Getting From Here To There Like American Ninja Warriors

Warped WallI had a secret fantasy when I started this blog. I would put things out on the interwebs and people would flock to read it. Then publishers would call and I’d have to quit my job to go on book tours and talk shows. Kinda like when you buy a lottery ticket and fantasize about all the things you’ll do when you’re suddenly filthy rich.

I’m sure I’m not the only one who wants this. To get to that magical place right now, without having to put in all the time, work, and struggle. Getting There. I’m sure everyone does this to an extent, but Manic Impressives do this a lot. We are impatient when it comes to results. We don’t want to hear about discipline or paying dues or the Happiness of Pursuit.

Screw all that. We want it now.

Truth is, wherever we are now is a place called Here. And we’re Here because of all the little choices we’ve made over time.

Like a lot of you dreamers, I also want to be propelled quite suddenly to There, miles ahead of where I am now. We Manic Impressives can’t help it. We want to get There, now. Because we know it’s possible. We see lots of people on our TVs make that huge leap, get discovered, and bam, they’re There.

Like the guy from the walk-on line at American Ninja Warrior, who suddenly finds himself at the top of the Warped Wall, hitting the buzzer, and getting through to the next round. Fans cheering, commentators gushing, instant fame and success. It happens.

So when this comment landed on my site, I was ready to embrace my new audience and celebrate my success:

“Hello there! This blog post could not be written any better!
Reading through this article reminds me of my previous roommate!
He continually kept preaching about this. I will send this information to him. Pretty sure he will have a great read. Thanks for sharing!”

Sure, it was from a person I didn’t know, with a username of Interesting Hen Recipes, but he clearly got my message and was already spreading the Gospel of ME. I was on my way.

There was further proof, from users like Chicken Thigh, Baked Pork Chop, Recalled Beef, SEO Plugins, Business Funding, and just plain Rebecca and Natalie. New fans! Audience! Commentators!

Then I turned on my spam filters and they all went away. Hucksters and bottom feeders, clever in their flatterous come ons, ready to separate us wannabes from our precious day-job earnings.

There is no walk-on line here. Just the daily pursuit of a dream. Little choices, dedication to craft, slowly building to a jumping off place to more little choices and dedication.

Yes the walk-on line exists, but it takes years of work and days or weeks of waiting. We never see all that part. We only see the moments of glory and the endorsement deals. And most of those lucky walk-on folks on our TVs don’t make it to There. They fall in the water after an obstacle or two. Sorry, try again next year.

For us Manic Impressives the dreaming and hoping is necessary, but only to fuel us to get to work. Grinding. Struggling. Doing the little things every day, week, and month, that will eventually add up to something bigger.

Sigh. You were probably hoping for that simple formula you could follow step-by-step to overnight success. Me too. Sorry. But keep at it anyway. You’ll build your “Work Already Performed” portfolio, and when your doors of opportunity swing open you’ll be ready to stride right through. To There.

Or should I say, So There

5 thoughts on “Getting From Here To There Like American Ninja Warriors”

  1. A fun read, and oh so true…Can’t wait to get THERE myself! In the meantime, staying present and enjoying the HERE and NOW will make getting THERE that much sweeter.

  2. Hi Aram,
    While my athletic days are mostly behind me, I’ve always used athletic people as my inspiration.
    Walter Payton, the great NFL running back, trained himself starting as a child by running up and down a super-steep hill behind his house.
    And yes, these women are amazing – I admit to being a couch fan!

  3. And last night I watched an old hour-long “Legends” show about Jerry Rice, the old 49ers wide receiver. Never has so much talent worked so hard to be the best he could be. His workouts raised his whole team to another level, and he never took a break during the “off” season. We’ll never know how much of his success was his inherent talent because of how hard he worked and how high he aimed. Another of my hero-inspirations.

  4. I agree Nancy. Number 80 was the greatest football player in NFL history. His work ethic was legendary. Maybe he had a chip on his shoulder – 15 teams passed on the chance to draft him in 1985. Good thing Bill Walsh could look past Jerry’s “lack of speed” and small college pedigree to spot the greatest player ever!

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