“Perseverance is not a long race; it is many short races one after another.” ~Walter Elliott
Sometimes I find it hard to keep up with my own progress. Waiting for my life to move forward can sometimes feel like I’m watching paint dry.
It is easy to feel as though our lives are at an end. I usually double my effort in these moments. It’s a race I do everything possible to win. The crash comes soon after from the inevitable violent collision of my mind, body, and spirit as they’re pushed beyond their limits.
Waiting for something is not a good idea. The thought that your cat’s costume might not arrive in time for Halloween is enough to bring some people to tears. Just thinking of Mr. Whiskers having to go out as a plain ol’ cat is a bloody crime.
And that’s waiting for a Cat costume.
How about the book that you feel like it would write?
You still weigh forty more than you should?
What about that bank account that still isn’t bigger than your credit card bill?
These are not the things we wish to delay. We don’t want to wait for the juice.
We’ve grown so impatient with the idea of waiting for results that we act like moving slowly is a poison to progress. The antidote we need is an injection of intense energy straight into our veins. This is what we default to believe. But all that gives us is further frustration, anger, guilt that we’re not doing enough, and the feeling that we need to push harder.
It’s such a horrible way to approach life. This is especially true when the last breath you take will be your finish line. And I don’t know about you, but I’m in no rush to get there early.
It’s exhausting even thinking about that period of my life when I wanted to write a book, lose forty pounds, and stop feeling broke. Not a day would pass when I wouldn’t be consumed by feelings of doubt and hopelessness. With the pressure that I put on myself, I could have made diamonds.
This struggle was the turning point in my life. It was clear to me that there were two options for making progress. It is possible to go hard and be intense. You can also set a long-term goal with consistency.
These are the things you believe will make it possible to move forward.
Think back to the children’s story of the tortoise versus the hare. For their profound and simple principles of approaching life, these lessons are worth revisiting.
While we all underestimate the amount of work we can do in one day, we often underestimate how much we can achieve in a whole year with consistent momentum.
How can you create a book? Establish a daily writing practice.
How can you lose forty pounds. Move your body daily and eat less calories than you burn.
What are the best ways to get rid of your debt? You can make a decision to each day not spend more than what you earn and invest any difference.
You’re not going to write a book in a day, but there’s a damn good chance you’ll have one in a year.
You’re not going to lose forty pounds in a day, but you could in a year.
You won’t get out of debt in a day, but you’ll set a trajectory for wealth creation that lasts the rest of your life.
How different could your life be a year from now if you committed to something that’s important to you?
For a second, just sit with this idea. Take it in.
Imagine what it would feel to have that book in your arms.
How would you feel if that number was on the scale?
How would you feel if your debt was gone and you were able to invest in the future?
I’m serious. Feel it. Wait till you get goosebumps.
This is peace, joy, and relief wrapped up like a Christmas bow. It is the understanding that your priorities can dictate your choices and you can achieve almost everything you desire in life. This is what consistent daily habits can do.
There’s a saying about hope not being a strategy for change. Hope is an amazing emotion. But I’ve seen myself get stuck for years waiting, wanting, and wishing for a better life. Hope didn’t give me a way out because it left me at the mercy of my current circumstances.
Writer Lu Xun said, “Hope is like a road in the country; there was never a road, but when many people walk on it, the road comes into existence.”
It is all about action, putting your foot in front of your other.
Your actions are a vote for the person that you wish to be. As we strive to live the life we desire, we will find fulfillment in all the small things we do.
What do you wish you could change if only it didn’t feel so hard? It could make a huge difference in your life, if each day you set aside one minute to focus on this goal and do just one thing.
You can make a commitment to living a daily routine that represents the person and life you desire. When you do this, you’re deciding to take back control of your life. You’re deciding to give yourself a better future. You’re deciding that you matter.
Chris Wilson is bipolar and creative, with an eye for personal improvement. His passions include minimalism and productivity. Simplify your Why is where he shares his experiences with type II bipolar disorder, depression and entrepreneurship. For anyone looking to have a more simple, productive and happier life (with less stress), he created this free course. It is available by clicking this link.
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Is it time to stop waiting, wanting, and wishing for better? Tiny Buddha was the first to publish this article.