This is the third time I’ve sat down to write this article. I outlined it twice, but I keep getting stuck at the same point every time. I feel like I am trying to solve an equation with too many variables, which is why we are going to begin this piece by defining big things and difficult, and we will then move on to the achieving part.
The Magnitude of Big Things
While there may be certain things in life most will deem big, our own personal big things are not subject to public scrutiny (or at least they shouldn’t be). The simplest way to define these big things you are trying to achieve would be a goal you are trying to achieve. Again, the size issue rears its ugly head, so let’s add something else to that sentence. These big things are goals you assign a certain magnitude to. If you are a pro lifter, your big thing will be to deadlift 300 kilograms. But if you have only three gym sessions under your belt, you may look at 50 kilograms as a difficult task to achieve.
The Arduousness of Difficulty
Tying into the previous thought, what is easy for me will be hard for you, and vice versa. So, here comes my original thought: If I find lifting 300 kilograms difficult, and I really want to do it, is that my big thing?
Settling on a Big Thing
There have been times in my life when I achieved things others patted me on the back about or applauded me for that did not involve any actual exertion or insane effort on my part. (Again, these things were easy for me, yet obviously difficult for them.) Accepting these laurels is fine to an extent, but if you find a hack that lets you do the easy stuff (for you) that will lift you in the eyes of others, you will slowly but surely be burying your head deeper and deeper in the sand.
Comfort is the enemy of progress. No, comfort is the death of progress. As soon as you feel yourself settling nicely into that marshmallowy cocoon that comes with comfort, punch your way out of it and set your eyes on something new, wild, and difficult.
Now for your obvious question: Why on earth would you want to do something difficult, when you can have the marshmallow, and eat it too? Let me answer that question by answering the one we all want the answer to: How can we achieve the big things in life, without always making it so difficult?
1. Directions and goals
The first thing you will need is a goal, something you are looking forward to and striving for. Everyone says this, I know, but you do need it. Why exactly? The thing that keeps you moving in life is your goal–the goal. Whether it be getting that one job, settling down with someone, having a certain kind of home, anything really.
Two things that 99.9% of people who get what they want actually do is they come up with a goal to achieve and then they form a plan of some sort to reach that goal. But please note that all these goals are 100% based on what the goal setter wants, not what they are made to believe they want, or what they are told they should want.
The things you want shape your life, and the more you want and the less you work to get it, the more miserable you will become. One piece of advice, however: Don’t trap yourself into wanting to be rich, famous, or even successful without any effort. Don’t fool yourself into thinking that others were lucky, or more talented, or predestined, or anything like that.
2. Drive and fuel
There is one thing you need to succeed, and that one thing is drive. Your drive is what gets you out of bed in the morning, and what keeps you trudging on at your day job while you are chasing your dreams at other waking moments. But don’t confuse drive with motivation. Motivation is fleeting, it’s that short burst of energy or creativity where you feel you can do it. Drive is a constant, a slow rumble that will not die away, that will not be extinguished, and that will ultimately get you from point A to point B. And yes, this is the difficult part.
3. Moving and shaking
Let’s say you want to become a motivational speaker, and you are great at inspiring others. People like to listen to you, you have things to say, and you genuinely want to help people live their best lives. But all of that is worth nothing if you don’t work towards it. Of course, do the obvious things: make a business plan, come up with a company name, start networking, work on your presentation skills–do something every single day that will help you achieve your big goal. To put it simply: do the work and the reward will come.
4. Whining and dining
People tend to let themselves slip back into the marshmallow when they face an obstacle, start munching away at it, and tell everyone that it’s just too difficult. As humans, we like to complain a lot. But how does complaining help you achieve your dreams? The answer is, it doesn’t. I know others will stress you out, I know the world can plot to get you down, I know having a good day every day is not possible. But here’s the thing: The only thing you can actually control in this life is your mindset. If you choose to view things negatively, you will remain negative. But if you work on seeing the positive, and begin learning from every mistake; if you decide right now to not let trivial things get you down, you will become a happier person and will also find life less difficult.
Let me end this by saying that you will never be happy in the marshmallow. You will never be happy without a goal. You won’t be happy if you substitute your own goals for those imposed by someone else, whoever that may be. And last, but possibly most important, you won’t be happy if you settle for something less than your very best.
Are you giving it your all? Great. I can’t wait to see the results.