You’re probably aware by now that life is not going to make it easy. Whatever you want to do is going to take tremendous effort, perseverance and constant discernment.
Nothing is going to be handed to you on a silver platter. And if it was, it probably wouldn’t be worthwhile anyway.
Humans are a resourceful species. Over time we’ve adapted and created some incredible things; all of us together in cooperation and competition. Western society is probably the best example. At last, after millennia of tyranny, there is representative government, freedom, prosperity and opportunity for all.
But with all this newfound opportunity, you’ve now got to compete against everyone else who wants the same thing. Competition for resources and success is open to everyone. In a sense it’s you against the world.
That’s a lot of competition to say the least, so the barriers to entry have naturally evolved to make things that are worthwhile more difficult to attain. This is just the way it is. It’s simply the natural order.
As soon as you realize this, however, you are immediately at an advantage. You are now consciously aware that life is a competition and that to excel, you’re going to have to vastly exceed the norm.
You’re going to have to be willing to do what most other people won’t do.
You are going to have to find a way to Break Through.
Start with Gratitude. If the toughest thing you must do in your life is chase your dreams, you’ve got it pretty damn good. From this point of view, you’re one of the luckiest humans ever to walk the planet; consider everything else from here to be gravy.
Being grateful as such will give you some healthy perspective. Generally speaking, you don’t need to worry about survival, and you get the opportunity to pursue any opportunity you desire. The whole world is at your feet. You get to pick what you’d like to do. And then chase after it.
Historically, this is an embarrassment of riches.
So, you’re grateful and you’re going to work your ass off. Good.
Make sure to enjoy yourself while you’re doing it. Most things out there that are worthwhile are going to take some time to achieve; perhaps even years. It will do your quality of life and endurance a lot of good to enjoy yourself along the way. As I always say, life is 95% Journey and 5% Destination. You’re guaranteed the 95%, so you might as well CHOOSE to enjoy it.
Living in the moment and taking satisfaction in the process will also work miracles for your long-term endurance and resilience. Your state of mind is the key to everything you do, so give yourself every advantage.
And while you’re in the thick of it, consider it all an exercise in character. Conduct yourself with excellence and produce quality output. Doing this will add tremendous intrinsic value to what you are doing, and this as well will sustain you over the long term.
Plus, developing your character is the purest investment in yourself that you can make. It will pay dividends along the way and set you up for a high value and high quality of life in the long term.
Knowing who you are, living Authentically and having the ultimate confidence in your character will also provide you with a measure of Outcome Independence. You’ll know that even if things completely fall apart, you’ll be fine because your character will always allow you to rebound. You’re not tied to any one outcome; you’re tied to you. And that’s what’s most important.
But back to cold reality. The chances are good you’re going to hit the wall. Circumstances, other people or your goal itself is going to conspire to STOP you. YOU might even conspire to stop you. After the excitement fades and the dog days of a long hard slog roll in, it might become very easy to start looking for a convenient excuse to find a way out.
This is when it becomes gut check time.
When perseverance and sheer willpower need to come into play.
You’re going to have to go hardcore and decide not quitting is reason enough. You’ll need to learn to push through these desert patches repeatedly if you wish to succeed. But the best part is, the more often you do so, the easier it will become to do so again.
You will learn by habit how to put yourself into a NO quit state. Eventually it will become instinct. Once this occurs, you begin to qualify as Indomitable. Good, some more.
It might also become obvious to you along the way events are not going to go as you had planned or that it might take much longer than you expected. You might have to change course so to speak to arrive at your destination. Rarely is the path to anything significant a straight and smooth affair.
If you do hit the wall or an unexpected obstacle, you’ve got to be able to reset or recalibrate your expectations as well. Being able to employ the Stoic concept of Willing Acceptance will go a long way to keeping you in the hunt.
My advice is to always expect the unexpected and be willing to recalibrate your efforts and plans. This will also help with your endurance and resilience. Being able to adjust with emotional detachment is a sign of high character and maturity. This is the type of person that finishes things. Become one of these people.
But you know what? Sometimes brute force, will, and perseverance are simply not enough. You might have to make a partial or even wholesale change in how you’re approaching your goal. You might need to try some new tactics or strategies or even pick up some new skills.
You might need to become different than you are now; more than you are now. You might need to evolve as a person. And this my friend is the real payoff; when pursuing a challenge forces you to evolve and become more.
So yes, to Break Through at anything worthwhile you’re going to have to bring all that you have and more.
Start with all that you have. There’s rarely a better substitute for maximum effort and perseverance. Mix in some Gratitude, Present Moment, Willing Acceptance and Recalibration and you’ll become a formidable force.
And if you’re really smart, you’ll hold on for dear life and allow the process to make you more than you were when you started—you’ll embrace the need for personal evolution and become more.
All the best,