Do You Hope So or Ask How?


I was listening to sports talk radio in my car today, as I am wont to do. Since we’re in the middle of Tennessee, they can’t seem to quit talking about the University of… well, Tennesee. So they were talking about a football game between Tennessee and Alabama last season, in which the Vols were winning late, but somehow crumbled and blew the game right at the end.

A man called into the radio show who was a Tennessee-born Alabama fan. He very succinctly said, “At the end of the game, Alabama fans didn’t wonder whether or not we would pull off the win—we were just curious how.

Let me draw one more quick parallel before I make my point. I’m reading a novel by Ken Follett (I don’t read a lot of fiction, but this book is just awesome) in which the characters consistently run into obstacles, and immediately think to themselves, “There has to be a way to accomplish this, but how? What could it be?”

They apply their energy to that question: how? Over and over again, things go wrong, they are double-crossed or attacked, and they continue to believe: there must be a way. We just have to figure out what it is.

The question is, do you simply hope so? Or do you ask “how”?

There are few instances where there is no “how,” where the goal is impossible. But if you have the wisdom to recognize a realistic goal, even an incredibly ambitious one, there is almost always a how.

That’s where your energy ought to go. You want to start a business? You want to learn guitar? You want to become the top sales person in your organization? You want to get down to 12% body fat? You want to speak 5 languages?

The question isn’t whether or not it will happen. The question is how?

 Spend your mental energy, your emotion, your time, answer that question. You’ll find the answer.

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