As the Olympics ended, I saw something that caught my eye … and speaks to a wider audience.
It was an interview with astronaut, Chris Hadfield. In it, he talks about life, the universe, and what’s really out there.
One of the noteworthy points is not to focus solely on the finish line.
If you view crossing the finish line as the measure of your life, you’re setting yourself up for a personal disaster.
There are very very very few people who win gold at the Olympics. And if you say, ‘if I don’t win gold then I’m a failure or I’ve let somebody down or something,’ … What if you win a silver? What if you win a bronze? What if you come fourth? What if your binding comes apart? … What if all of those millions of things that happen in life happen?
Only a few people that go there are going to win gold. And it’s the same, in some degree, I think in commanding a spaceship or doing a spacewalk. It is a very rare, singular moment-in-time event in the continuum of life.
And you need to honor the highs and the peaks in the moments — you need to prepare your life for them — but recognize the fact that the preparation for those moments is your life and, in fact, that’s the richness of your life.
The challenge that we set for each other, and the way that we shape ourselves to rise to that challenge, is life.
Here is the video.
Focusing on the finish line can be tough, even if you win.
Let's say you set a big goal (for example: winning a gold medal, playing in the Super Bowl, IPOing your company, making a billion dollars, etc.). Achieving a goal like that is often anti-climactic. Why, because what's next? Was that the high point … and everything else is down-hill from there?"
Instead, focus on the process, the growth, and what it makes possible. That is where you will likely find the energy and motivation to find more ways to win and a bigger future.
What do you think?
If you want more Chris Hadfield, here is something.