I was in my car yesterday driving around and getting lost in my thoughts. The deeper into thought I got, the more I started to question myself.
How much longer until I am able to live my life exactly the way that I want to live? How long until I am able to travel and see the world? Do I actually have what it takes to make every single one of my dreams into my reality?
What I was failing to acknowledge at the time, was that I have only been focusing on my individual self-improvement for a year. Can I actually expect to achieve all of my dreams in a year? Can I really expect to have all of the success that I want after just a year of working for it?
Tony Robbins once said, “Most people overestimate what they can do in a year and they underestimate what they can do in two or three decades.
Well, Tony Robbins was right, especially in this case. This is where I was going wrong yesterday, and it is where most of us go wrong all throughout our lives.
Where most of us go wrong.
Goals take time to achieve, especially meaningful goals. But for some reason, when we set goals for ourselves, we do so while having the expectations to achieve them in a rapid amount of time because of a strong desire to do so. Well, it actually might be more of an urge than a desire.
What happens when we don’t achieve these life-changing goals within the short amount of time that we allow ourselves to achieve them? We tend to give up. We encounter the slightest of struggle and tend to allow that struggle to alter our desire to achieve the goals that we set for ourselves.
The thing is, when we see someone who has become successful, we only see the end result of that success. We don’t take into account the amount of time and dedication that was required to reach a certain level of success or the tens of thousands of other individuals who are out there chasing similar goals with little progress made thus far. We only see and recognize the end results of success without recognizing the effort and dedication that went into it.
As much as I hate to say it, this isn’t painting an accurate picture of how success works, though. And in the likelihood that somebody does achieve success very rapidly, it is unrealistic that this will happen to most.
Now, don’t let this discourage you. Instead, allow this to encourage you. Allow this to encourage you to set your goals over a long duration of time, and if you achieve your goals before the time that you give yourself, then so be it. Be grateful that you have achieved success before the date that you set for yourself, and move onto the next goal.
But for those, like me yesterday, who expect success to happen in the blink of an eye, let’s face it, that simply isn’t realistic. Goals, especially meaningful goals, are going to take long amounts of time and dedication to achieve. If they didn’t, then everyone would have achieved all of their goals by now. And when you allow yourself time to achieve your goals, you are less likely to be discouraged by the rate of progress that you are making.
Most people underestimate what they can do in two to three decades.
Imagine if instead of giving ourselves one year to achieve our goals, if we instead give ourselves two to three decades to achieve our goals. Imagine how much we could accomplish over the duration of that time. And while I know that it is exciting to this about immediate success, imagine how less discouraged you would be if you didn’t set goals for yourself that you expected to achieve in the blink of an eye.
As I look back on this last year, my life has improved in more ways than I could have ever imagined. I have poured sweat and tears (not blood, though) into improving my life, and I am a lot farther along than I expected myself to be. But in hindsight, I am only a fraction of where I want to end up.
Someday, I want to change the world in ways that have never been done. While a year might seem like a long time (and it is), it is only a small fraction of the average life expectancy. Can I really expect to change the world within just one year of starting out on my self-improvement journey? Maybe. But with how much progress I have made already, imagine what I can do in two or three decades. I will be twenty to thirty times better, stronger, happier, and successful that I am today. To me, that image is something worth working towards.
Life is a marathon, not a sprint.
You can’t win a marathon within the first mile, but you can lose it. Realize that your goals are going to take time to achieve. This doesn’t mean that you should procrastinate on your goals, because if you do that, then you will either never get started, or only distance yourself further and further from actually achieving them.
What this means is that you get started with the expectation that your goals are going to take time to achieve. Remember, change is not immediate. It happens through hard work, through dedication, through persistence, and through time. As long as you never give up on your goals, only then will you achieve them. So make sure that you are in it for the long haul, and never stop striving to turn your desires into your reality.
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