If it's worth having, it won't be easy
I’ll be honest, I had planned to write about something totally different this week. However, when the writing spirit takes you over and compels you to start writing as early as 5am about something, then you really don’t have much of a choice and you’re only a vessel from that point on.
This week’s topic is going to focus on working towards what you really want and what you might have to face along the way, especially if you have some hefty ambitions.
For me, my ambitions are pretty simple: I want to write, I want to travel, I want to write about travelling, I want to live comfortably, build communities, etc. However, when you start to break it all down, you see where the difficulty comes in.
Let me explain, when you set goals for yourself, you have to decide not only how you’re going to go about achieving them (obviously, because goals without actions are just dreams), you also have to decide what form your life will take in the process of achieving them.
Let’s use an example; say you want to live comfortably, for some people, that means not working in an office or working a 9-5. They want a lifestyle that earns an income in a comfortable way and a way that they’re content with (yes there are some who consider this possible with a job, who will happily wake up at 5am and wipe the crust from their eyes because they’re doing something they love at their job and have no doubt about it, but this example will illustrate for those who choose another route).
So you want to live comfortably without a regular job, that is the goal, now you have to figure out what form your life has to take in order to achieve that goal. Are you going to freelance? Are you going to start a business? Are you going to start investing whatever money you have? These are the questions you have to answer if this is the route you choose to take, if it’s the only route you choose to take.
Some may do both, achieve that comfort by working a regular job and doing their own thing at the same time, but the reality is, not many people are able to do that effectively and there are some, that if you divide their attention and efforts, you essentially divide the results as well.
For example, if you work a job you hate simply to raise funds for a business you hope to start, a couple scenarios can present themselves, but I’ll only be focusing on two. One: you become this next level motivated person, unwavering in your dedication and solely focused on your goal so the only motivation at your job is the money you’ll be getting to fund your dream and because it’s your dream, that alone motivates you to work on it no matter what and two: because it’s a job you hate and it may take a lot out of you and the pay doesn’t quite measure up, you feel drained, so much so that you can’t seem to find the strength to work on your dream ESPECIALLY when other things come into play.
Now this is the root of this week’s topic: “If it’s worth having, it won’t be easy.” I mentioned that you may have difficulty finding the strength to work on your dream if other things come into play. Now I don’t just mean the hurdles you might have to go through to start a business for example such as conducting a feasibility study, conducting market research, drafting a business plan, securing funding, employees, acquiring office space, etc if you choose that route, but the mental stuff associated with it.
You are choosing to do something that a lot of people aren’t prepared to do, who don’t even have the slightest clue, some a lot of people wouldn’t even encourage you to do because it’s not “stable” (expresses disgust), so naturally, you’re going to have a host of different thoughts to deal with than someone who chooses only the safer route.
You see, if you’ve elected to focus all your time, energy and soul into what you truly love, that’s all fine and dandy, but the major thing that may floor you, get you down, even cause you to drop out of the dream-chasers’ race altogether, is uncertainty. Not knowing whether or not what you set out to do will be successful or crash in a huge fireball of failure, not knowing how you’re going to survive until your business starts, not knowing, well, anything.
You are left in the desert, standing, holding nothing but your dream and your will to pursue it to the bitter end, but the thoughts you may have can present themselves at the most inopportune times. The uncertainty, the fear when mixed with insecurity and self-doubt can have some serious negative effects on you and your plans.
It can make you feel like your dream is absolute garbage, that you’re not even meant for greatness and in some cases, that you’re not meant to be happy. The thoughts can vary, but the effect will still be the same, you’ll feel unmotivated, your enthusiasm will waver, you may even start to push people away, a number of things can happen. However, it’s what you do with these thoughts that counts.
You started for a reason, you wanted something for yourself, you wanted to strive to prove to yourself and maybe even those around you, that you can do it. I’m sure you didn’t start with the intention of failing or quitting and even if things don’t work out for you, are you going to be all emotional about it? “Oh, my first venture failed, I’m marked for failure, it won’t get any better.”
Pssh, if that’s how you think, then you shouldn’t have elected to do it in the first place. It is one thing to start your journey, it is a whole other story to finish it. Even though starting is an accomplishment by itself, in my opinion it takes way more out of you to continue, to be consistent, to not entertain the thoughts and even if you do, use them as motivation to prove yourself wrong.
I don’t know if it’s just me, but my mind sometimes does two things: it encourages me, makes me feel like I’m capable of anything and everything I set my mind to and then it goes out of its way to pee on my self esteem, sometimes causing me to doubt myself, my potential and my capabilities. Regardless, those thoughts have to be used as fuel to push you towards the finish line. If your dream is what you really want, then you have no other choice.
Failure cannot be what causes you to fail, because people succeed and fail at things every day. Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm – Winston Churchill. It’s not going to happen overnight and it may not happen on your first try, but the biggest obstacle is going to be you. When you doubt yourself, when you don’t even start, you are twice defeated and then really, who’s going to save you?
It isn’t an easy journey at all, you’re going to go through a lot and if you’re not prepared to deal with that reality, then maybe it’s just not for you. If it were easy, everyone would do it, and even more so, it wouldn’t be worth having. The blood, sweat, sleepless nights, discouraging thoughts, doubt, all-nighters, forgetting to eat, all of that; won’t it feel so much better when you take that soul-easing sigh of relief once you’ve achieved your goal, once you’ve stuck through it. When you look back with nostalgia at all you had to do, all you had to go through to get where you are now? But in order to do that, you first have to finish.
Don’t lose what makes you unique, many people won’t even take the first step. Just the fact that you started puts you in a totally different category. However, once you have, don’t stop there, see it through to the bitter end, because you have no idea what can come once you cross that finish line, or what you can discover on that journey along the way.