Why is it that some people seem to lead superhuman lives, with incredible achievements, and others are crushed under the weight of basic chores, such as laundry?
Why is it that we find inspiration in those who achieve, who pushed themselves harder, held themselves to a higher standard, and questioned basic assumptions that lead to ridicule on their path to success?
Why do so many people watch sports? Why do we care about the World Cup? Why are shows such as American Idol and Dancing with the Stars so popular?
Why do we read and learn?
Why do we dream?
I often look at those who are successful as a source of education & inspiration. What I discover is that their lives are ruled by a different set of definitions than most people.
Their days don’t start at 9am and don’t end at 5pm.
They don’t blindly follow “best practices.”
They don’t make the safe, expected choices.
They challenge the rest of us, merely by achieving. Because if they have, it shows us the opportunity we failed to see and work towards. This is why the media culture loves tearing down celebrities. It pulls them back down “to our level.”
U2 has a line in one of their songs: “Midnight is where the day begins.” I have always been fascinated by this lyric. I regard it as a challenge – to defy my own expectation, to do what it takes, regardless of commonly held rules.
When the day begins at midnight, you are not winding down, you are winding up. You are getting a jump on the world five hours before most other people. You are viewing it in an entirely different manner. The boundaries of something as simple as a day have changed.
This will be viewed as stupidity by some, and opportunity by others.
When you are viewing your goals – throw out even the most basic definitions of what it takes to succeed. Because the more your exceed these expectations, the more you are differentiating yourself from everyone else who is struggling to achieve the same things you are.
Instead of you all following the same lock-step patterns and trends, you have blazed a new path. And as the saying goes – that will make all the difference.