue of Liberty. I actually walked up the entire 354 steps, to look out what, at the time, were some pretty small windows.

I distinctly remember the tremendous burn in my thighs, my loss of breath, a good bit of sweating, and my legs feeling like jello on the way down.

These days, I see many people looking for the elevators and escalators of life, hoping to break little or no sweat on their journey to success.

For many—including myself—it is through burning efforts and striving that we most often achieve and truly appreciate our greatest successes.


Where in your past have you taken the stairs of life and achieved success?

What climbing is still required of you in order to rise to your next level of professional and personal achievement?

There is a very useful book by Rory Vaden titled Take the Stairs. It may help you get off on the right foot!

“If you wish to be out front, act as if…”

“If you wish to be out front, act as if you were behind.”

—Lao Tzu, ancient Chinese poet and philosopher

How competitive are you in your personal or professional life? What factors motivate you to do your very best and achieve remarkable results? Some people are motivated to avoid pain or punishment. Others are goal or future oriented, setting their sights on pursuing and achieving a worthy objective ahead of them.

La Tzu’s coaching is to set our sights on just such an external person or objective, to create a “come from behind” victory, and be out front.


Where are you currently behind in the race to achieve some worthy goal or objective? How can you use this position to motivate you to pursue and surpass your highest expectations?

Remember: when you are are out in front, find something else to pursue, or others will quickly be on your heels.

“It is always your next move.”

“It is always your next move.”

—Napoleon Hill, American writer one of the great writers on success

Photo from Flickr by Wyoming Jackrabbit

Photo from Flickr by Wyoming Jackrabbit

Do you play board games or video games? How about other types of games?

If you do, you know that what keeps us engaged is the goal of winning, and celebrating each achievement along the way.

What about the game of life, where professional or personal achievement is the goal? Sometimes when we feel stuck or stopped, when we become frustrated or discouraged, we forget that our next move might be the one that shifts the world for the better.


Notice where you are stopped, stuck, or plateaued in your professional or personal life. Explore and courageously choose to make your next move in at least one area, toward a more desirable future.

Feel free to reply to this post and let me know what happens.

“If you know what to do…”

“If you know what to do to reach your goal, it’s not a big enough goal.”

– Bob Proctor,  Author and Speaker

Photo from Flickr by Beth Jusino

Photo from Flickr by Beth Jusino

Do you find yourself thinking a goal you’ve set is just too far beyond your reach or capabilities?

Today’s quote suggests that we must strive toward the goals we think are too big, too far away, too hard to realize, even when we are not certain how to reach them. Everything else is just “playing it safe.”


Review your list of current goals. Is there enough “stretch” in them to truly support the achievement and personal growth you desire? If you find your list a bit lacking, consider working with a coach, mentor, or committed colleague to go a bit bigger.

“The man on top of the mountain didn’t fall there.”

“The man on top of the mountain didn’t fall there.”

– Vince Lombardi, American football coach

Image of a man standing on a mountain top

Image from Flickr by Matty Bishwam

When I think of mountain climbers, I think of people pursuing adventures and challenging themselves to achieve a new level of greatness or accomplishment.

Take a look at your own progress towards the summits of your professional and personal goals.


Are you getting where you want to go? Have your mountains recently been more like molehills?

What planning is required and what people or gear will you need to achieve the satisfaction of reaching the top of your most important life summits?