There are so many ideas that might have crossed your mind throughout your life. So many things that you planned to start and few of them that you have already started. But when you look back, how many of those plans did actually materialise? If you are anyone like me, the number would be very low. Having a plan and executing it to completion is really a question of perseverance.
This age of internet has seen many small companies and startups come up. But as months move by, how many of them do actually survive? Very few of them. Because, pushing through when nothing goes as you planned is a very tough thing.
Why is it hard?
It is hard because nobody wants to work hard. We are looking for quick solutions for your problems. But if you need to achieve anything in life, you need to continuously keep trying. Sitting back and hoping everything will just work out is going to definitely disappoint you.
I had learnt to play guitar during my college times from my friend. Though for many years we did play music and I played guitar, I was never satisfied with my skill level. Three years back I decided to work on it and take some online classes to improve my playing ability. I had a schedule setup and planned for consistent practice. It went well for couple of weeks and I could see the improvement. I was happy thinking that if I continued this way, in a couple of years I was going to be good at playing electric guitar.
But in a few weeks, work started taking up more of my time and I was struggling to find motivation to continue with my guitar practice. In another few days I had completely given up. Now thinking back, I wish I had not given up. Not finding time was just an excuse. But had I been consistent, I would’ve reached my goal.
The truth is, we are not ready to accept that achieving something does require a lot of dedication. It is not about how hard you work, it is about showing up regularly without giving up. It is about being consistent and doing what you need to do every single day. Every single day.
Year 1983. A young band from California was making headlines in the heavy metal scene. They were touring around playing electrifying gigs and making a name for themselves. They were a bunch of excellent musicians with a great passion for music. After few months, they get a record deal. But, they had a difference of opinion with their lead guitarist and without any notice, they fired him.
He was given a bus ticket from New York, where the band was at the time, to Los Angeles. That’s it. No money, no food nothing. It was far from perfect way to be let go, but he was let go. During the long ride back to Los Angeles, all he did was think about creating a rival band that would be more popular than his previous band. He wrote lyrics which years later, turned out to be few of the best compositions of the his new band.
He came back home, practiced his skill everyday, got a band together and it turned out to be one of the greatest heavy metal bands of all time. This guy was Dave Mustaine. The band that he got kicked out was Metallica. Metallica for sure is one of the greatest heavy metal band ever. Much more popular than Megadeth, which Mustaine formed as a rival band. But, by channeling his energy in the right way, he was able to come up with few of the greatest musical compositions in heavy metal history.
With such an experience, he could’ve easily given up and turned to other professions and we would’ve never known about him. But that’s not what he did, he came back with vengeance. He could’ve destroyed his career giving up due to the failure that came into his life. He went on to become an icon and made peace with Metallica later on, but all this because of his attitude.
Inspiration doesn’t do it
Everybody loves inspiration. That’s why we have so many successful motivational speaker and so many podcasts listed in your playlist. But motivation alone does not do it. Getting motivated is one thing, but what is the outcome? Motivation has to result in action or else it means nothing.
This was my problem as well. I have read many books, watched many videos, listened to numerous podasts to find motivation. But nothing resulted in actual work. There was no actual output though there was no lack of motivation. There was not consistent work from my end. I had started a blog thinking I will be posting regularly because I love writing.
I was churning out articles for the first few days and was happy to see the way my blog was growing, but soon the guitar story repeated. I slowed down and completely stopped. There were no more entries. Many drafts posts, but nothing getting published. Not due to lack of motivation, but lack of commitment.
Now looking back, I realise, this happens because I used to treat blogging as something that I did when I had time and not something for which I should make time. If something needs to be done, you need to schedule it and make it a part of your routine. You have to set apart time. Everybody gets just 24 hours a day. So it all depends on creating schedule and sticking to it. Persevere. Don’t give up.
Giving up is not an option. I have realised this in past few months. Now I have a set schedule to do things including writing. If you look at the archives page, you’ll see that I’ve been publishing more frequently. Motivation or mood doesn’t matter. I do not write just when I am in a mood to write. I write because that is the time to write. Focus comes from scheduling your work and persevering through everything and making sure that you show up.
Persevere and show up everyday. That’s the only way. There are things that come in between you and your goal. But keeping yourself motivated keeping your end goal in mind is the only way you are gonna reach there. Start with small things like write about what you want to do. Make it a habit to writing everyday about what you love. It can be a journal or it can be a blog. You’ll be surprised how many ideas start flowing out.
What is more important than how much time you spend, is to work everyday. Do not give up a single day. No excuses. If you are alive, you can find time. You have 24 hours. Make use of it. If you cannot make time and show up everyday, achieving something will feel like a big deal. So let your passion or your disappointment drive you.
Persevere to achieve.