The Best There Never Was
Recently while I was loading clothes into the washing machine (yes I do laundry), my 7 year old son stood there talking about a little bit of everything. In between saying, “really,” and “ah-ha” he confessed to me, “Dad, I’m gonna to be famous and make my own shoes like Michael Jordan.” This struck a chord with me; when did we begin to put boundaries on our dreams? When did we cease to prophetically claim that we would be the most famous athlete, President of the United States, an astronaut, or ga-billionaire? Why did we stop building multi-million dollar mansions made from pine straw, 2×4’s riddled with nails, and jagged pieces of plywood? What happened to the 600 horsepower roadster sculpted from the old Sears refrigerator box? When did the world famous rich, chocolaty mud pie factory close? Are we now living a life as the best there never was?
When did we thwart striving and begin surviving? When did good enough trump excellence? When did we cash in our passion for a pension? It’s estimated that 1 out of every 3 Americans are living an unsatisfied life; if they never wake to see tomorrow, 100 million people will die with two 6 letter words tattooed on their heart: Excuse and Regret. When we live our lives making excuses, we will surely die with regrets; you cannot have one without the other. Excuses are reasons, justifications on why we are playing it safe. On the outside we are marching in line with life’s drumbeat, while our inner child longs to reveal its fiery desires and boundless dreams growing despondent and sorrowful along the way.
Instead of chasing our dreams, we’ve allowed circumstances of life to chase us. It’s as if the roles have been reversed; life is the greyhound and we are now the rabbit. Circumstances are the building blocks of character; it’s the mortar in between our bricks of life. One brick at a time, circumstance after circumstance, our wall becomes erected. Occasionally the calamities of life will sledgehammer into our wall; you cannot bring down walls with one swing of the sledgehammer-nor will one calamity bring down your life.
It’s time to push all of your chips in and play what is seemingly is your last hand. It isn’t though; two new 6-letter words, Belief and Action, will cause you to win this hand. With belief, you can either live up to other people’s expectations (if there is such a thing) in you or you can believe in yourself. Belief and Action are conjoined at the hip of successful people. Michael, Bill, Warren, Oprah, even Mr. 20 Car Monthly, have one thing in common; they believe in themselves and because of their belief, they put it into action.
Being defeated is often a temporary condition; it’s the belief in yourself that causes you to stand up, dust yourself off and get back into the arena of life. Giving up is what makes it permanent, consuming you with a life of making excuses and fading into obscurity with regret- with the eulogy simply reading, The Best There Never Was.