Day 225 (Two-Hundred & Twenty-Five) of 365 days
In a world of life hacks and hyper-growth startups, it’s easy to feel like you’re falling behind. There’s constant pressure to do more…and do it faster! But despite their presence in the media, these “overnight success” narratives are the exceptions to the rule. Optimizing every second of your day and starting a company that grows 10x per year are not the only paths to success. The other side of the story doesn’t get the level of attention it deserves. The truth might not be sexy, but it’s important: creating big positive change takes time.
Progress takes patience and the math is simple. Marginal improvements, repeated over time, create a massive impact. I know what you’re feelingーpressure and frustration. I also know that you’re having trouble sleeping at night, not because you took an afternoon nap, but because you have a lot of thoughts coming in, and you have to go process these thoughts and arrange them like books on your bookshelf.
Right now, you have found out that it’s okay to not have everything figured out yet. And I’m so proud of you for being able to accept that fact. But you’re dawned with a greater challenge today: You’re questioning your progress. You looked behind you and saw that you’ve come really far from where you started. And you started pushing through the tough road you’re on. You’ve reached crossroads before that halted your progress, and you were able to get past them.
If you get tired, take a rest. Take a look back at what you’ve achieved and see what things you could’ve done better. Not because you fell short, but because you know there are better ways that you haven’t figured out yet. The process could be daunting and repetitive. But think of it as a stage in a game that you need to clear to get to the next one. Maybe in this stage, there are missing pieces that you need to find and puzzles you need to solve that unlock the door to the next chapter of your life. You don’t see patience as a virtue; you see patience as a skill. So you should learn to harness it in your favor. Because this challenge is not a joke, and you’re not even halfway to achieving your goals.
As a youth, I move fast. My life is usually go-go-go. I want to get things done fast. I want things done right now. I want to get better right now. In work, in life, and fitness, I (foolishly) expect to see movement and forward progress immediately. I work hard so naturally, I want that gratification of improvement. However, life doesn’t work that way. Progress is a process. Whether you’re waiting for that promotion or trying to hit your next PR in the gym, it’ll probably take time and it probably won’t be easy. But anything worth having takes patience and grit.
Also, keep in mind that progress doesn’t always come in a straight line. Sometimes, things have to get a little worse before they can get better. But if you establish realistic expectations for yourself and commit to the long haul, you increase the chances that you’ll be able to reach your goals.