Strip off the Glamour and Grab the Gold
We live in times where it has become easy to have the big picture syndrome. Meaning, it is easy to constantly swim in the grand fantasy of a big vision. And its great because that’s where you draw inspiration from. That’s the fuel that keeps many of us going. However, there is a catch here. If we don’t strike a balance, it is possible to live in the grandeur to an extent that slowly, you lose your connection to the reality, the reality of what it takes to execute.
No matter how big the vision is, the realisation of that vision will require disciplined execution consistently, at least for a good deal of time. Execution involves steps, and some of these steps might be non glamorous. They may not be stimulating unlike experiencing the ecstasy of mentally rehearsing the final vision or talking with excitement about how we might be uniquely destined to fulfill a grand purpose or listing out the available options with excitement with the reassurance of how promising all of it looks. All these are great and this is a great bubble to be in and infact, this picture or some version of it can definitely come to fruition. However, the only missing piece is that this has to be balanced out with reality.
In reality, execution may require the glamour element to be stripped off to a large extent, at least in the beginning. It would require coming to terms with the reality of the world we live in, in terms of working with people, the need to be flexible, persisting through uncertainty, difficult choices, constraints of all kinds (mental, physical, emotional, financial, time), ego battles, managing temptations/distractions, building skillsets, resources, possibly facing and working through our personal inadequacies that will come to the forefront and get tested, and much more. Not only are some of these realities not pleasurable but could be a far cry from the ecstasy of mentally rehearsing the final outcome. So, on the face of it, persisting on a straight line of steps and repetitive execution can seem to take the juice out of it. However, although not obvious, there is a gold to be earned in persisting through the steps.
If we persist on that straight line of doing the seemingly ordinary steps over and over and over again, if we put in the work daily, slowly, even on the face of uncertainty, constraints and boredom, slowly but surely, a quiet sense of joy, confidence and strength starts to emerge from underneath and starts to grip the soul. This time, this sense of juice, strength, power, certainty, honor or whatever you want to call it that you are starting to build is solid, because it’s earned. If you have enough of this thing, you can rest on it, depend on it, lean on it with the quiet satisfaction that you are doing the right thing the right way. Its a liberating feeling and once you get a taste of it, you want more of it. But the good news is, this time, its the taste of truth, the good truth and no-one ever got harmed by the truth. This is the kind of stuff that you see or sense in people with a quiet confidence, who are comfortable on their own skin, those who do not feel the need to put up a front to hide from their insecurities, who have built the fortress within them quietly long enough to walk around with a sense of grounding and self reliance that we all secretly wish for. We all know someone like that don’t we? So while we pursue our calling and execute daily, not only do we get the result but along the way we build something, something within, something that almost everyone of us secretly wish to have, because to a large extent it can set us free from the inner war that many of us are fighting within.
When you operate, talk and act from this place, its real, in terms of real results and its honest, and people can feel it. They can sense that you are built from within with the right stuff, that you are not phony.
Sure, difference between what’s phony and what’s real can be distorted temporarily by flashy, sugarcoated projections, bluster and noise but there is no running away from the stuff thats built within in the silent spaces of the raw grunt work, toil, sweat, the steps, and in the silent pursuit of “one foot in front of the other” repeated for a long time.