We are all born with the intrinsic motivation to seek Success, Happiness and Fulfilment throughout our lives. Getting what we want, wanting what we have, and living your purpose every single day seem to be core to what it means to be human…
Part of Success is the art & science of setting and achieving goals or intentions, and on a grand scale, lives can be defined by the pursuit of a ‘Greatest Imaginable Challenge’. At its heart, a Greatest Imaginable Challenge consists of Passion, Doing What You Do Best and Adding Value to Yourself or Others.
Passion to pursue a hope or dream is essential to completing a Greatest Imaginable Challenge as it sustains motivation, even under the most difficult circumstance or barrier to the objective. Do you CARE enough to finish the challenge? Are you willing to overcome all obstacles in your path?
Doing What You Do Best allows you to focus on your innate talent, and create an inner belief that you WILL succeed. Often, your belief may fly in the face of opposition from friends, family, and colleagues who simply do not see your potential to accomplish the Greatest Imaginable Challenge. Think of a casual runner who wakes up one morning and declares ‘I am going to run a marathon’ or with even more sense of aspiration ‘I am going to finish an Ironman triathlon!’ Whether a ‘wild dream’ or not, something inside the individual creates momentum so compelling that they do whatever it takes (passion) to accomplish the task AND find an inner belief that they are capable of the physical/mental/emotional/spiritual challenge, whatever it may be.
Adding Value to Yourself or Others cements the motivation to complete the Greatest Imaginable Challenge. Having something bigger than yourself to pursue, to make a difference, to change the world in some small way offers a selfish and/or self-less perspective on these big challenges. A big fitness challenge, that really only involves the participant, creates new discipline, focus, healthy habits and a sense of accomplishment that may have an impact for the rest of that person’s life, especially in terms of self-belief.
I have been privileged to witness many Greatest Imaginable Challenges among friends and family over the years. I have had a father go to war (1st Gulf War) and return safely, with insight and perspective that led to a historical book about the event (The Persian Excursion – The Canadian Navy in the Gulf War). I have a son that has had the courage and talent to compete internationally as a springboard diver. Many others have overcome difficult circumstances to achieve significant events in their lives.
By far the most amazing examples of achieving her Greatest Imaginable Challenges comes from my wife, Fiona, a woman who just doesn’t seem to acknowledge obstacles in her life. Prior to emigrating from Scotland to New Zealand, my wife woke up one morning to declare, “I am going to cycle the length of Great Britain before we leave the country!” She was a keen cyclist but had never even remotely considered such a huge distance. In addition, she planned to do it on her own, with no cycling colleagues to support her along the way. The journey from Land’s End to John O’Groats took 17 days, tested every ounce of her resilience through torrential downpours, hills (mountains to me!) and crazy traffic. Fiona’s Passion for cycling, her inner belief that she could complete the trip (do what she does best) and the Value she created for herself through training, planning the trip and finishing a gargantuan solo trek all contributed to her Greatest Imaginable Challenge…
Whether because of the massive cycle above, or simply because my wife loves big challenges, she set out on another enormous project in 2013 – to complete a PhD in law, while working part-time AND being a terrific partner and Mum. 6 years and 106,000 words later, Fiona submitted her thesis on Jan 29, 2019. What is extraordinary is not that she completed the thesis, but that EVERY moment of the last 6 years was full of joy, happiness and focus required to not only finish, but enjoy the process from start to finish! Her Passion for the subject matter (consent to medical / dental treatment of under 16’s in New Zealand), confidence in her own ability (do what she does best), and the Value she has brought to both medical and legal communities kept her driving to completion throughout the process.
We are all capable of completing our Greatest Imaginable Challenges – simply find your Passion, do what you do Best, and create Value in the world around you, including for yourself!