22 Aug Do Hard Things? Yes! Even If It Means You Might Not Succeed? Absolutely!
Whether you succeed or not is irrelevant.
Making the unknown known is what is important.
Someone also once said that “Ignorance is bliss.” But maybe I’m making that one up.
It’s SO much easier to be ignorant!
All I know is that success is subjective, and success does not equal winning, and failing doesn’t mean that all is lost.
Whenever we make the unknown known and inspire people to action, we are moving the needle of compassion toward a kindler, gentler world.
A few years ago I read a book called Do Hard Things by Alex and Brett Harris. It was written by two teenagers, and most of the teenagers I knew at the time ran away from anything that seemed hard. But nothing worthwhile is ever easy. Just ask a one year old learning to walk. She holds Mom’s hand and then she holds the furniture before she ever becomes brave enough to hold her own and take those first tentative steps all by herself. She falls, and she gets up.
Nobody ever talks about how many times she falls and gets up. Nobody films the falling. We save the memory card on the digital video camera for the actual walking. Walking is awesome, but the real work of being successful happens in the in-between.
Effort builds muscle.
I have a teenager. She doesn’t seek out hard things, but tomorrow she will run in her first ever cross-country race. It will be momentous because she spent the entire summer telling me she absolutely would not be running cross-country this fall. On the very first day of practice she stopped dead in her tracks–right in the middle of a lap around the course–and begged me to take her home. I stood my ground. So did she. We stood face-to-face, sweaty and mad on a gravel track in the middle of July, and neither of us dared to move. Coaches stared at us, and kids zoomed past us, but at some point one of her teammates slowed down and said, “C’mon, Christiana. Run with me.”
And she did.
By the time school started two weeks ago, Christiana was all in. Now she looks forward to practice. It’s an amazing time of camaraderie and bonding. I can only imagine that as they scuffle along the trails behind their high school, they share stories and offer hope. Judging from the smile on Christiana’s face when I pick her up, I think she’s having fun. She’s making new friends. Ultimately, I hope these kids connect with each other more than they compete with each other.
Tomorrow is the culmination of hours and hours on the trail and in the gym. Undoubtedly, someone will win, and someone will come in last. It doesn’t matter. I care more about the process than the outcome. It was never about the running anyway. I want the same thing for my daughter as I want for myself. I just want her to finish the race–even if it’s hard.
C’mon, friend. Run with me.
Let’s go find our people, so that together we can make the unknown known.