Every journey in life usually begins with visions of greatness, elation, success, and a sense of "completeness".
Every new relationship or friendship is coated in these feelings and we blindly baptize ourselves in the elation of it.
Every new job, road trip, or business adventure is immersed with reflections of "what will come to pass." Visions of standing atop the proverbial mountain, basking in the cheers and adulation of those that hold you in an almost regal esteem. Panties are thrown (or boxers, if you're a female reading this....but you might like panties too, just sayin), someone behind you is making it rain dolla bills, and there's a guy eagerly awaiting you to sign your name on that seven figure contract for monthly semen extraction.
"To be collected by Adriana Lima and Megan Fox." you tell the man, as you sign the dotted line.
"They already asked if they could be the ones to do it." he tells you.
You are filled with pride and accomplishment.
"There could never exist a better day." you think.
You stand and wave to the cheering crowd, but inside you're really doing a Tiger Woods fist pump (not the one he might have been doing as he banged a Perkins waitress, however) and silently whispering "....fuck yeah, the man right here."
Oh yeah, then you wake up and life happens.
As I wrote on the LRB Facebook page yesterday, your road to success is probably not going to be filled with people complimenting you and praising your efforts. Most won't give a shit, and even worse, will hate you for making them feel like shit about who they are. Laziness always hates a winner, and when you start winning, there will be lazy people that will hate you or your accomplishments.
You need to remind yourself why it is you are on a journey, and what the end result will mean for you. However those last two words in that sentence are key.
It has to be FOR YOU. Not to make mom or dad proud, not to shut some big mouthed asshole up. This is negative energy and even if you succeed, you will be doing so for all the wrong reasons, and you'll never feel completely fulfilled because after all, that work was never REALLY for you. It was for someone or something else.
Always remind yourself of that. Without that, and without tempering your enthusiasm a bit, disappointment is usually the destination we find ourselves at in the end. If we cap our expectations so high that they can never come to fruition then what else can be left?
That relationship that made us feel like "this is the one", is now "the one" that tears your insides apart everyday.
The goals we set that made us feel like a god damn champion are now distant memories, and ghost dreams.
The ambitions we had and visions of standing on that mountain now seem pointless and absurd.
The mountain we find ourselves sitting atop is disappointment. The burden we carry in one arm is failure, and regret in the other.
We have such hopes and expectations. Not just for others, but ourselves, and our situations. They almost never ever live up to how we envision them early on, and later we wonder so often where we lost our way. Or how we ended up slumped over in a heap of emotions that are almost always a dichotomy of our original visions.
We lose our way when we stop being true to the person we want to be. That often happens because our expectations for something greater overwhelms us, and we forget that it's all of the little things that end up creating that "big thing" we so long for.
You can't deadlift 500 without being able to first pull 300, then 400, then 455...so forth and so on. You can't create a long and lasting relationship without understanding the importance of laying down the bricks called trust, loyalty, and honesty first.
It's ok to have big dreams, visions, and expectations. Just remind yourself of why you are doing them, and then ask yourself if you're doing all the little things to see that big dream come to fruition.