There’s the sexy stuff in life, and the not-so-sexy stuff. Which are you focusing on?
Our dreams are the sexy stuff—the big visions, the halleluiah moments. But those make up maybe 1% of life, if that. All the steps leading up to those moments, or 99% of life, tend to be the not-so-sexy stuff.
Focusing on the sexy stuff can be super-inspiring. It can also be discouraging, if we measure what we don’t have or aren’t yet doing by that yardstick. We tend to consider the not-so-sexy stuff, boring. Do you want to treat 99% of your life like it’s boring????
Here’s how I got thinking about this:
You may know that my mother is a motivational speaker, using her cross-country bicycle experiences post age 60 to inspire and encourage others beyond perceived limitations. As she says, “It’s never too late to say ‘yes’ to bigger things!” (Find and follow her adventures here.)
I have a technical role in helping with her bike adventure emails and blog. This means I see the stats on how many people are opening her emails. The open rate recently dropped from 75% to about 50%. (50% is still a very high open rate. 75% is jaw-dropping.)
Why the change? Earlier this summer, she biked 660 miles from MN to WY for her 60th high school reunion. (Sexy, right?) Then she rode the Wyoming State Ride: Tour de Wyoming—6 grueling ride days at high altitude, 50 miles/day or more. At 77 years old, there was only one other gentleman vying for the position of “Ride Elder.” (Also a Sexy Achievement!)
Right now, she is on a small 10-day self-supported bike tour with my dad in their home state (Minnesota), with shorter daily mileage (averaging about 25 miles/day. While still interesting, it drops on the “sexy-meter” substantially. Some may even see it as “boring.”
I get it. Time is limited, so we most often choose to read the Sexy Stuff in our spare minutes, to brighten our day and get inspired.
But in another light, it makes no sense. Anytime someone is doing something they love, it deserves attention and applause, in my book. Because when we delight in someone else’s accomplishments, we make space for the same in our own lives.
The truth? When you recognize that Sexy Accomplishments are reached by logging a ton of not-so-sexy achievements, you start to get why it’s all sexy.
Coach’s Challenge: While walking your own committed path, use the not-so-sexy accomplishments of others as a chorus of cheers and encouragement for your own not-so-sexy steps. If you are following someone who has reached the “sexy heights” you want to reach, then everything they do will seem sexy to you. Use this perspective to frame your own life, because to somebody, everything you do seems awesome and “sexy.” (Meaning impressive, appealing, admirable, bright and shiny.) So come on—I dare you: Take your to-do list, and let it all be sexy! I promise you, as you start treating everything you do as “sexy,” others will perceive it the way as well!