What makes Michael Phelps want to dive back into the pool year after year? Did Meryl Streep just want to embody another soul or was just being the best part of the equation? Amelia got you fly but if it wasn’t for her last trip we would likely not speak much of her these days. Was it not enough to just be a billionaire or was a Presidency the top of your bucket list? “When I grow up I want to ride a rocket ship to the moon and beyond”. Neil Armstrong did and did it again. Why would you even think you could jump your motorcycle over the Snake River Canyon and make it? All these daredevils must have a secret. An ancient ritual guided by some fraternal wide eyed shut.
I wonder when you are at the top of your game if you realize it at the time. Is your own sense of reality blurred or is it clear laser focused. The ability to know what you want, determine how to get it and the drive to make it happen is a phenomenon to me.
Each morning I scroll FB, Instagram, and YouTube for a golden antidote. Hoping the upward swipe of my index finger points to an answer. I try to overlook the political rants, birthday wishes, sappy morning affirmation, or joyous images of “look at me I got something going on”, but I can’t. I have become the blurred reality of all these things. A TED Talk gets my left brain pumping right and a puppy trying to go up or downstairs stops me in my tracks. Like most, the majority of my daily communications are connected to a device. I concern myself with what is going on elsewhere only to often end up nowhere.
It was Mark Zuckerberg who created Facebook from his own lonely dorm room. I am sure as a 19 years old academic nerd, he wasn’t doing so much socializing. He said his goal was to help people connect and communicate efficiently. Open themselves up to the world. It worked. I now know how an inventive street vendor in China can turn cotton candy into a blooming flower. I can tell you what Vin Diesel’s dogs looks like, how to make Sweet Hawaiian Crock-pot chicken, and what my boss’s family looks like as dancing bobble head Elves at Christmas time. I can share how everyone says Australia is the best place in the world and even tell you it’s National Donut Day!
I can see pictures of cousins on the other side of the world that I have never met, then Instantly post that I’m at a stop light in Vegas with a lady on a motorcycle wearing lucite heels. I now have the ability to reply with an emoji of a broken heart when they posted that an old friend’s Mom passed away. I don’t even have to write words anymore. Just a few clicks and everyone can, will know it’s sunny while I drive my new car across a bridge to celebrate a dancer’s birthday with red wine and sushi.
Meanwhile, my “Likes” are counted and replies are replied too while now ‘n then I unfollow irritating ads or FB friends I have no idea who you are. With or without words, Zuckerberg did however achieve something I (we) would have never considered, let alone taken on. He saw a need (maybe his own) and figured out how to make it happen. Did he envision what could be and what can happen? I hope so.
Oprah taught me about vision boards. See it, hear it, feel it, and it will appear. Who knew my childhood magazine cut outs taped to the bedroom walls became my own reality. It isn’t until they actually happened, that I realized they were willed to be. Vision boards can be the Football Player you stick up inside your High School locker or the postcard of Italy on the refrigerator door. They can appear as the bumper stickers of a Mercedes emblem on the back of your beat-up Ford, or even the worn business card you had folded in your wallet for years. Taking a dream and bringing it to life changes us. It affects who we are and what we share with the world. I glad my Vet loved horses so much he wanted to become a Doctor of Animals. Thanks to Mr. Midgley who at General Motors came up with Ethyl to stop the knocking in automobiles, today in Las Vegas at 116 degrees I can type in air conditioning operated by Freon. Vision Board or not, the ability to imagine ideas to reality will always out shadow shortcuts. Success is always rooted in a desire and achieving it at high standard is more a need than choice. Young Michael had to see himself stepping on the golden podium and Amelia must have voiced that Girls can pilot too.
Recently I found myself at fork in the road. Parked there for the moment and accessing the next route. I STOP before moving ahead. TURN around, LOOK where I came from and TAKE IN what it took to get you where I am now. Blurred from the years on the ride, it’s hard to see signs. My navigation system is disconnected. No nearby towers to ping or apps to rely on. The once wide eyed operator of my own destiny has become blocked. The exit ramp seems so easy a path. No more pictures pinned to the corkboard and no more inspiring quotes to live by. The cruise control of no more or no less has somehow ran out of fuel. I blame it on the bumps in the road. The mile-high routes you never think you will reach and the recovering coast down after you surpassed the summits. I knew I needed a strong arm or an Armstrong moment to see me through. The moon is great! It took so much to get there, but I did it. I somehow created my own personal A-ha moment when looking at the moon. When struggles and years of hard work disappeared, every image of seeing yourself there ignites. The drive, your strength and heart is rewarded. Armstrong took a chance on himself and it worked. Like Zuckerberg said “the biggest risk is not taking any risk”.
Unless I set my new route and post my new visions, I will remain coasting to nowhere. While risk may not always lead to reward it keeps you on the map. I realize today, I want to be on the Map! For me, having accomplished something will never compare to actually doing it. Once you have reached the top of your game you realize there are far more bridges to cross. The rewards from Meryl Streep’s Sophie’s Choice couldn’t have been the motivation for Silkwood. It wasn’t about being the best, it about sharing a story. It was a way of telling the world something we needed to hear. Today with a momentary click our journeys are announced. It gives you the responsibility to do better and the permission to tell you own story. We all want to be heard and heard again. Maybe this will trump the idealism that you have some secret to achieve more, when you just need the attention you are not giving to yourself. These watershed moments define your never-ending visions. Try to STOP, LOOK, TURN and TAKE IN where you are now. It might just give you a clear vision of what’s up the road. Getting there is the easy part, it is the knowing where you are destined to be that takes the most work. Whether it be racing a shark or hopping on a plane around the word, the risks are far better than a sign followed by everyone else.