“The journey is the dream.”

bryantKobe Bryant recently said this on the night his jersey(s) was retired. Kobe, who is one of the greatest basketball players in the history of the game, was notorious for his will to win, unbelievable work ethic and pushing his teammates.

For him going to the track at 5 am, spending extra time in the weight room and being on the court for countless hours before and after games was the dream.

His efforts resulted in five championships. He also created an environment where many of his teammates hated playing with him.

Push Yourself

As an athlete I was taught accomplishing lofty goals was possible if you were willing to push yourself hard enough.

As a coach I conveyed that same message to hundreds of athletes.

Set a meaningful goal, something you are truly passionate about achieving and be willing push yourself. Push yourself to be in bed early, to wake up before sunrise, to eat right, to do the extra things that make a champion.

Push through the pain, the fatigue, the fear and the doubt.

Recently I have found myself asking the question; is the journey the dream if you have to push so hard to stay on the path to reaching your goals?

To Push or To Pull

When contemplating this, the words of Tony Robbins had a powerful impact. Robbins encourages people to stop pushing and find what pulls them.

“There are 2 different kinds of motivation: Push requires willpower, and willpower never lasts.

What will last is pull – having something so exciting, so attractive, something you desire so much that you have a hard time going to sleep at night, you get up so early in the morning and take it to the next level.

That’s what you’re looking to get.”

Pushing takes energy. Pulling gives it.

Why did so many people hate playing with Kobe?

He wore them out.

Reaching the expectations he had for himself and others took extraordinary amounts of energy. Energy he had, but others did not.

Kobe had the energy because the idea of excellence pulled him, he didn’t have to continuously push.

Getting up early wasn’t a chore. He didn’t feel like he was sacrificing anything to study film.

This was not the case for many of his teammates.

In the past my work and my goals have all been things I am extremely passionate about.

I embraced the process and believed the journey was the dream. In the end putting my head down, pushing hard, being doggedly determined and a servant to self-discipline did not bring me joy.

I didn’t have the energy to look up to enjoy small victories or simply be grateful for the path I had the opportunity to travel. I used it all to push me towards my goals.

Being pulled does not change the terrain. Mountains still need to be climbed, rivers still need to be crossed, doubts are still there to contend with and it is still a grind.

The difference is when your head is up and you’re being pulled by a vision the journey truly becomes the dream.

Recently instead of writing goals I have written down what pulls me.

In the past I have explored my why, created a mission statement and defined my purpose, but this has been different.

It is a small shift in thinking, but a powerful one.

So the question remains “what is going to pull you out of bed in 2018?”

Jeff Grace