Shoot for the Stars

As I was riding in the car back to the starting line after I dropped from my last race, I kept thinking about my favorite TED talk.

It’s with comedian Steve Mazan and he talks about chasing your dreams.

Seriously, watch it. Not only is it funny but it’s deep and inspirational as he shares his story.

I know I have shared quotes from this talk before but they are worth bringing back up.

Someday isn’t on the calendar. Friday, Saturday, Sunday are on there about four times a month. But when it comes to our dreams it’s probably the busiest day of the week.

If you’ve ever chased a dream, you know that it lights a fire in your heart, that whether you reach it or not, it warms everyone around you and everything around you.

We’re all dying. But if you are not chasing your dream, you’re already dead.

Steve talks about re-chasing his dream of getting to perform on Letterman. He gave himself 1 year to fulfill that dream.

Did that happen? Nope.

After 2 years? Nope. 3? No, it took him 5 years to reach his dream goal.

Another thing that stands out in this talk for me, is when he talks about changing the way we view our dreams. Instead of think of them as a noun, a singular point and final product, think of it as a verb, an action, something you do every day.

I was shooting for the stars with this last race. My place goal and time goal was a massive leap to the top. And I fell flat on my face.

Looking back I can see that I was in way over my head given my experience and my current abilities. But I have zero regrets in setting such lofty goals.

Yeah, I didn’t even come close to them and I even didn’t finish the race. But I am so much better off than I would have been if I didn’t have such goals. This has been the most valuable experience and I am only stronger from it.

It’s very easy to get discouraged and to give up on goals in the way society is today. We have become so reliant on instant gratification with all of the advancements in technology, that when we don’t get what we want, we think of our setbacks as failures and not learning lessons.

You only fail if you give up.

I’m not giving up on winning a major 100 mile race.

I was foolish to think that I was going to win this last race. I know that what I went through will only be a stepping stone towards my dream.

Like Steve Mazan, it may take me 5 years. It may even take me even longer. But I won’t give up on the idea of training to win and becoming the best I can be or even living in my dream of spending most of my time everyday running.

Instead of focusing on a single goal, or as my dream as a noun, I have lived in my dream the last half year or so. Instead of wishing I was running or wishing I was out in the mountains while sitting at a desk in a cubicle, I was out training and doing just what I wanted every day.

I am one step closer to my goals. Success is in making progress, and I have done just that.

So whatever your passion and dreams are, shoot for the stars. There will probably be a 99% percent chance you won’t reach your goal the first time around. You’ll just have to pick yourself up, dust off, take the lesson as a blessing in disguise and take on the challenge again.

You’ll be living in your dream if you do and there is no better way to live your life. Because “if you’re not chasing your dream, you’re already dead” right?

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