You’ve probably conditioned yourself into thinking that attaining goals is all that matters if you want to lead a fulfilling life, that if you set a goal you should achieve it, and then set another and achieve that one and so on and so forth.
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You may, however, and like many before you, get up the day after setting the goal and never find the energy to get it done. Instead of going for it anyway, you let it fall by the wayside and simply decide that the goal you set was unobtainable anyway.
You feel a little defeated, but after a while, you rebound and regain your positivity, only to frustratingly repeat the cycle. Chances are, you’re starting too big, and that makes your goal already overwhelming before you’ve even taken your first step. There’s no sense in having a case filled with broken trophies and memories of goals that you’ve not attained. Rather, start small to ensure that you have the skillset and ability to see your success through right from the beginning.
Being a jack-of-all-trades is a bit of a dead end in day and age. Today, you build a career by placing yourself into a niche professionally and becoming indispensable in some form or another. It’s all about learning a specific skill or set thereof and then mastering it. In this way of doing things, it’s rare for a generalist to find a vocation or job that will get them through an entire working life.
This applies to your personal life, as well, where you can get more satisfaction from actually being able to do things well, even if it’s more prosaic than just giving you the ability to feed and clothe yourself. Skills like cooking, writing or playing a musical instrument can give those around you, and you, great joy and can really brighten your life.
Setting It In Motion
But again, you often are stuck before you’ve really set a solid foot on the road to mastery. And therein lays the crux of the whole problem. By realizing it’s a road, a process, rather than an instantaneous event, you’ll be able to stay on track more successfully. Part of you might think that by making the decision to do something you have already done so. Your animal brain really would prefer not to do any work, and by imagining yourself already proficient at something, the benefits of which are usually your main motivator for wanting to pick up a skill in the first place, you may have already run before you could walk.
The whole “hard work” phenomenon is really something your baser self doesn’t like to deal with, especially if you imagine it as a long, dreary road before you can enjoy it. You’re much better off implementing two different ideas that work very well together. One, you need to embrace the journey, to ensure that not just the destination is nice, i.e., the mastery of the skill, but also the trip there. Learning a new skill can be so much fun, you may not even care if you’re good at it or not.
The second idea is to stay focused by not looking at the whole road ahead of you, but only the few steps right ahead of you. By practicing your skill for just a few minutes every day, you’re already getting good at it, and you’re doing it without exhausting yourself or making too big a deal of it. This will keep you motivated to keep moving forward. To paraphrase Bruce Lee, long-term consistency beats short-term intensity, so keep chiseling away at the goals you set yourself and you’ll get there before you know it. Live for the moment!