Like all things that are ambitious or overwhelming, there comes a point when you have to think about the cost. Weigh up all the odds and decide where your values sit. When it comes to thinking about accomplishing a goal there’s always a price to be paid. Let’s talk about those today.
This stage I’d like to call checking the reality. A time beyond the idea honeymoon period, a time when to be serious about things. Checking the reality keeps you on the train tracks and away from danger. It sets up strong and tangible evidence to not only encourage you to try but to also ensure that it’s do-able.
I’m not going to go deep into defining what reality means because I’m not writing a dictionary. However, the process of reality checking comes back to prioritization. Reminding yourself why you wanted to do it in the first place. Playing on the momentum you set in the first chapter when you were planning to do.
It’s all about laying out your priorities clearly for all to see but especially yourself for reminding. With so much going on in our lives and the constant time restraints be it work or study, prioritizing becomes a case of habitual routine.
My family will always be my top priority which is a direct result of being trained to drop everything for my family when something important comes up by my parents. But when it comes to second, third, fourth and fifth priorities it becomes a bit more dependent.
That is why mapping out your priorities at this point in time is important because it shows how serious you are in overcoming your challenge. By writing down a list or making a clear mental note to self is a powerful tool in general but also for allocating resources such as time and heart.
Jotting down all of your major interests including overcoming your challenge will give you a clear indication as to what your next steps are. A decision to either go through with it or to do nothing. I believe this is the last time you can change your mind and give up. It’s the last “nothing gained nothing lost” moment.
At this point, you have to consider what it means to you. Whether you stayed up at night sleepless because your brain couldn’t stop buzzing about the idea of doing it. If those around you are amped and excited about seeing you succeed. When you meet strangers and they ask what you do, your answer should be “I overcome challenges.”
It’s important you weigh the idea up thoroughly and decide seriously whether or not you believe in yourself. The most important thing to do is believe and the only way to make that happen consistently is by feeling it in your heart. Every part of you just wants to get it done. That’s the reality you need to be checking. Those are the rails you need to be setting up.
There is a raft of hurdles which come after choosing that you want to commit yourself wholeheartedly that need to be considered also. Deciding to do something cool doesn’t automatically make it happen but it’s a damned good start. There’s something about believing in yourself that really does power you over any hurdle set out in front of you.
Financial position, health/well-being, and the support of your family. These are major obstacles that you cannot avoid when you’re trying to overcome a large challenge. While they are unavoidable they are certainly manageable. They can be softened to open up new opportunities and they can be worked around in order to help you succeed. But you need to really truly back yourself and believe in the idea that you’re capable of accomplishing your goal. Or else it will all simply be too much.
Financial position is important because everything costs money. Bikes aren’t cheap, tubes don’t grow on trees and wheels don’t fix themselves. You need to be aware of the realistic cost of achieving what you would like to achieve. There’s always a cost associated with overcoming large goals but the excitement factor comes from when somebody sees what you’re doing and goes out of their way to help you get it done financially, so it’s not really the biggest problem in the world.
Good food can be really hard to afford as a student but you’ll have to compromise in order to create. Thankfully I was one of maybe 10% of students who could afford to eat really good food, but it’s not something everyone can have so this has to be realized before you get into any final decision making.
Health/wellbeing is such a fragile and sensitive thing to maintain. Mental, physical and spiritual health are all super important characteristics to think about. If not for health there would be nothing anyway. For my bike ride, there was no denying that my health was extremely important. I had to make sure at all times that I was sleeping well, eating well and that I was always spending time with good people in order to accomplish my bike ride.
The hardest thing to take into account is whether or not you have the support of your family. For my bike ride, there was a clear understanding that my parents were definitely not going to endorse me going through with it. They were not going to help pay for my bike ride, they were not going to support me along my bike ride. Out of a fear for my safety personally, as well as a caring mother who didn’t want her son to get hurt, there was no agreement that I would be allowed to go through with this bike ride. The answer was well and truly, “no.”
But this is where backing yourself comes into account. passed all the bills, all the bandages from crashing out, all the haters. The toughest part of taking a reality check is realizing how it affects those around you. It’s so important that you respect their wishes but it’s also important to consider what not having them around you looks like.
There was a point there for me when I had to laugh out loud in my head and tell myself that what I was doing was for the right reason. A fire that was unstoppable kind of like an ember at fire developing into a sun. I knew that the only way I would garner the support of my loved ones was by proving to them that I was going to do my bike ride with or without them by my side and in doing so praying that they would back me up.
It worked too. A few days before I was due to kick off from where it all began my mum rang to say she was sending my dad and younger sister to support car me from my second stopover. It would be the first of a number of breaks in the chain that would be reluctant at first but incredibly celebratory in the end. There was nothing more rewarding than backing myself to the point where it conflicted the views of my family and have them support me in the end. I would argue that this was the greatest challenge I’ve ever faced before and it’s something that can only be achieved if you truly believe in what you’re standing for. No bullshit, no naivety. The only way you will achieve complete success is if you fully commit to what you’re doing, keep a tunnel vision focus on what you’re aiming to do and get on and fucking do it. No second guessing, no checking for handouts, just by believing without a doubt that what you’re doing is possible and it’s something you must do.
Next time we will continue to look into the mindset behind overcoming your challenges, by definition it is something that takes time and patience but unfortunately it takes a lot more to challenge yourself into the discomfort of the unknown. All that and more!
Thanks for checking in!