Here you are – half way toward your dream and that feeling has hit.
You’re broke. Waking up early. Your place is a mess. Your friends wonder why they don’t hear from you. You took up a shit job to create time for your dreams and now you’re wondering if maybe you’re just a dummy with a shit job.
The early stages of your dream don’t look as good as you first imagined it. Kind of garbage, really. It felt great inside of you, but now it doesn’t look as good as it felt at first.
You’ve by now noticed all the people that have done this before you and done a pretty good job of it.
You’ve been hustling every single day and what you have to show for it is absolute bupkis.
This doesn’t feel like a youtube motivational video
This is that feeling they describe on the youtube motivational videos. It was much more romantic on those youtube videos though because so many of them are about just getting started.
Some dude with a deep voice mentioned perseverance and the will to grind through obstacles when things get hard. The video showed a football player running through pylons and a string symphony playing in the background. And it felt good then because we were inspired with all the glow of a new direction.
But getting started is the easy part.
“You learn by finishing things” – Neil Gaiman, award-winning writer
You know what’s a short amount of time? Six years.
How is that a short amount of time you ask? That’s the time elapsed between when Michael Jordan was cut from his high school varsity basketball team to the time he was drafted in the first round to the NBA. He would be named Rookie of the Year one year later.
It just gets more stunning the more you think about it. Where everyone else in the world would have quit, Michael Jordan willed himself onward to greatness.
If I asked you to work like the devil, through all kinds of hardship and turmoil and failures for only six years, and in return I would give you millions upon millions of dollars for the rest of your life and everlasting fame, would you do it?
Of course you would. Because six years in the grand scheme of things is small.
So what’s slowing you down right now?
Physically write down your current obstacles
Take inventory of your obstacles. Treat them like your enemy. Know your enemy. Reduce your obstacles to their smallest components to overcome them.
On the left side of a page, write down your current obstacles. Whether they are external – finances, location, resources, mortal enemies, or internal – self-doubt, health, not knowing what the next step is.
Next to them, write down your feelings about them. This is simply to digest them. Now it’s out of your system. You might not have a solution – yet – but as long as it was bouncing around inside of you it wasn’t being address. Now it’s out in the open and the solution will come sooner than you think.
When your product isn’t coming how you wanted, think about who you want to be
You thought you’d paint great paintings but they just look like Hallmark cards.
You thought you’d be an entrepreneur but no one’s buying.
You thought you’d quarterback your way to the Superbowl but you’re in Nowheresville, Saskatchewan and you’re losing every single game.
You still have to get the job done. Not because you are a maker of amazing things, but because doing those things is who you are.
Any published writer will tell you about how they had to write five books that were rejected before their sixth one was accepted by a publishing company. Every single one of those first five books was like their baby, in which they pumped all their heart and soul, only for them to be rejected and never see the light of day.
But they couldn’t help being writers. They write because who they are precedes the products they make.They want to be writers because they are writers so they write.
Who you are precedes your product. So you can’t quit. If you quit doing your thing, you quit being you. If you do that, you float through life with nothing.
How to eat an airplane
You surmount any insurmountable object by breaking it down to smaller pieces.
Just ask my personal hero and role model Michel Lotito, who ate an entire airplane. One small piece at a time.
Identify your obstacles and break them down to their smallest components. Know who you are.
You have to at least finish.