A Troublesome Journey
I’ve embarked on this journey in a quest for happiness and fulfillment. But I’ve noticed I fail to act upon my goals sometimes. I waste time online with meaningless tasks or don’t get up when I’m supposed to.
I skip meals when I know they are important and so forth. It’s the little things that can make the difference between success and failure. I’ve been a bit sick a few days ago and it really made me think about how much I really want the goals I’ve set out to complete (Post on goals).
I’ve skipped my normal routine and didn’t really complete that much last week. And it bothered me a great deal (and I’m glad it bothered me, because it gave me the chance to reflect on my goals)
Excuses Blocking Persistency
I can always argue with myself that the conditions weren’t perfect (truth be told, they never are and never will be). Things like; The weather isn’t right, I’m not feeling like it today, I’ve already done this or that,… . There are so many reasons why you shouldn’t do something difficult or challenging. But in the end there is only one reason that truly matters. Only one question that can decide if your goal is valuable enough to be pursued. And that is; “Do I want this?”
Whenever your motivation seems burned out and your inner fire has abandoned you. Look yourself in the mirror and ask yourself; “Do I want this?“, “Will this make me grow as a person?”. And if you know, deep inside you that the answer is yes. Then it doesn’t matter what you are about to do or what reward you get from doing that. The only thing that really matters is acting upon your goals. Following trough with what you’ve set out to do.
Off-course you can start doubting yourself if this is truly what you want, since you aren’t motivated to do it anymore. Is the work I’m doing any good? Am I making any progress at all? Why am I not seeing the results I want to have? Sometimes you just have to block out that voice of uncertainty and simply remember why you started something in the first place. Get back in touch with yourself and drown out the voices that tell you that you’re no good. Just block out the negativity and continue! Even when you’re not really feeling like it. Eventually the fire will be rekindled by your actions. (motion before emotion)
Power Of Persistency
So that is where persistence kicks in! It is doing something worthwhile even if you’re not feeling like it. Persisting is believing you can actually accomplish what you’ve set out to do if you just try a little bit longer. The continuation of effort after motivation has abandoned you. Persistence will get the job done on those difficult days. Everyone has periods in which they feel less driven to work towards their goals. Even the most successful people have had periods in which they felt apathetic towards their goals. But that never stopped them. And that is exactly why they have become who they are.
Thomas Edison “failed” 10 000 times before he invented the light bulb. Everybody around him told him that it wasn’t possible but even that did not stop him.
“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”
– Thomas Edison
Failures do not exist. They are just stepping stones to take yourself to a higher level. So I recommend to run that extra mile, write that extra couple of pages or work an extra hour on your artwork once in a while! That little bit of extra effort is mostly what will make the difference in the end!
Although you can persist in irrelevant matters, I personally don’t count that as an intelligent decision. If your goal isn’t relevant to you personally, you shouldn’t be pursuing it anyway ;). Keep that in mind when you tackle your next objective! Many people are climbing a ladder that’s positioned against the wrong wall. Talking about how “productive” and “persistent” they are when they are actually not working towards their goals. So I can pretty much state that activity doesn’t necessary equal productivity.
It doesn’t hurt to reflect on the direction you are taking in your life once in a while. Personally I do a self reflection every Sunday. This helps me to stay on track and focused.
Be aware there are two sides of the coin. So you shouldn’t be to hard on yourself either. As with all things, a balance is needed. You can’t expect to work all day, everyday without rewarding yourself from time to time. I even think it is a necessity to spend at least half an hour alone every day on things that relax your mind and make you happy. The simple things that make you smile. For me that is listening to music or audio books, reading great stories, writing and cooking. At the moment I’m listening to Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll. (Which I get from this website for free if you want to try this out ;))
I try not to judge myself on the outcome of my performance, the results should speak for themselves when my actions are grounded and complete. If the energy I send out is aligned with truth, love and power it will eventually come back to me in some form (if you don’t know what I mean by that, read my article on conscious living. It might clear some things up).
I do however judge myself on the effort I put into my work. It is the only thing that should be up to par at all times. (Taking out the rest/reward periods). If I’m not striving to be better every single day I’m only letting myself down in the end.
I write this post to remind myself of this. I have been forgetful to many days in a row now. I got washed away by the currents of life and forgot what is truly important to me. The things I find meaningful and interesting should be a daily priority.
In short; I just need to remind myself of this more often and trust my previous judgment in times of difficulty. Meaning following through with the things I’ve set out even if I’m not feeling like it at the moment. In the end this is what will make the difference in the long run. It’s what will make the difference between success and failure. The little daily efforts will all add up to your end results. This probably sounds cliche to most people but nothing is more true than that statement. To make it even cheesier I’m going to quote an roman poet;
“Dripping water hollows out stone, not trough force but trough persistence” – Publius Ovidius Naso
So the next time you don’t feel like completing the goals you have set out to do, read this post again. ;)
Realize that you can’t work in overdrive all the time. You’ll just break down. Like a car needs maintenance, the human body needs rest. Stop judging yourself by the output you generate. Only judge yourself by the effort you put into your goals and dreams. Accept there are times you need the rest and take that time to fully recuperate your production capacity. Trust you intuition and listen to your body.
But also realize that you shouldn’t tolerate laziness to a certain extend. I’ve you’ve taken time of (work, training, writing, …, ) and recuperated completely there should be no reason not to pick up your goals once again. I even get the urge to train if I haven’t gone to the gym in a while. I actually feel pretty lazy and down if I haven’t done anything useful after a couple of days :D. And I’m probably not the only one…
Anyway. I hope this post has given you some insights on the importance of persistence and motivation when times get rough. If you have any questions or thoughts on this topic, feel free to share them in the comment section below.