I have never been one to follow the herd. I’d like to think that I have always marched to the beat of my own drum. But what does that really mean? I don’t play the drums in all reality and it seems that everyone these days strives to be different, special. And most of us like to think that when given the choice, we would take the “road less traveled” right? But when we are staring down the barrel of said road, I guarantee you, it looks a whole lot different from some quote that sounds so simple with a well shaved man climbing a mountain as a backdrop.
See, what I have learned is that in the light of your adoring fans, it is easy to say you want to do an ironman, or go back to school, or start a business. We can all picture ourselves, arms raised, crossing the finish line, or graduating with honors, or at a ribbon cutting ceremony for your business. That is easy part. But what about the journey to get there? What about the long hours of training in the hot sun when you are already tired from yesterdays workout. Or getting up when the world is still sleeping to study…again. Or staying up late to work while your friends go out to dinner without you for the third week in a row. When it comes down to it, and you have to put the actual work in, there is no one there to tell you to train, study, work. It is just you. And self-doubt and excuses are right there to give you the out you so desperately want. Let me tell you my friend, those excuses look a lot more like common sense in those dark moments. They look a lot like the right thing to do when you want to quit. What they don’t look like is what they actually are, the road most people take. The road more traveled.
I have read that only 2% of people are truly exceptional. Only 2%. Holy exclusive club Batman, how do I get tickets? The reason is that in order to be exceptional you can’t do what others do, you can’t talk like they talk, you can’t use their excuses. You can’t simply buy a ticket to this show. In order to achieve greatness, you have to find it somewhere inside you that most people don’t want to know about. The dark place where it is hidden is not fun, or easy, or even guaranteed. Yep, read those words again–Not. Even. Guaranteed.
But why the hell should it be? I mean, if it were guaranteed, then what would make it so darn great?
So when you picture your path to exceptional, don’t picture a silly quote with a man on a mountain looking fresh and handsome. Instead picture the long, hard journey in front of you, picture painful hours of unending work and moments of self-doubt, and even failure. The picture in your head should be of you looking frazzled, tired, worn out, and exhausted. In that moment decide what you really want. From there you will know which road you choose.
That being said, if you want to find me, I have made my decision. I will be rocking out on my own over here, marching to the beat of my own drum on a road less traveled…