In my usual way of going against the grain, I’m focused on the present moment in my long slow climb to success. Most people are looking for the short cut. Most people are looking for the quick break. I’m creating mastery for myself along an amazing journey that I choose to create each and every day.
What I’ve discovered is that in our fast paced world of instant gratification, instant knowledge and instant food, I’m really enjoying being the rebel and doing things slow. It’s not in my nature you see. It’s rather a challenge. I like shiny new toys. I like shiny new opportunities. And I like shiny new adventures. Doing the same thing over and over and over and over again is a DRAG! So, I’m doing what, for me, is excruciatingly hard. I’m doing the same stuff, day in and day out and it feels like knives in my eyeballs.
It’s boring. It’s tedious. It’s frustrating.
For me it reminds me of hiking through a swamp with my father when I was a kid. It’s damp, it smells, it’s unpredictable. Sometimes it’s deep, the next step it’s dry, and then you lose your boot if you haven’t laced them up well enough. And then there are the leaches. The leaches cling on to you and you have to stop and politely pull them off. To hike through a swamp, it takes a lot more effort to go just a few steps than it does hiking up a hill. It’s more like climbing a mountain without enough oxygen. Every step seems like it zaps your energy.
What I didn’t learn back then, but I do know know, is that there are certain things that help. What helps? Tuck your head in and walk for awhile. Just one step in front of the other. Imagine where you’re going in your mind’s eye even if you can’t see it. What will it feel like once you finally arrive?
At work, this means that I get lost in the systems, processes and routines that allow me to keep putting one step in front of the other. I just tuck my head down and keep trudging away.
Every once in awhile you, though, you need to climb up to the top of a hill and get a picture of where you are going. When I was in the swamp, there wasn’t much of a hill to climb on top of so I would just ask my father, “How much further?” Back then, he didn’t know much about NLP so he never painted a good enough picture that kept my spirits lifted. Instead I got, “Quit your whining!”
In business, you need to stick your head up every now and then to get a clear picture of the goal. January and July are normally the two times a year that people take a look at where they are and where they are going. The problem is that they rarely look back and celebrate how far they’ve come! Normally they reserve that only when they get to the top and survey the whole journey. My suggestion is that you take more glimpses along the way, looking both at where you are going as well as where you’ve come. The perspective you get along the way changes, grows and develops. You see things differently when you are on the hill versus being at the top of the mountain. For me, I need to look at it fully every quarter.
And once I get that clear picture of how far I still need to go and celebrate how far I’ve come, I tuck my head back down and start doing the same thing, over and over and over and over again – slowly
It’s the long, slow trudge through the swamp to success and it’s an amazing journey!
Do you have the persistence to keep walking? Do you keep taking the small steps consistently over a long time that will make the difference between success and failure? Do you have the tenacity to make it? Or are you just going to sit there and whine?
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