“Learn to live in the moment while peekin’ forward; you want something you gotta work instead of reaching for it” -Colb Jakob
A few months ago I was perusing the internet and came across a Facebook post from one of my good friends praising Colb Jakob’s recent album. Since my days as a not-quite-NBA-caliber high school basketball player, I have been a huge fan of rap, hip-hop, and R&B music. The bus trips or overnight stays for basketball games were always filled with rap karaoke or freestyle sessions, and that kind of free flow creativity has always impressed me. I was familiar with Colb Jakob, but I hadn’t heard any of his music for quite some time until my friend’s post hit my timeline. So I hopped on Spotify (thanks, Sweden!) and listened to the whole album. It was fantastic – “dope,” my high school self would say – and it was this lyric from the last song on the album which resonated most:
“Learn to live in the moment while peekin’ forward; you want something you gotta work instead of reaching for it.”
Now like most people, I have routinely set personal and professional goals. Some I’ve accomplished, while others go back on the list every January.* But what captured me most about this lyric is the simple truth that if we are going to accomplish anything in life, we have to stop REACHING. We have to put the work in. And frankly, too many of us are stuck in perpetual reaching mode. We’re happy to chalk up our situation in life – positive or negative – to randomness or the actions of others when we are the ones who own it. We are the ones who either put in the work…or don’t.
So in an effort to be fully transparent, let me share some of my reaching moments
- Four years ago when I began my speaking career, I was reaching. I was “successful” in a completely separate career, and whenever I saw what others were doing in the speaking world I made excuses as to why those things wouldn’t work for me. That mentality held me back for two full years – until I made the decision to stop reaching and start working instead. I stopped WANTING to become a speaker and started WORKING for it. Two years later, I’m happy to say I’m seeing the result of that hard work and thankfully others are noticing, too.
- Last year, I was reaching in my personal life. I have always talked about how I want to make an impact on others. Most importantly, I want to make an impact on my children so they grow up to be awesome people. Unfortunately, when opportunities to act upon that desire would stare me in the face, I sometimes found excuses. When my daughter’s soccer team needed a coach, I said I might be too busy to make practices and knew nothing about soccer. (That last part is true. I literally know nothing about soccer. I know it involves a ball and a lot of chanting.) But I can’t very well say I want to make an impact and then pass up opportunities to walk the walk. So I stopped WANTING to be the best father possible and starting WORKING for it. And last weekend my daughter scored her first goal with one very happy coach and father sitting on the bench. And you better believe we got ice cream that night!
Those are a few of my moments of reaching. And trust me – there’s more. There are some situations where I’m STILL reaching. But let’s do this in 2019. Let’s all commit to doing a little less reaching and a little more working. Because it’s amazing when you make a conscious effort to stop reaching and work a little bit harder towards your goals. Even if you don’t get all the way there, I promise the journey is a lot more fun.
What are you WORKING for in 2019? Comment below and let’s make 2019 the best year yet!
* For example, some goals I’ve accomplished: removed sugar from my three daily coffees, completed a Half Ironman, and moved the cellphone out of the bedroom.
* Also, some I haven’t accomplished: Still can’t touch my toes. Every year I say I’m going to stretch more. Every year, I say the same thing in December because I STILL can’t touch them and honestly, we’re at a breaking point. I am GOING TO DO IT THIS YEAR!!