To Touch a Wall
There is a big difference between touching a wall and hitting a wall. To hit a wall is usually by accident or not designed in your plan. You are rushing along your path thinking everything is great and then...bam! Your nose is emptying faster than your checking account at pump No. 6. You didn’t plan on that wall being there so you didn’t slow down to look for one.
To touch a wall is to plan on seeing an end all as what it truly is, just an obstacle. You start looking for your pain points and anticipate them down the trail. These walls are there, you know about their challenges and you are now ready to plan ahead. No doubt, a wall is a wall. It is still there but the way you look at them makes all the difference in the world.
A third impact is to measure a wall as a touchstone on your path. This is a known obstacle that you are anticipating as you move towards your goal. A runner would talk of the wall they hit at a certain mile marker that is a known pain point in the race. Even though it is a challenge, it is celebrated and reminds you of your path. This should act as your inspiration for movement and/or change.
When the Wall Hits
Just a few years ago, as I was starting my own business, I hit a huge wall. That wall is called cancer. I was growing the shop and consulting; I then found myself with a deadly wall. It hurt my bank account, my family and my dreams.
I was devastated after my surgery and extended hospital stay to understand I could not bounce back from this quickly. After coming home and transitioning from a hospital bed to the couch, I laid there in pity. I could barely walk; I couldn't take care of my kids or stay awake for longer than an hour. Seems that I went from dying from cancer to dying because of a lack of walls.
My immediate thoughts were of the hardships from not having what I had before the cancer. I set goals high with no understanding of how to reach them, so depression kicked in. I felt hopeless in knowing I couldn’t hit my goals. If I was challenged to walk, how could I be challenged to do what I did before? That initial challenge became my physical and metaphorical wall.
Past my living room was my kitchen’s far wall, the challenge was to get up and touch that wall today. I didn’t care that I had been to that wall tons before, but it was my wall to touch. One day I got up, slowly scampered over to the wall, made my track back and passed out. I was completely drained, upset and excited that the wall was touched.
The only thing I can do about tomorrow is to be better than I was yesterday. So, my goal was to touch that wall twice. I was not going to do it two times in a row, but I can do it twice in one day. The next morning, I gained the will and energy to scamper over to the wall and return to my couch to pass out, hours later I attempted it once again. Once again, I was victorious, upset and excited. I quickly realized that my conquest is not to be better than I was, but to be better than I was yesterday.
As time went by, I shuffled, then walked and duplicated my counts before laying back down recoup. The upset feelings began to dissipate and pride and motivation stepped in. I had embraced my walls not pain points, but known obstacles and literally touch points to improve over who I was yesterday.
I tell this story because planning for your future and the future of your business is so important that you must map out your walls and anticipate them. Sure, everyone wants to be the best and some want to relive their old glory days. You cannot go backwards in time, your body and everything around you is made to move forward.
You don’t believe me? Get up and walk 10 steps forward, and then without turning around, walk 10 steps backwards. It's much more physically and mentally straining on your body to do so, not to mention the increased risk to your dog innocently sleeping on the floor.
Without understanding your goals, breaking them down into smaller goals and understanding (then planning to overcome) the obstacles, you face more physical, financial and emotional setbacks because your ego and impatience is winning. Take a breath, map out your journey and each milestone, find your walls, build your plan to overcome them and celebrate each day being better than you were yesterday.