Have you ever experienced whiplash?
I’m not talking about the kind you get in a rear-end collision. I mean the figurative kind of whiplash.
Have you ever thought you were making progress towards your dreams…only to be brought to a screeching halt when you discovered what it would take to get there?
Maybe you imagined becoming a bestselling author, but then you got discouraged by the thought of writing tens of thousands of words every day.
Maybe you wanted to become a physician, until you started to consider the years and years of schooling involved.
Maybe you dreamed of founding a successful startup business, but you convinced yourself that it wasn’t worth the hours of work required.
Why do we do this to ourselves? Why do we give up before we have even started? Why do we stand at the base of the mountain, intimidated by the ascent?
Preparing Ourselves for Success
Those early days on the path to your dreams can feel so far removed from where you want to be.
The work can seem tedious, dull or even pointless. The amount of work required can be daunting, especially in a culture that implicitly says that girls aren’t good at math or science or other “hard” subjects.
But what if we changed the way we talk about the hard work required to cultivate success? What if we thought of it as training for a marathon or rehearsing for a big performance?
What if we stopped looking at the resistance and struggle of hard work as setbacks and obstacles to overcome? If instead, we talked about it as something that makes us stronger & helps us improve.
Maybe even something to relish & enjoy, like a satisfying workout.
Work is Not a Four Letter Word
There is no question that it takes hard work to find success.
Working towards a big goal or dream creates a solid foundation of the skills you’ll need to be successful when you reach that goal. Focused work, consistently applied, strengthens your discipline–the bedrock of success.
When you first start studying music, you wonder why you have to practice scales & chords hundreds of times. You’ll never play a scale in a concert, right?
But all that hard work…all that practice gives you the ability to play a song fluently, to improvise, to compose your own creations. It may have felt tedious, but it was a necessary part of your growth & development.
And the hard work you’re doing now is making you more capable to perform the work required of you when you reach your goals.
Because the work doesn’t end when you reach a certain point. When you earn the diploma. When you get the promotion. When you attain mastery in your field.
Hard work isn’t just the thing that gets you there. It’s the reason why you’re there.
Not work for work’s sake. But work that is aligned with your goals & dreams. Work that you apply purposefully & intentionally in order to invest in your future.
If you truly believe in the worth of your dreams and understand the work that must be done, then don’t let it scare you. Don’t be discouraged by it.
Everybody struggles on their first day of practice.