Running along the Rillito yesterday, I glanced up at the building clouds. Tucson has been under the thumb of hurricane Javier, or at least, the extreme arms of the storm, for a week now. Only a few days before, this is what we got treated to here in the old pueblo.
Now, however, the clouds lay thick with threats and posturing, but nary a drop fell. The blanket in the atmosphere just captured all of the moisture in the usually arid desert of southern Arizona, causing me to sweat buckets while I was grinding out my training run. It reminded me of the song on Sting’s Ten Summoner’s Tales “Heavy Clouds but No Rain“. The weather was flirting with all of us, but the lack of rain gave proof to the lie – the threat was an empty one.
In the right context, flirting can be fun and even healthy. I love to flirt with my wife, be playful, and joke around. Flirting bespeaks of a familiarity, whether it’s legitimate or not, that can be disarming, relaxing. In the wrong context, flirting can bring disaster. Leaving aside the many things we can say about how flirting can go bad in relationships, think about the other things we flirt with in our lives.
We flirt in relation to our finances. We flirt in our relationship to our personal goals. We flirt in relation to our fitness and eating habits. We make these declarations of what we want to do, and sometimes we actually flirt with greatness, but as the mundane sets in, we find that we are not really committed. I find that I have found a reason (see: excuse) for not going all-in with my original plan of cutting back on sugar or running everyday or sticking to the plan. We get excited about the big picture, but lose our resolve in the moment to moment decisions.
On the one hand, it’s good to flirt with greatness so long as you don’t get discouraged. It’s good to have a vision of where you want to go, what version of yourself you can aspire to be, and how you want to grow. Keeping the goal in front of you, staying consistent, getting back up when you fail over and over again – I’m convinced these are some of the key steps to success.
But when we flirt with greatness and don’t follow up consistently, with commitment, in the small quiet moments, then we give proof to the lie that we were ever willing to give ourselves the slightest chance, in the first place. We were just playing.
I guess all I’m really saying is, love yourself enough that beyond just flirting with a better you, you follow through.