I have often spoken of the remarkably inspirational power of repeated success.
By this I mean the inspiration that pushes us forward not because we are necessarily driven to succeed but rather because the pain of breaking a link in the chain of victory is more than we are willing to endure.
Each day the alcoholic goes without taking a drink is a tremendous victory and after two or three days of sobriety they can boast of being sober for three days, then four, then one week, then two and so on.
Each week we hit that target of being in the gym three times is also a victory and after two weeks, or three, our sense of accomplishment grows deeper as each successive week passes by.
Both the alcoholic and the athlete-in-training know that if they take one drink or only go to the gym twice in one week, the chain of success is broken and while they can continue to brag to the world of their growing success, the alcoholic knows that today is, once again, day one of sobriety and the visitor to the gym knows that, once again, this is the week one of three workouts per week.
It Can Be Tough
I was reminded of the remarkable power of the unbroken chain last night when I sat down to write my weekly blog in my mind was filled with pure emptiness.
This week has been a challenging one for me. My doctor told me on Monday that I have pneumonia and my calendar told me that I have one two-hour presentation, one three-hour presentation and 15 client meetings scheduled for the week. I also have a two day workshop scheduled for the weekend which will require me to stand and talk for 7 hours each day.
And then there is, of course, a blog to be written.
I have learned two powerful lessons this week.
This is my 798th blog since I began in 2009 and not once in that period have I missed writing at least one blog each week.
I know I am the only person on the planet to whom this unbroken chain is important, and I am determined not to allow circumstance to break it.
The second lesson I learned is one I have often spoken of, and strongly believed in for many years.
It is that what we focus on represents the entirety of our life in that moment.
I have never canceled a scheduled corporate presentation or event and I was determined not to do so this week.
I am also loathe to cancel client meetings and have only ever done so when circumstances have been extreme.
And so, with my doctors (grudging) consent, I have fulfilled my every commitment and will continue to do so.
Unquestionably, I have been exhausted at the end of each day, but also exhilarated in knowing that every moment I spent focusing on what I was doing, was time spent not focusing on being sick, and I feel far better, stronger and healthier today than I did while sitting in my doctor’s office on Monday.
And yes, the drugs helped too. Enormously.
I have lost count of the number of people who told me I should be at home resting, but I do not for a moment believe that doing so, and focusing on being sick, would’ve brought me to where I am tonight as I write this blog.
I am not advocating that others do as I am doing. I have often been accused of not being smart enough to heed sound advice, but I do believe that when we have an unbearable headache and suddenly find ourselves intensely focused on something else, the headache disappears. And when we are exhausted beyond belief and suddenly find ourselves having to deal with an important issue, the fatigue simply vanishes.
I’m not suggesting that focusing on my work commitments is a cure for pneumonia, but what I do believe is that by so doing I can allow my body to be fully involved in its own cure without being negatively influenced by self-pity.
I am sure I will be receiving some interesting responses to this blog and I look forward to reading each of them over the next few days.
I will do so in the evenings, at the end of 12-hour workdays.
When I can give them my complete focus.
Till we read again.