I loved the Guinness Book of World Records when I was a kid. We would flip enthusiastically through that thick paperback and read out loud about the extremes in our world. We were amazed at the fun facts… from the unbeatable long jump of Bob Beamon to the world’s fastest guitar player doing Flight of the Bumblebee at 600 beats per minute. It was exciting by contrast, because most of our small town suburban lives were pretty average by Guinness standards.
This is why extreme achievements are the stuff of action movies and spectator sports. You can enjoy it vicariously without being in any real danger. With the exception of a couple of mid-life marathons and mountain climbs, most of my life has not been lived in the extreme at all. But that doesn’t make it any less challenging.
In fact, it may be more challenging to get through a one hour freeway commute with a positive attitude than climbing Mount Everest barefoot. How you keep your head up and get through the minor frustrations of each day may be the real effort worth celebrating. In my experience, the cumulative stress of constant annoyance can do more damage than a rough slide tackle in a soccer game.
I try to rise above it all with balance. I celebrate incremental progress and publicize small victories to myself and my friends. Essentially, I try to overwhelm the negatives with positives throughout my day. It’s a constant balancing act that I don’t always win… but one thing for sure is that I never quit trying.
When you dig into the facts around the extreme accomplishments in the Guinness Book, there is usually a story of someone who didn’t quit; who celebrated every little victory; and could look at the small stuff and not let it keep them from achieving the big stuff.
How are you celebrating along your road to record-setting?