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“The Mess In The Middle” – Setting Goals & Perseverance

By August 26, 2017February 24th, 2021No Comments

Kevin Bulmer Footsteps Video Blog | The Mess in the MiddleTranscript: I believe it was the old football coach Don Shula who was attributed as saying, “It’s the start that stops most people.”

I believe that that’s true. But if the start stops most people, I think that the middle probably thins out the herd … for those of us that ever get to it.

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Let me explain: One of the books that I’m really enjoying these days is called “You 2” by Price Pritchett, and it talks about some of the habits and  thoughts  you need to change and address if you want to make a quantum leap in your life. It’s about anything that you want to change – like your health, your general level of fulfillment, your career, your finances – not just to the next level, but several levels up, and how you’ve got to change your thinking and your actions in order to do that.

Seeking Failure

One of the things that he suggests is to actually seek failure, to look at that as a sign of progress, and it makes sense if you think about it. If you set out to do something different than you’ve ever done before, of course you’re going trip and stub your toe sometimes, you’re going to be running across situations that you’ve never encountered before, so it’s going be natural that you’d have a few failures along the way.

As part of that chapter, he also warns to be mindful of the fact that just about everything looks like a mess, or a failure, once you reach the middle. He gives a couple of examples.

For instance, if you were to walk into an operating room in the middle of a surgery, depending on what surgery they were doing, it might look like an awful, bloody murder scene. But they’re in the middle. The goal is to help someone be well, and have them walk out of the hospital (depending on what they’re having done) hours, days, weeks later, better than they were when they went in.

But now you’re into it. You think about turning back, but you’ve already pulled the room apart, bought the paint, and put the tape up on the wall. You’re in the middle.

Or maybe something a little bit less dark for an example would be somebody decides to make a cake, and they’re not really the neatest baker. You walk into the kitchen after they’ve got going and there’s flour all over the place, and dirty dishes, and pots and pans; it looks like a bomb went off. It’s a mess! They’re in the middle! But remember the picture that started that whole process was to have a nice, delicious cake to have for dessert after dinner tonight.

So when you think about your life, and challenging yourself to do new things, you’re going to get into some new terrain and different territory, eventually, you’re gonna meet the middle, and that’s the part where you think about quitting.

Life Is Like Painting A Room

We’ve all been there if you think about something like, oh, painting a room. It’s exciting when you start out, it’s exhilarating, you pick out the color, and you go to the store, and you think about what color the drapes are going to be to go with it, and what matches with all the furniture and the artwork, and you bring the buckets of paint home, and you think that you’ll be able to get it all done in a Saturday afternoon, and you get started.

Then you pull all the furniture out from the wall, and you see how many dust bunnies there are, and nicks in the floor and the baseboard, and all that kind of stuff, and it takes you forever to put all that green tape up, and then you’ve got to put all the splash matts down, and then it’s starting to sink in how long this is going to take.

But now you’re into it. You think about turning back, but you’ve already pulled the room apart, bought the paint, and put the tape up on the wall. You’re in the middle.

So What’s Tougher: The Start, or the Middle?

So with your life, it’s not dissimilar. Just to take the next step and keep going and remember what that end goal was, and you’ll get past that middle, because I wonder, what’s worse? The discomfort when you finally reach that messy middle, or the regret of not having ever given yourself a chance because you didn’t even get started in the first place.

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