Here’s to all of you who has been working real hard on something, at work, at home, or even in the gym. I want you to picture this.
You’ve been training real hard for four weeks and when it’s time to measure your weight, you step on the scale and you only lost 1.3kg.
You’ve been working to learn how to relax and meditate for 12 weeks and you still can’t find the right zen.
You’ve been running, following the program to its word and yet can’t seem to run a 10km under 60 minutes.
You’ve been trying your best to network, reach out to prospective clients, research and review, only to get your proposal turned down by your entire board of directors.
It happens. We work hard, we stick to our habits, we try our very best to make things work but at the end of the day, we still get little to none mediocre progress. Without realising it, you’re faced with a dilemma, not knowing which way to go. Giving up would perhaps be the best option right now because seriously, why bother when you’re not even seeing any results?
But wait a minute, you’re not giving up are you? You shouldn’t. And I’m telling you this because you, my wonderful hard worker, you’re an amazing person. Giving up shouldn’t even be in your books. And I tell you why.
Before I start to do something, I make goals. It might not be a clear goal but I see the end, somehow. I start out feeling all pumped up and I don’t just go through the motions, I create them, giving my best to what I’m working on. But along the way, setbacks arise and no matter how much I try to make things right, something will always halt me from going on smoothly.
It happens in the best areas of my life — fitness, business and study and chances are it will happen to you too. Instead of telling yourself to quit, tell yourself to focus on the small, marginal gains, even if it’s only 1% improvement.
If you’re deadlifting, aim to improve your gains by just 1% per week. 101kg next week is amazing.
If you’re a writer, chances are you will be faced with a writers block. Instead of trying to just complete 500 words this week, and hope to come out with 600 words the next, aim to come out with even 505 words.
SMALL PROGRESS IS STILL PROGRESS
So you’ve lost 1.3kgs last month? In my books, that’s way better than 1kg.
It took two full months for you to write Chapter 2 of your fiction? That’s way better than writing 10 words.
You found one client after going back and forth speaking to one hundred people? That’s way better than nothing at all.
Whatever progress you’re having, even if it’s small, it is still progress. You’re working. You’re waking up every day to achieve something out of it. Be thankful that you’re even making that slight progress.
BREATHE, LIVE AND BELIEVE IN IT
If you want it bad enough, you must be prepared to breathe what you want. You must be prepared to live in what you want. And most importantly you must be prepared to believe in what you want. You have to want it bad enough to even have a close whiff of it, otherwise don’t even bother working hard.
If you don’t want it bad enough, no matter how much hard work you put in, you probably wouldn’t get the results you want.
It all comes down to your desire.
So ask yourself, how bad do you want it? How bad do you desire it?
THE SECRET IS…
Not in how motivated you are and it’s definitely not in the number of people who has your back.
The secret lies in being consistent, not just to your progress but to your setbacks too.
How do you be consistent in your setbacks? Anticipate it, before it comes knocking on your door. If you’re only making plans to progress, you’re planning to fail. Nothing in life is perfect no matter how much we want it to be. If you really want to succeed and if you really want to stop failure from hitting your stride, then plan for failure as well as you plan for success.
Having a rough day at work? Go out for a walk. That’s a failure plan.
Didn’t give your best in the gym? Grab a protein-packed lunch. That’s a failure plan.
Having a mental block? Call a friend. That’s a failure plan.
And if you haven’t noticed already, my failure plans do not include any words of giving up, stop now or let it go. Because planning for failure does not mean just putting what you plan to succeed aside.
Planning for failure simply means knowing what to do when things do not go right, and being consistent with it.
Do not give up. You’ve worked hard. You’ve pulled through the sessions in the gym without fail. You were in pain. You got up from that downward spiral several times. You cried, got angry and perhaps feel like hitting a brick wall. Why don’t you make something out of it?
Giving up is not an option because you know you’re better than that. You just need a reminder and I hope this serves you well.
I might not even personally know you but I know you’re strong. How? Because you even bothered to start working hard for whatever reason you’re doing it for. That’s pure human strength not everyone can have. Seize it, make full use of it and don’t worry about what progress you’re making in the short term. Because a small progress put together over several months can be phenomenal. And that’s what you’re aiming for.
Go be amazing.
Photo credit: Robin Hutton