It’s November. Somehow, after what seemed like just a few quick moments, we’ve arrived at November and it’s almost the end of the year 2017.
Not sure how these things happen, but it seems to happen every single year. We start off with all these plans and goals and ideas, and then out of no where, it’s November, and we’re left scratching our heads wondering where all the time went— and worse, we’re now looking ahead to 2018 and saying THAT will be the year that we achieve all our goals.
The problem with this mindset is that it’s 1) very comfortable to keep doing this over and over and 2) it feels productive even though it isn't. We get pulled into this sense of being productive by setting goals and making plans, but that's it. We're just stuck in a state of preparing and waiting-- rather than doing and taking action. We keep waiting for some perfect moment to arrive when we can get started.
As a result, we are left wanting a future for ourselves and imagining it in our heads, but we never put in the work to make it a reality. We dream our days away thinking about a future time that will never arrive, because dreams are not delivered to your front door. Nor should we want them to be, as tempting as that might sound. I will always remember when I was in college, I wanted to run for an officer position in my pre-medical club (as the webmaster & photographer). At first it was an uncontested position— all I had to do was write my name in on the ballot and I’d get the position by default. It literally required no work on my part to achieve a goal of mine. I thought life was great.
Then someone entered their name at the last minute. I was so upset— I had to actually lift a finger for this position, which was clearly outrageous. I had to put together a speech and presentation, and make a case for why the club members should vote for me over the other guy. I remember complaining about this to my friends— like an entitled bratty kid.
It wasn’t until a friend of mine told me I was acting like an idiot that I realized how right she was. She said if I really wanted that position, it shouldn’t matter what I had to do to get it. In other words, if I wanted to be an officer in that club, then any amount of work required was fine. I need to work for the things I want— simple as that.
I overcame my initial brattiness and resistance to the idea, and started working on my 5 minute speech and presentation I’d give to the club. I thought a lot about why I wanted the role, and I worked hard to communicate it easily and in a fun way. I delivered my presentation and felt really happy being up there making the case for myself. The club voted, and I was elected as an officer! I felt so incredibly rewarded for the work I put in, and I valued the win that much more.
Yes, sometimes it’s nice to receive gifts and to have them just appear. However, more often than not, it’s more fun and rewarding to work for those things. We not only value the things that we put effort into more, we also grow from the work required to attain it. It's a double win-- the journey AND the destination become rewards.
I say all of this to close out on this thought: What did you set out to do earlier this year that you haven’t accomplished yet? It’s OK if that happened— it happens all the time. I haven’t accomplished many of the goals I wrote down for myself. The year isn’t over yet. I don’t need to wait for 2018 to start. I can start right now, and make progress every day. It’s just a matter of putting in the work, wanting it bad enough, and enjoying the journey.
Stop waiting for that magical moment to arrive when everything will be easy and handed to you. It will never arrive, and you will spend a lifetime waiting for it. Instead, make that moment happen right now and start to get closer to the life you want.
It just takes a little bit of progress every day to build something great. Good luck!
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