How do you view success? Through rose colored glasses? From the cheap seats? Each day you wake up? Or from within your heart and soul.
When asking how people view success, one of the major themes that I have discovered resonating is an uncontrollable smile. A real smile that creeps up on you and you can’t help but release it. A smile that can only surface when you feel a sense of personal accomplishment. That inner peace that allows for your guard to be removed and your true emotions shine.
I smile quite frequently. I like to smile. Yet, I can also issue a pretty satisfactory glare as well. All of these emotions are in and around professional cycling and just my life in general. The multitudes of glares, grimaces, and smiles all come with the territory of who I am. I express myself through my bike and my life. When you allow yourself to take pure pride in your hard work, and regardless of the outcome, you know that your journey has led you to this moment –the smile of success is found. It isn’t in winning and losing. It is in knowing you did what you could, and you enjoyed the process.
How do you get this smile? You can’t be afraid of a little pain and difficult times where a smile is the furthest reaction from your mind. There are many grimaces before that smile will ever be liberated. Success is found in determination and suffering as well, but through that work, there is joy unearthed in abundance. The satisfactory smile is found after gritting your teeth and contemplating quitting but proceeding anyway through the pain. Smiles are built on a framework of expressions. Free your smile today. Take your expectations aside, and let yourself enjoy the road.
Share the smile. Success can also be found in leaving others with that special gift in your wake. Showing them that life is too short to be taken so seriously, and although we all want to succeed, a little lighthearted freedom should never be frowned upon.
Bike racing makes me smile, and I hope it always does, but more importantly, it is just the bike riding that I love the most. I always remind myself, although I love the sport, it isn’t everything. There is so much more to this big world besides bikes, and that makes me smile. I love the thrill of competition, the physical demands, and the mental requirements, yet I really just love the sense of independence and expression my bike creates. Each day being able to embrace the great outdoors is a success story for me. Don’t limit your success by making stipulations and faulty perceptions. Instead, look for that moment when you aren’t faking that smile that escapes your heart, and is present when you are truly enjoying what you are doing in that moment. Don’t be afraid to smile. Just because you are having fun, doesn’t mean you aren’t tough.
Don’t forget to post a success definition via twitter and tag #successproject to help me raise money for CAF!