Back in December I mentioned the importance of persistence with respect to anything worth doing. It's the most important single predictor of future success or failure. I've updated my view on this last bullet:
When to Change Direction: There’s no navigator’s guide to life, and if there was I would have chucked it out of my window years ago. But by consistently pursuing a BIG goal I’ve learned how to recognize local optimals, and am still learning how to reroute around them or avoid them all together.
I'm not as agile as I once thought. Sometimes you have dig through a mountain of pain and sweat to get where you need to be.
Either way you'll end up in a heap on the floor somewhere gasping for breath at the end of a journey, might as well take that last step (or two, or three...) into the victory circle. Whether it's hiking up to a gorgeous vantage, outrunning the rest of the world, or forging a business you'll recognize a discrete change in the world around you as you near the summit. You'll be standing elbow to elbow with the titans of your field. It's one thing to look up to the accomplishments of meteoric legends, it's another to look them eye to eye without blinking.
I set out to write a blog dedicated to inspiration and self discovery 16+ months back, and have come to the conclusion that no isolated words of encouragement, nor any single shared strategy will have any impact on your personal story. The accumulation of many hundreds and then thousands of posts towards this end may have a small effect. If there's one nugget of value I can impart, it's not to knuckle under. You can spend your entire life chasing a dream and working your ass off to realize it, or you can settle for less. Surviving and taking care of your family is an admirable dream in my book, but the quality of your aspirations aren't for me to judge. I can only observe your dedication. If you do settle, and you're a friend of mine, expect to hear about four more decades of crap about giving up, or as a wise friend delicately puts it, expect to "have my boot so far up your ass you will be able to taste the leather". This of course includes kicking my own ass when I fall into any comfortable slacker rhythm, they're so seductive after all.