“You’re Crazy!” she said to me.
Have you ever set out to achieve a goal that others thought you were crazy to go after? Maybe you decided to jump off a bridge? Or skydive? Or maybe it’s not a physically risky endeavor, but something that requires a lot of effort like: losing 30lbs, cycling across the united states or writing a book.
Whatever the challenge, there’s no doubt that you’ve met people along the way that questioned your decision. While they intended to be supportive, your interaction leaves you wondering if they admire your tenacity, think you’re crazy, or if you’re just plain stupid. Depending on the source of these responses, it can derail your momentum if you’re not careful.
In 2011, I decided to run a marathon. I trained at least five days a week from July 1 to November 12. At times, I was running 40 miles a week. I went through two pairs of running shoes, logged over 700 miles, burned 105,000 calories and lost 12 pounds. I was so focused on this goal that when I got sick, I Googled “can I run while sick” just to see if it was okay, or if I’d experience a setback. I had it in my mind to complete that marathon, ideally in under four hours, and nothing was going to stop me from meeting that goal. On November 12, 2011, I cross the 26.2 mile finish line in 4 hours and 16 minutes…not quite under four hours, but I’ll take it.
Committing to a goal, especially one that is life altering, requires a significant amount of determination, drive and discipline.
Before you commit to a goal, you have to define WHY you’re doing what you want to commit to doing. If the why isn’t defined, your chances of success drop dramatically. You can count on opposition along the way, and you need the why to help you stay focused. Your why doesn’t have to be deep or profound, but it has to have meaning to you.
After the initial excitement has waned, your innate drive will keep you moving towards your goals.
The first 25% and the last 25% of your goal are the easiest, it’s the 50% in the middle that are the toughest.
Focus on what achieving your goal looks like and just keep on going. It’s during this time that showing up, is the most important thing you can do. As I learned in training, getting out of bed was the hardest part, but once I took about 15-20 steps, I was awake and ready to pace the miles ahead.
This is, perhaps, the hardest part of the commitment because it requires you to commit to changes that aren’t part of your normal life patterns. For example, when I was running during the summer, it was best to get the majority of my run in before the sun came up. Getting up and hitting the pavement in the dark meant three things:
- I had to go to bed at or around 9:30pm the night before to get adequate rest
- I had to actually get up when the alarm went off
- I had to watch what and how much I was eating because the food I consumed was the fuel I needed to carrying me through my short and long runs
When you have positioned yourself to move forward with determination, drive and discipline, not much can stand in the way of you meeting your goals. And while people may call you “crazy” along the way, remember there are two definitions of crazy: 1) deranged, demented, lunatic; 2) someone who is extremely enthusiastic about _______. I don’t know about you, but I don’t mind being labeled as “extremely enthusiastic.”
You were designed to live out the narrative of a great story. Sometimes, you have to go after really big goals and risk being labeled as crazy. It’s in those moments that you dig deep and find what you need to do and achieve some of your greatest success.
Now go. Dare to dream big. Dare to be labeled, “crazy!” Let’s see what you’re made of.
Question: What are you crazy about?