A journey of thousand miles begins with a single step – Chinese proverb
This is probably one of the oldest and meaningful proverbs we have all heard. If you ever tried to run a half marathon or a full marathon or even asked an athlete who has done it, “Did the distance seem daunting at the start?” and you would have received “Yes” more often than not. But once they set out the journey and begin to cover each mile, the distance seems less daunting and the goal – more achievable. The idea is – if you break a bigger task which seems complex into smaller ones, then you can achieve it more easily.
We all struggle from this every now and then in our day to day lives. We set a goal to achieve which is usually a lofty one. There’s nothing wrong with that. But we do not put in the necessary commitment to bring it to fruition. We get intimidated by the enormity of the goal and convince ourselves I took more than I can chew and give up. We measure the success only based on the end result rather than enjoying the journey involved. This is a mistake. Look, there has to be a reason why you chose this goal in the first place. Remind yourself of this over and again, especially in times where you find it difficult to move ahead. The funny thing is, our mind plays all sort of tricks to keep us in our comfort zone. It doesn’t want us to reach out of our comfort and try out things which might seem uncomfortable at first, but given enough time and commitment, you can make the change for the better.
1. Always understand the Why?
As I mentioned earlier, it is important for us to remind ourselves over and again – Why are we doing this task? Why this goal is important to you? Let’s say you wanted to lose weight so that you can be more productive, healthier and have more energy throughout the day. You got up early the next day and went for a run. You felt amazing the whole day. Now on the second morning, your mind tricks you to not leave the comfort of your bed. You convince yourself that your body is strained and needs more rest or some other lame excuse. It is at this point, you need to ask – Why did you set this goal in the first place? Why is it important to you? Say the answer loudly and you will get up from the bed and go straight to the bathroom. You see, you won the battle over your mind and you have wrestled the control back to you. As Viktor Frankl rightly said, ‘If you have a Why, you can almost survive anyhow’.
2. Daily iterations over once a while sessions
If you have decided to learn the guitar, what would be more effective? Practicing the instrument for 20 minutes daily or practicing it for 2 hours over the weekend? The answer is simple – daily iterations even for a small amount of time are more effective than once a while large amount of efforts. That’s the power of habit. You have to make a commitment to work on your goal on a daily basis. A genius is none other than an average individual putting in the necessary commitment for 10,000 hours!! There is no easy way and no magic trick to achieve your goal.
3. Prioritize your time
How many of us waste away our days doing things which do not challenge us? We find some sort of escapism rather than trying to enrich our lives. We mindlessly surf the web for hours together, watch too much TV, eat too much food, drink too much alcohol. As a society, we are robbing ourselves from human experience. In this day and age, there are many distractions present to rob you from reaching your full potential. You should treat your time like gold dust. Prioritize your time for the most important things, for the things which give you true happiness. It is easy to seek for immediate pleasure. But it takes a lot of mastery and patience over one’s mind to find inner happiness. Strive for that. You need to introspect on the things which challenge you mentally and spiritually, on the things which help you grow as a more compassionate human.
Remember, none of us is perfect. At the end, we all are humans and make mistakes. Do not be too hard on yourself. Do not be in competition with others. Just try to be the best version you can be. When you look back 6 months or a year down the line, you should be proud of where you stand!