Crave the Challenge

“Always seek out the seed of triumph in every adversity.” - Og Mandino

We all want to achieve a dream. Our country is filled with dreamers. Whether you hope to write a novel, start a yoga studio or lose 50 pounds, there is one common path, one reality, that each one of those dreams and dreamers shares.

It is the journey through struggle and adversity.

Too often when we “want” things, we want the end result, the triumph and payoff, instead of the journey and lifestyle which yields said result -- a lifestyle filled with joys and also sacrifice

The reality is, we have to want the journey that leads to our goals in order to succeed.  If we want to write the Great American Novel, we have to want to sit and write for 4 hours a day after the 9-5 job. The yoga studio will require years of turning down happy hour with friends, hours networking and marketing, not to mention entrepreneurial learning curves.

So as we begin our goals in the new year and our sheer willpower wanes, we must ask ourselves if we wanted the lifestyles and struggles we signed up for and not just the results. Those wanting to lose weight. Did they also want to sacrifice family time for gym time? Did they want to experience the satisfaction of overcoming daily cravings?

And while “want” may seem like a strong word to apply to struggle, the reality is that succeeding in life means taking on adversity as a willing challenge and even finding inspiration, pride and some joy in it. Willpower alone will not carry you to a goal’s finish line.  Willpower is too finite a resource.

The difference between a dreamer and doer is a person who is excited about the challenging process they are about to take on. They are ready to experiment with discipline, find new ways to circumvent obstacles and look forward to learning new things.

So don’t ask where you see yourself in five years, ask what are you willing to learn and overcome every week for the next five years.  What process excites you? What are you prepared to endure in 2018? Choose your struggles and you will choose your success.

So as the fresh-start effect of the new year wanes, and you start a spiral of self-loathing about not “wanting” something badly enough . . . take a deep breath, forgive yourself and then reorient your perspective to the joy and satisfaction you can get from the lifestyle of living out your goal.

This article from the Harvard Business Review breaks down, even further, this idea of what needs reoriented to stem off what they call “systematic failure,” defined as the daily process roadblocks that mount an all-out assault on long term goal achievement. These include a focus on short term pressure vs. longer term payoff; not addressing environments that are hostile or counter to our new lifestyle of change; and burn out.

Other tips out there for focusing on process and challenge include:

Human Unlimited
Human Unlimited