We all want good things for ourselves. We want success, we want to get fit, we want to achieve great things, make money and find love. There’s nothing to be ashamed of. We want those things because they make us happy.
The problem arises when we’re impatient about it. We start to work towards our goals and we expect that great things should happen immediately. When I started this site, I thought I’d be selling hundreds of posters in the very first month. And when it didn’t happen, I was disappointed and felt demotivated.
Success doesn’t come easy. We know that, and we tell everyone else that, yet we behave irrationally when it comes to our own success. We set goals for ourselves but our timelines are unrealistic. And when we don’t reach our goals in the time we set ourselves, we are disappointed and demotivated.
And then we quit. After all that hard work of trying to reach our goals, we quit because we didn’t reach it in some arbitrarily unrealistic timeline we set ourselves. Sounds silly when you think of it does it not?
We’re only jeopardising ourselves. We’re setting ourselves up for failure. Our goals are attainable but we must realize they take time.
Here’s a common example. You decide to get fit and start working out, you do some research online and pick a workout plan from a website, and then you hit the gym. Two weeks later you look at yourself in the mirror and you don’t see much change. You get disheartened and blame the workout plan. You ditch it and feel like this whole gym thing is not for you. You get demotivated and you quit the gym.
Sounds like someone you know? I’ve been there. I was given a workout plan by a friend who ran a protein shop. He was huge and I wanted to know the secrets to gaining muscle like him. He gave me a workout plan and a diet plan. Two weeks later, I quit the plan because I couldn’t see any changes. When I told my friend it wasn’t working out, he asked me how long I’d been trying it.
I said, “Two weeks.”
He said, “Exactly!”
Things won’t happen in two weeks. Not even two months. Sometimes it takes two years or more. Two years of working towards your goals consistently, not expecting miraculous results, not getting disheartened or demotivated, and not giving up.
So how do we get past this self-defeating habit? It’s easy, and it takes a few simple mindset changes.Lower your expectations
We expect way too much of ourselves. We look around and see unrealistic idols being touted by the media, and we think we can do the same. The concept of overnight success is widely propagated and yet massively flawed. There’s a famous quote about it – “It takes ten years of hard work to become an overnight success”
Stop expecting to become an overnight success. It doesn’t happen like that. Lower your expectations and give yourself some breathing room.Live in the now
Stay in the present moment. Too often all we think about is the future. Will I complete this goal by age 25, and that goal by age 30? It puts unnecessary pressure on ourselves and that adds to our chances of failure.
Forget about the future and live in the present moment. Don’t set timelines. Set goals, create tasks and work towards completing them. But don’t set a deadline for yourself because you don’t need one. You have all the time in the world.Keep the faith
If you’ve got a workout plan, then have faith that it will work. I’ve you have a plan for achieving your goals, then stick to it. You’ll find the journey hard and at times you’ll feel like you aren’t getting anywhere. Just have faith and keep at it. Because giving up definitely won’t get you anywhere.Take a step back
When you feel like there’s too much going on and you’re getting rushed, just take a step back. Calm down, breathe, and relax. Take a break, maybe eat a KitKat (but only one). Realize that you have all the time in the world, and that deadlines are not laws that govern your life.Be patient
Above all, just be patient. This doesn’t mean you take things slow. You can still be extremely productive, yet thoroughly patient. Impatience makes you want to finish things quicker by taking shortcuts. Don’t half-ass anything. Work fast, but finish your task to the best of your ability. Take pride not in how quick you finished something, but how thorough you were with it.
Before I finish this post, I want to leave you with a quote that perfectly summaries everything I said here. This is the quote behind our Keep the Faith poster.
“When you look in the mirror and see no change, and you still keep the faith, knowing that in time you WILL get there if you stay the course, that’s the difference between those who ultimately succeed and those who fail.”
(Last Updated: April 23rd, 2017)