Life is a messy business – even when I give 100 per cent, there are still going to be days when I feel lost and hopeless. If you want to radically improve your life, you should expect plenty of messiness in your future too.
Life Gets Hard Even When I’m Doing What’s Needed to Achieve Success
I’ve found the only way to achieve anything important in life is to take full responsibility for my situation. I can’t make any progress while I’m focused on excuses or trying to place the blame elsewhere.
When I use excuses, I’m giving away my power. If I’m not responsible for my situation, how can I hope to improve it? It is always going to be possible to find reasons for living a mediocre life, but it just means I become an underachiever with an excuse – just like every other underachiever.
The other key to finding success is to become willing to do whatever it takes. There is always going to be a price to pay if I want to achieve anything, and if I’m not prepared to pay this price, I’m just wasting my time.
Taking responsibility and doing what is required just makes me an eligible candidate to achieve my goal. It doesn’t mean it’s all going to be plain sailing ahead – in fact, the real work has only just begun.
The Path Towards Achieving a Goal is Rarely Straight
It would be so wonderful if developing the right attitude and taking action automatically caused everything to just click into place. It is not that simple, and this explains why so many people don’t remain outside of their comfort zone for long enough to get to where they want to go – they feel discouraged and disillusioned by all the messiness.
I’ve come to expect the path towards my dreams to be full of twists and turns. I know there are likely to be days when I feel further away from my goal than when I started. I just have to keep telling myself it’s all perfectly normal – it doesn’t really make it any easier though.
One of my favourite motivational speeches is The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch. He beautifully describes the messiness we encounter on the way to our dreams, and he explains why it is necessary. These obstacles are not there to stop us, but to discourage those who are not really committed to achieving the goal – it is basically a filtering system so only the truly worthy get to where they want to go.
Expect to Fall Many Times on the Way to a Goal
It doesn’t matter how positive I feel, or how hard I’m working, there are still likely to be times when I’m going to fall on the way to a goal. When I enter one of these messy periods, my motivation usually plummets, I stop taking positive action, and I spend a few days licking my wounds.
It would be easy for me to give up when things get hard but I know we don’t fail to reach our goal because we’ve fallen down – we fail to reach our goal because we don’t get back up. The falling down is to be expected, and there is no point in feeling guilty about it. All I need to do is take responsibility for the situation and get back on track as soon as possible.
When I’m feeling philosophical, I can appreciate the beauty in the messiness of life. Things never work out exactly as we plan them, but imagine how boring life would be if they did. It is always important to have the right attitude and equipment when setting off on any long journey but in life we are always going to be venturing into the unknown.
Tips for Surviving the Messiness of Radical Transformation