What If

I’m writing this month’s blog post from my doctors’ waiting room. My colitis is playing up lately and I’ve been in a bit of pain recently. If this post seems a little different this could be part of the reason.

Anyway, yesterday I was lounging around watching TV resting up and happened to come across Eddie The Eagle, a movie about the English ski jumper from the 80’s. A very inspirational movie about a kid with no real sporting ability and no encouragement from his father who makes it to the Olympics against all odds and even against the English Olympic Committee.

There is a line in the movie; “didn’t you ever have a dream when you were a kid” that Eddie says to his dad. This line got me thinking about how many of us have a dream as children and just how few actually realise those dreams. Even worse, how many don’t even follow or give their dream a real go. While I’m not going to share my childhood dreams today, I am going to talk a bit about how I’ve probably sold myself short over the years.

As a child I used to race motorbikes, while I wasn’t the best out there, I did race at a pretty good level and won plenty of races, ribbons and trophies. What I didn’t do was really put in 100% effort and “leave it all out on the track”. Because of this, I didn’t realise my potential and ended up giving up in my mid-teens as a “he was good, but not great” racer. Now I’m in my forties I really wish I had given it the extra effort to see just how good I could have been.

When I quit racing bikes, I turned to basketball. Again I was pretty good, played A-Grade and played in some State Finals, winning trophies and MVP awards; but again, I wasn’t really trying my best and again today, I think about how far I could have gone.

Today, I have learnt from those days and give whatever I am working on everything I have to give at that time. What I’ve realised as I’ve gotten older is “everything” is different every time. Today’s “everything” could be more or less than tomorrow’s “everything” and that’s ok. Energy, commitment and persistence cannot be constant; as we go through life we have conflicting responsibilities and commitments, so “everything we have” isn’t possible; but if we decide something is important enough we have to give a little bigger portion of our “everything” to that new priority, and a little less to something else.

I guess what this blog is about is knowing what you want; this is hard when we’re young but gets easier as we get older. Know what you want, understand how important it is to you (it’s ok, if it’s only a ‘want’ rather than a ‘must’) and then go after it. The more important it is to you to more you need to commit your time and energy; don’t look back years later and say”what if”…