by Evan Lea, Co-Founder of 44Life
It’s worth noting how quick fixes rarely work in life, and when they do, the effect is short-lived. Humans instinctively look to preserve energy, so it makes sense we look for opportunities which require less effort. Whether it’s our diets, our investments, our relationships, or our professional lives: we are always looking for the easy way out. The fact remains that taking shortcuts often leads us to commit MORE energy than if we invested more energy in gaining a foundational understanding of whatever area it is we wish to excel. The best way to become successful is to not cut corners.
The problem is that progress isn’t fun. It’s hard. It’s monotonous. The road is riddled with speed bumps and setbacks. There are an inordinate amount of obstacles which discourage and dissuade from our ultimate goals. Here are four quick tips to helping you stay focused and ferocious in your pursuit of greatness.
Keep the end goal in mind
Don’t think about how hard it is. Think about how great it will feel when you’re finished. Think about how much of a better person you’re becoming because of the sacrifice you’re making. Think of your family and how proud of you they will be. Think of the food you’re putting on the table and all the great things you’ll be able to provide your loved ones if you succeed. Imagine with an intense fire the person you are becoming, and feel the strength and fire flow throughout your body.
Break it down into steps
Instead of becoming discouraged because the task is just too large, break what you want to accomplish down into steps. These steps should be ordered dependent on their importance and the effect they will have on the end goal. Do the things that will have the largest effect first (these will often be the most difficult). Once you accomplish these, though, your confidence and pride will increase. You may have used a lot of your energy to accomplish this difficult task, but because the subsequent tasks will require less effort, you will see them as very possible.
Get to work right away
A good plan is critical, but it doesn’t need to be a well-polished business plan or a detailed workout schedule in order to get started. Getting started immerses us in what we are working towards. By throwing ourselves into the fire, we gain new insights and new confidence. If we get involved with a community, we surround ourselves with similar goals and passions. The team aspect is invigorating and contagious. Adjust your direction depending on the insights you uncover. Be a mad scientist. The mad part means acting immediately. The scientist part means guessing, checking, and changing.
Take breaks frequently
Burnout is the biggest reason for failure. We pick something up, we love it, but then we lose our steam. Why is that? It’s because we overwork ourselves. It’s because we’re so hungry that we put ourselves through all the pain, but we don’t take the time to enjoy the journey. Slow down. Take frequent breaks, but remember the end goal. Visualize in a way that makes it attractive, fun, and light. Come back with a renewed focus and hunger.
Start habitually practicing these techniques, and you will see great progress in whatever your endeavor. Keep practicing, and stay hungry: it doesn’t happen overnight.