Pursuing Your Goals: Insight from Charlie Brown

“In the book of life, the answers aren’t in the back.”
-Charlie Brown

To which he exclaimed, “Good grief.” And rightfully so. Nothing comes easy, and you’re never really fully prepared for what’s to come. It’s impossible to forecast what’s coming down the pipeline. In the world of marketing (and beyond), it’s out of the question to know the exact outcome of a campaign you launch. There are many variables to said campaign that are setting you up for potential success and/or failure. And let’s be honest with each other here – nobody on the planet is successful 100% of the time. If they say otherwise, don’t trust ‘em! When it comes down to it, it’s just as important to embrace failure as it is to celebrate success. In a way, losing teaches us a far more valuable lesson than winning.

What’s admirable about Charlie Brown is his “never give up” mentality. Though he never actually connects with the football, he never backs down from trying again when the opportunity presents itself down the road. It’s in his pursuit that we can find inspiration. Even in defeat he gets up and tries again. We should all be so brave in all our endeavors. If everything in life was easy, nobody would be pushing ahead. There’d be no reason to “chase a dream,” and there’d be no point in competition for the good of an industry. In a word, it would be a pretty blasé existence, no?

“Sometimes I lie awake at night, and ask, ‘Where have I gone wrong?’ Then a voice says to me, ‘This is going to take more than one night.’”
-Charlie Brown

In the world of marketing there are trailblazers, and there are conformists. Both get the job done, but one is afraid to fail. Truth is, behind every success story are at least a couple fails. It’s just the nature of the beast. It’s the due diligence you serve in striving for greatness, or a new, fresh idea. Step out of your comfort zone for a day or just for a few minutes even. You never know what you might find outside these self-imposed boundaries. There could be an answer or an interesting story out there that you wouldn’t find or figure out otherwise. It’s an interesting world if you’re willing to take a chance. Sure, you might fall down and scrape your knee, or your ego might take a shot that will leave you feeling a tad uncomfortable; but the potential reward for trying something new and being persistent in chasing down the “dream,” could ultimately lead to an end result that will define you and your place as a professional.

If you end up one of the fortunate ones and actually place a strike on that ball, relish in the moment, but remember that even though the ball is airborne, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s going to cruise through the uprights. Even the best NFL kickers don’t make 100% of their attempts. It’s never been done. Check the stats. A kick is a kick, but the path the ball takes after it leaves your foot is where the meat of the plan lies. The point is, don’t stop after one win. Keep on racking up the points. In a world that is constantly changing, stay a step ahead of the pack and keep kickin’. The definition of a legacy isn’t generally defined by one instance. It’s defined by the repetitive task of getting after your goals and conquering them. If Charlie Brown can continually get up and keep sprinting down the path – well knowing that Lucy is the variable that is holding him back – it’s evident he’s looking to teach us something. Remove the variable. Get a tee. And get to kickin’ while the kickin’ is good.

You’re a good man, Charlie Brown. Thanks for the lesson(s) and for blazing the trail for us to navigate with a fresh set of eyes, and ideas.

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