Are you ready for the fruition of that big goal or dream? You say you want it, but how true is that? Is it something you’re just good at talking and thinking about, or are you busy being about it, too? Do you know what it really means to be about it? Are you aware that achieving victories is more about actions than anything else? I love the saying: “I can show you better than I can tell you.” That idiom is what’s at the core of all major accomplishments, and what’s required daily when you’re in The Victory Lab.
First, let me ask you something. Are you actually in the lab, or are you standing outside, fiddling with the doorknob because you’re too afraid to enter and make the commitment to stay until you’ve won? Talking about going in, even psyching yourself up to make that move, is lovely. But how much more time are you gonna spend doing that? Until you decide to go in, shut the door, and get to work, that dream will never move from your head and heart into reality. If you want the prize, then you have to get in the game; and the game doesn’t truly begin until you embrace—and temporarily move into—the lab.
If you’re one who visits The Victory Lab often and emerges triumphant, then you already know how it works in there, and this post isn’t for you. Right now, I’m talking to everyone who’s never been in it, or maybe they stuck a toe in on occasion but got scared and ran away. If that’s you, then it’s time for your crash course in how to take command of the lab once and for all, so you can start living the life of a champ instead of watching other people be the winners all the time, and wondering how they did it.
The following list will give you a good idea of what you’ll need, what to expect from, and how to function in, the lab:
· Faith. If you already have it, then it’s time to step it up; go harder with it; you’re gonna need its foundation to be solid. If you don’t have it, then I’ll be honest: things are gonna be bleak as hell in there. To be even more frank, you probably won’t last long. The lab is no place for the weak in faith. And let me clarify that I’m not talking about any specific type of faith—whatever your religious or philosophical belief is, is great, as long as it works for you and you believe in it. You'll need it to manifest and continually strengthen the discipline and diligence necessary to succeed in the lab. Get ready to lean on it harder than you ever have.
· Clarity and Desire. You have to be super sure about what you’re pursuing and why, and your desire to get it has to be so deep that you're willing to jump as far into the trenches as possible to make it happen. Going into the lab half-cocked and confused is not advised. Once you’re in, you need to be ready to focus on making specific and well-executed moves, not trying to figure out what you want. Being uncertain about your strength of passion and desire for your goal when you enter the lab is like walking onto a battlefield unarmed. And you know how that ends. Impenetrable passion is your mandated armor. Make sure you have it strapped on tight.
· Patience. This may prove to be the biggest challenge. Depending on what you’re after, you may be in there a while. A long while. Possibly years. This is also why clarity is important. Unknown timelines, and even those with designated endings in the not-so-near future, can be daunting when you’re crystal clear about your mission. If you lack passion or clarity about why you’re in the lab, then the “when” of it all can be that much more difficult to deal with.
· Discernment. The Victory Lab is a sacred place, where only certain people should be allowed to visit while you’re in there. You have to be extremely careful of who you let in to your energy realm when you’re in lab mode. Being in the lab is tantamount to performing spiritual surgery—only other surgeons who’ve performed it should be in the room with you. This means that if you run with a crowd of people who aren't reaching for the stars, so to speak, or who’ve tried and given up before they got to the top, then you may need to limit your conversations with them. They won’t understand your commitment to the journey or be able to relate to what you’re doing and why. Lab time truly calls for being around like-minded people as much as possible. I also don't advise talking to them about your lab work (i.e. struggles, fears, dilemmas) when you peek your head out for some air and socializing. Though they may care about you and honestly want you to succeed, the truth is that people who’ve never had the courage to tackle the lab are not usually the best people to confide in or look to for advice when things get rough. I didn't say they never are; sometimes people can uplift you even if they don't fully get your path. But generally, if you feel like you need encouragement or an ear to bend, then it’s best to seek out other lab experts, ones who’ve made it across the finish line and can possibly mentor you. I should briefly mention that you may also need to be cautious when interacting with people who have endured the lab in a different area than you. For example, your friend did his or her lab work in the home-buying arena, but you’re trying to accomplish an off-brand career goal. Your friend may know all about buying property now, but hasn’t the slightest clue about how to navigate these strange waters you’re in. Think of it like an oral surgeon trying to assist and understand the process of a heart surgeon. Completely different types of surgeons who were mentored by people who knew the ins and outs of their field. I’m not saying cut off all your friends, family, and associates just because they’re not lab savvy or your type of lab savvy; I’m saying choose your conversations with them wisely.
· Research. Whatever you’re pursuing, you would be wise to learn as much about it as you can while you do so. Unless you’re in school to achieve it, you probably don’t know a whole lot about it. Part of your lab work is making sure you know what to do with your goal once you get it. Your own brand of homeschooling on the subject should always be in progress if you’re not attending school. If you’re not even compelled to learn about your goal beforehand, then that says a lot about your level of passion for it.
· Indifference. Basically, mind your own business. If you’re wasting time and energy focusing on the who, what, where, when, why, and how of other people’s lives; gossiping, getting caught up in social media comment threads, Googling the latest juicy deets, jumping on the phone to spew the info and hoping to get more, and having visceral responses to these people’s situations and actions, then you’re most certainly not in the head space to pursue a dream. I know sometimes it’s easy to get distracted by other people’s lives; I’ve done it. But as soon as I realize I’m focused on something that has nothing to do with my goal, I shut it down and get my life together.
· Silence. I can’t stress enough the fact that you need an abundance of quiet time when you’re in the lab. By quiet time, I mean total silence … just you and your thoughts and feelings. You need time each day to check in with yourself about how things are going, and to tap into your spirit for wisdom, courage, and answers to questions that only you can answer about your journey. None of that can happen with distractions like TV, music, Internet, phone calls (including texting), and in-person conversations in the mix. Give yourself the gift of complete silence so you can stay properly connected to your dream and remain clear about how to move through the process to get to the other side.
· Bounce-Back. All kinds of random, ridiculous, serious, scary, confusing, disheartening obstacles will appear while you’re in the lab that can potentially knock you off track to the point where you consider giving up on your goal—or at least slowing your pursuit down considerably—if you're not careful. When they appear, don't use them as excuses to quit but instead as fuel to ground yourself even more firmly on your path. You wouldn’t let people just walk up and punch you in the face without some kind of retaliation, would you? I didn’t think so. Don’t let obstacles have free reign in your life. Strike back with refusal to be defeated, and renewed determination to win.
The Victory Lab (and your subsequent success) awaits all of you. Go in. Brave it. Surround yourself with others who are in it or have conquered it, and form an alliance. Stay in until you emerge a champion. The euphoria you’ll feel when you finally share your testimony, and inspire others because of it, will be worth every minute of your time there.
For information about my Life Challenge Consulting, please visit www.honorthespirit.com.