The Excitement of the First Snowfall Doesn’t Last

Dreams of a snow day filled the heads of school children in Northeast Ohio last night.  Weather forecasters predicted our first substantial snowfall.  They were right.  Unfortunately for the kids, it wasn’t enough to cancel school.  It was, however, enough to challenge commuters.  On my short drive to work today, I saw two accidents.

As I pulled onto our street after work, I smiled at the kids playing in the snow.  I approached my driveway, smitten that my son was out shoveling the snow.  I parked in the street to allow him to finish the job.  As I walked up the driveway, he asked if I was going to snow blow.  I responded I would if he wanted to help me.  With that statement, the shovel magically vanished.  He attempted to help me snow blow but quickly got bored.  I finished by myself, alone with my thoughts and cold feet.

As I blew the snow away, I thought about all the things that people often start but quickly get bored with.  Exercise routines.  Diet plans.  Sales initiatives at work.  Improvement projects.  I could go on and on.  They all start out with the same excitement as kids with the first snowfall.  Then, we quickly figure out they require effort and commitment to succeed.  Successful people put forth the effort and remain committed to the cause.

The road to mediocrity is paved with good intentions.  A little commitment goes a long way.  After the thrill of doing something new wears off, focus on the goal.  Remember why you started in the first place.

Goals are less fruitful than systems – systems are powerful – systems with accountability even more so. Often, those that never achieve a goal do so because too lofty of an expectation was set in the first place. Furthermore, once achieved, a goal loses its meaning as a map for the future. In contrast, a system is a method of behavior that can be conducted on a consistent basis that has the likelihood to produce outcomes that surpass goal setting. Following a system produces measurable results through small, defined, consistent steps. However, all success requires discipline. Without discipline one must rely on fortune. Fortune is fickle.  Finish clearing that driveway!

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