Most people are excited and energized by the prospect of succeeding. Whether it’s achieving a goal or winning a prize, getting there makes us look good in the eyes of those who matter to us, and makes us feel good about ourselves. But after we have made it, what then?
Say I win a new car in a competition. I will feel great about driving it, even though I have to pay taxes on it. If I win an award for something I have written or performed, I may become well-known or even famous for a while. But neither of those things is likely to lead on to greater accomplishments. It is like climbing a hill and finding that all of the land around it is flat; I could climb that hill again and again, but nothing new has been achieved.
But say I win a prize. If the prize is something that will enable me to finance a project that I want very much to complete, I will most likely go ahead and get started on it (e.g., a scholarship to further my education.) If, when I was younger and had the ambition to publicize my work, I had sold a book or a song, I would be energized to write another, better piece of work and build a career.
The challenge of success is doing something with it to go forward–to keep on succeeding. And that’s why some people are afraid of succeeding: because they know that they will have to keep on succeeding, and they don’t believe they can. If I don’t believe I have what it takes to do and be what I aspire to, and that my first success was just luck, or a one-time act of desperation, I will not be able to muster the drive to continue on as far as I can go.
There are other things in my life to which the above ideas could apply, and I have achieved some things against formidable odds. But here is where I am going with it right now. I am in week 27 of my stationary bike exercise program. For 16 weeks I faithfully built up my endurance on the bike, did other strengthening exercises, and started a walking program on alternate days with the bike-riding, once I had reached 30 minutes/4 miles of pedaling. The benefits were encouraging. And then the hurricanes came, with all the things we had to do to prepare ourselves if the worst happened. I slacked off on the exercise, got down to 2 or 3 sessions a week, and stopped walking outdoors altogether.
Now I wonder, is this the hill that I climbed, only to see that I could only climb the same hill over and over? At week 27, I am still capable of pedaling that stationary bike for 4 miles, and it certainly helps maintain the strength and range-of-motion in my knees and ankles. But the one-mile walk has not gotten any easier and I’m still stuck on 218 lbs.–way too much for a 5 ft. 7½ in. woman of 70 years. The best thing I can say about the situation is that my heart is still chugging along without any medical help, except for keeping my blood pressure down and my cholesterol within the healthy range. And that’s a good thing! Thank God for my good health!
Perhaps cooler weather will entice me away from my computer and outside to enjoy the fresh air…:-)