I awoke at 3:30 am this morning, my body had had enough sleep.
Although 3:30 may be a little earlier than usual, early mornings are not an odd thing for me.
Once my mind starts going, it's hard to go back to sleep.
This morning I awoke with a song playing in my head, titled New Wine, great song, which has nothing to do with this post other than to set my frame of mind.
As I sat in bed for the next 15 minutes my mind drifted into what success is, and the following quote kept coming to mind, Success is not about winning every time. Success happens by stringing together a series of losses and failures where you keep getting up one more time.
This isn't some quote I thought up or heard somewhere; this is a quote I have lived every single day of my life.
To me, this quote is life, the very thing that drives me, or is it?
I wondered what keeps me driving for the next thing?
What makes me keep getting up one more time?
What keeps me from despair?
It’s not success in the monetary sense I can tell you that.
I’ve had money and at times struggled without money, and I can tell you unequivocally that I prefer life with money, but it is not the driver it once was for me.
What drives me is my vision or more specifically how I see my life to be, how I want my life to be, how I picture my future life to be.
Surprisingly enough, my future life is a lot like my life today.
I love spending time with my wife, children, family, friends and my dog Titus who goes to work with me every day.
I enjoy time at the beach usually once or twice a week, I take a few vacations per year, and I love most of what I do for a living.
Which brings me to the heart of this post.
What’s the difference between success and despair?
I think it’s knowing what you want in life and striving for its fulfillment while enjoying the life you have right now.
It breaks down like this.
Do you know what you really want?
If you say money, you don’t know what you want.
When you say "money," you want the things that money buys, food, housing, cars, clothes, vacations, etc.
Money is neutral, and I do not believe there is anything inherently evil about money or the stuff it buys unless it is the only thing that drives you.
If it is, you need to take a hard look at yourself and ask why.
When your focus is always on the future, you won't take time to enjoy the present, and that is where you sell your soul because you sell out your present, which causes despair.
Life is the present.
It’s not some thing or event that happens sometime in the future or happened sometime in the past.
Life is right now and enjoying the present is just as important as striving to achieve greatness.
Striving for greatness is not self-centered.
Striving for greatness is simply you trying to be the very best you can be with what you have been given and to be the best you can be you have to be here loving the present.
But sometimes the present is ugly. It hurts; it's full of fears, sadness, and failures.
These are the times when the main focus moves from the present to the future.
These are the times when you have to strive with everything that is in you to put your focus on the prize and if you don’t know what your prize is you will be stuck in despair.
Life can throw some pretty heavy crap at you.
It’s what makes us or breaks us.
But you need to know what you want in this life, and it needs to be so clearly defined that when it becomes your present, you are not surprised because you could see it as if it already happened.
When you know what you want and can visualize it as if you already have it, you will have it.
No matter how big, how tough or how distant it may seem today.
Once the vision is real in your mind, it will become real in the present, and that's when dreams come true.
Dreams are your visions and don’t let anyone tell you that your dreams are somehow wrong, materialistic, sinful whatever they want to call them.
If they are in your head, they are yours, and they were put there for your benefit.
Use them to drive you and keep you from despair.
Success is enjoying the fruit of your vision and despair happens when you don’t have a clear vision to strive toward.
They go together hand in hand.
Your vision was given to you by your creator, and it's unique to you.
Despair happens when you go through life believing you can’t have what you see in your mind and success happens when your vision becomes a reality in the present.