Sometimes the only reason we choose to stick at something is because we have something to prove to ourselves.
From the outside it might seem as though we’re wasting time and money because the success isn’t coming. From the inside we’re just not willing to give up yet because we believe that somehow we can find a way to make things work.
People tend to make fun of or be critical of things people do when they don’t consider them to be successful or aren’t making money from it. But the thing you choose to stick at doesn’t have to be something you’re trying to earn a living from.
More importantly, if you have something to prove to yourself, don’t let other people get in the way of that.
The idea of paving the way is quite interesting and also amazing.
However, one thing that I’ve noticed is often the trailblazers do not receive as much financially in comparison to those that come after. I think in some ways that is one of the reasons that people are afraid to go first.
Paving the way is almost always difficult and comes with many challenges. It’s much easier to simply wait for someone else and then jump on the band wagon.
If you decide to carve out a new path, you do that with the knowledge that as much as you may gain success and be known for the work you’ve done, it’s the ones that follow that often end up getting paid more, even though you’ve worked so much harder.
In order to pave the way, you don’t need to be the best or the most talented. But you do need to have passion, commitment and dedication. You need to be able to create and hold a vision for long enough for it to come to life. You have to have the resilence to keep going even when you experience knock backs.
After doing all of that work, it can be difficult to then hold the door open for others, that’s why trailblazing and pioneering might be considered to be for the selfless. However, holding the door open for others is not a requirement, it’s a choice. Some people decide not to do it because they don’t want others to have it any easier than they did, whilst others do it gladly.
Some focus on they themselves ‘winning’ (as in earning the most money) whilst others will just ensure they get what they need to be comfortable. For some it is about being known and revered for what they have done whilst for others it is about doing the work to make a change.
If you had to choose between pushing on with something in the hopes that it will work out or choosing to quit and starting over, which would you choose?
We’re regularly encouraged to keep going, to try and try and again but what if things just aren’t working out.
Often, the reason we choose to carry on is because we’ve invested time and money and we aren’t willing to accept that our idea won’t be a success. Even when we are aware that our continued efforts will be fruitless, it somehow feels easier to continue down what is likely to be a dead end.
Of course, in time perhaps things will be a success, but maybe we’d actually just be better off quitting and trying something else.
Often the key indicators of someone being ahead of their time is that years later other people are doing what they did with less pushback and other people are gaining more success.
Another indicator is if the person were to do what they did 5 years ago today, how would it be received.
A few years ago I started listening to a podcast that began a few years prior so I had hundreds of episodes to catch up on.
From the very first episode I listened to, I was hooked. I went back to the very beginning and worked my way through.
The podcast ended around a year after I started listening and I enjoyed it so much that I’ve gone back to the beginning and re-listened.
When I think about that podcast I honestly believe it was ahead of it’s time.
I’ve come across other people that are doing similar podcasts and I’ve come across people who started later and have had more ‘success’. Lastly, if the podcast I enjoyed started 5 years later than it did or even if it started today I’m certain I’d have liked it just as much if not more.
And so, I think it’s fair to say that the podcast was ahead of it’s time.
If you feel discouraged with where you’re at you have two options.
The first is to quit and the second is to stick at it.
Whichever option you choose commit to it wholeheartedly.
If you think about it, there really isn’t much point going after your dreams (or the thing that you’re telling everyone is your dream) if you can’t even be bothered to give it your all.
People don’t often talk about quitting or deciding that they don’t want to proceed with the thing they have been working on.
I used to think that quitting was a bad thing, that it meant you were giving up, that you didn’t try hard enough and so on.
But with age and I suppose also experience I’ve come to realise that there are times when quitting is necessary.
Not everything that you try is going to work out, not everything you do will be a success.
And so you have to know when to quit because sometimes in quitting and closing the door to one thing you allow yourself to open up to something else.
I often like to remind myself of Zig Ziglars popular quote ‘Anything worth doing is worth doing poorly until you can learn to do it well.‘
So, how do you execute a big idea when you’re just starting out. Or do you just put it on hold until you have more experience.
I used to think that it was best to wait because I didn’t want to look back on a good idea and see how much better it could have been.
But in doing that, I wasn’t allowing myself the room for trial and error, room to improve.
There’s nothing wrong in doing something poorly , it’s part of the process. Not everything you do will be perfect and treating things as so will only limit your potential.
So, if you have a big idea that you’re holding back on, now might be the perfect time to do something with it.
Most of us have things that we want to achieve in this life and some of us are willing to work extremely hard for what we want.
We’ll sacrifice a lot of things and even go through periods or excessive stress or discomfort in order to reach the light at the end of the tunnel.
In some ways it’s like we take the path of most resistance. We know we could live an easier life but we choose otherwise because we’re not just dreamers we’re do-ers.
But at the end of the day, what’s it worth?
Is putting yourself through a great challenge worth it in the hope that you’ll overcome it.
Of course if you make sacrifices and are able to upgrade your life tenfold then you’ll believe it was worth it.
But don’t get caught in believing that you need to struggle to justify your success.