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Thursday, June 26, 2008

Pressing Toward the Mark

I was talking to an online friend today and we were throwing ideas back and forth at each other, something we do with much regularity. It's just so good to have a sounding board as a blogger, someone who helps remind you why it is you're doing this thing it is you do when the comments are down and the stats are low. I have truly come to consider this person as a friend and even though we've never met, I feel a kinship with her, because she challenges me as a human being. But in a really good way. Does that make sense?

I really want to have success when it comes to blogging, but how do you measure success? By subscribers? By visitors? What is it that determines that you have arrived as a blogger?

I don't really know the answer to any of those questions, but what I do know is that comfort is the enemy of success. I will never be comfortable in my blogging skin until I win. It's my nature, because I'm a competitor. And if I'm wanting to compete, then I've got to get out of my comfort zone and figure out what price I'm willing to pay for success. A famous coach once said that "Compete and comfort only have the letters 'com' in common" - it's not easy to win and be successful if you can't get up off the couch.

Success is about control - something we all have. And I think there's 4 or 5 key things that have to be done in order for you to have any measure of it.

1. You have to start. Whatever it is - blogging, dieting, a new business, the first step is just getting started. Timing is never perfect to go out and win. The earth, moon and stars are never going to be in perfect alignment for it to happen and there will always be a reason not to do your best. The key is to just get going with it. So many times I drag my feet because I think the task is going to be too hard, but once I get momentum, it's always so much easier than I thought.


2. Be honest with yourself. Quit trying to come up with reasons not to just go for it, because honestly, success is not convenient. It's not convenient to get up early and stay up late and work harder than anyone else. But that's what it takes. Going the extra mile, giving better customer service, doing the thing that no one else wants to do. Tackling the hard subjects, paying a price no one else is willing to pay.

3. Take Action and Stay. Life is an endurance race - you can't just decide one day you're going to run sprints and then poop out at the 50 yard mark. See it through and finish the race well. Paul said it best when he stated, "I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus". Pressing toward the mark indicates leaning into something, staying with it, finishing strong.

4. Decide what you're willing to accept. If you're willing to accept the least common denominator, that's what you'll get in life. You have to work on your thinking every single day by choosing to be positive -- it's not always easy to look on the bright side. My mama used to say it's easy to grow weeds, but hard to grow vegetables - so you should choose to plant seeds in your life that will grow something good.

5. You've got to avoid the curse of comfort. Quit living in your comfort zone and worrying about what people are going to think. Go for it and do something great with your life - people tend to get comfortable and decide, "Well, that's enough. I've grown enough." No! Winning in life isn't comfortable! And we are all dysfunctional, so quit trying to use that as an excuse too. None of us are perfect and we all have baggage. The biggest obstacle I think we face is the one that greets us in the mirror every day. (and I'm preaching to myself here, lest anyone think otherwise).

This month has been uncomfortable for me. I'm stretching myself beyond what I think I'm capable of - but the challenges are good for me. They are making me realize that I can do more than what I've been doing. I can try new things and the world doesn't implode around me.

With every new challenge I have a choice - to compromise or confront. Which will I do today? I don't want to ever say I compromised. I like what Hillary Clinton said before she conceded "I can take getting beat, but I just can't take quitting". I don't know what the prize for winning is, but I want it.

I want to win. Who's with me?


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8 comments:

Dorothy said...

Me! I'll be mulling over what you said this morning, for sure.

Megan (FriedOkra) said...

Amen, sister. I'm bad to NOT START because of my perfectistic tendencies. Why try it if I'm not going to be the best? Why start if finishing isn't going to put me at the top of the charts? Why even be in the running if I can't be the favorite? And the truth is, there's sweat equity - dues to be paid - in just about anything, and particularly in blogging. The dues - becoming part of (an amazing) community, developing your writing style and strengths over time, learning to view and discuss your life in a way that makes it interesting and valuable to others in some way - in blogging are probably some of the most pleasant out there, so investing is its own reward, really. I think your post is very inspirational. I'm thinking of having snippets of it tattoo'd on the inside of my bottom lip so when I start to pout about stats or comments, there it'll be, ready to smack me in the face and say, "SNAP OUT OF IT and get back to work."

Hugs!

M

chilihead said...

Excellent post! I've been in a funk because some other bloggers were doing stuff I wasn't or were more successful but doing the same things. This week you've helped me get over that and get back in the game. GAME ON, baby! Bring it.

World's Greatest Mommy said...

Thank you. You must have gotten in my head and poked around a little, because these are the exact thoughts that I needed.

I've been blogging for eight months, and I think I'm finally coming to a place where I'm comfortable in my own skin...being me. Even if subscriber numbers don't reflect that perfectly, I have hopes that as I keep doing what best reflects me, that some others will see it and like it.

Rocks In My Dryer said...

Excellent post. Just the pep talk I needed this morning!

twithhoney said...

Let me try this again since blogger ate my original comment. bleh!

I thought I was the only person that was warped enough to follow #5. When I worry about getting fired because I think I'm not completing my work fast enough but my boss only has good things to say during my reviews - that's a good think. It means I'm challenging myself to do better.

Same goes for blogging, parenting, anything! As long as I keep wondering 'is there a better way to do this?' I know that I WILL improve myself. If I stop questioning, stop worrying (just a little worry, too much isn't good either) then I know it is time to quit.

Mzzterry said...

You GO girlfriend.

Robin said...

Ah...Karen, this must be the post I "heard" "someone" tweetin' about this a.m.; been trying to get here all day, but you know how THAT goes!

So much of what you said resonated with me; obviously, you've hit a nerve with many. It's nice that as you turn forward, many are ready to walk ahead with ya.

THANKS for a not-too-comfortable kick in the behind ;).

:)