"Glitch" courtesy of Luiza O.S @Flickr
Chances are you've got success on the brain if you're reading this article. You've set your goals, you're on your way to achieving your dreams. But they're not coming as fast as you would like. You're ready for it to all come true right now. You set a deadline to reach your goal, but it just didn't happen in that timeframe. And now you feel a little deflated. Maybe you've even allowed a little doubt to creep in, as you're not sure when (or if) it will ever happen.
You know what a missed deadline tells you?
It's just a feedback mechanism to tell you that your plans and execution of them weren't correct for the timeline you set. You're not a failure. You've just produced a result. It may not be the result you wanted, but don't fret, because sometimes our greatest lessons come from when we get what we didn't want. Maybe the deadline was too tight. Maybe your plans weren't sound.
You're not the only one to not reach a goal or hit a bump in the road.
Michael Jordan didn't make his high school basketball team. Famous author J.K. Rowling was living on welfare when she wrote the first Harry Potter book, the start of a series that went on to make her spectacularly rich.
So what do the champions do during the process of making their dreams come true?
- Grin and bear it. You probably didn't want to hear this. You want to hear me say "you can have it all right now." Sorry, good self help isn't like a fast food restaurant slogan. Sometimes there will be times when your energy levels are off or something else happens in your life forcing you to put your dreams on hold for a just a bit. It's for those challenging times that you have to do your best and tackle all the challenges in front of you. Yes, you'll have failures along the way but when Michael Jordan he bore the rejection by practicing even more.
- Take a time-out. You're saying, "what do you mean relax? How can I relax when I've done everything I can and my dreams still aren't coming true." Remember, throughout history, the great men and women who changed our world have found their greatest ideas when they were away from their usual routines. For instance, when he was a teenager, Albert Einstein spent some time in Italy with his parents enjoying the beauty of Italy's Apennine mountains. It was during this time he contemplated what would happen if a ray of light became imprisoned. This idea was to be the foundation of his life's work. So relax. You never when the idea you need to bridge the gap between your current reality and your dreams will be found. But sometimes you need to give yourself the space to find it.
- Assess whether your current plans are realistic. If you've got 4 kids, a full-time job, and a mortgage, it may be hard to start your own business on the side and have it succeed within a month. Maybe your dreams aren't coming true by the deadlines you set because your deadlines were unrealistic to begin with. So make new plans and get underway!
- Get support. If you're starting your own business, is there someone you know who's been down this road who can give you some advice? Or, if you're trying to fix your life in some way – overcoming an addiction, healing from a painful past, or getting over an ex-lover – maybe you should consider getting a therapist. Often times, having a sounding board and a supportive ear can make us feel better and even more motivated to recommit to achieving our goals.
- Play a game called "15 Ways…" This is a little game I like to play whenever I get stuck on how to break through barriers in achieving goals. Grab a sheet of paper and brainstorm 15 ways you can overcome whatever obstacle is standing in between you and your goals. For instance, if you feel it's a lack of time, then brainstorm 15 ways you can create more time in your life. I like using the number fifteen because I find the first five are usually pretty obvious, but the next 10 are usually a bit harder to come up with. These are where the novel solutions you didn't think about usually reveal themselves.
- Pick a hero. Who in your mind is a noteworthy person you would like to emulate in life? Are they extremely motivated? Did they overcome tremendous odds to get where they are today? Tack a picture of them on your wall. Everytime you feel like it's too hard or you just can't do it, learn to ask yourself what your hero would do. Now go do it.
- Go out and execute every day. If you're done with your time out, then commit to doing one thing for your dreams everyday, no matter how small it is. Taking action keeps you motivated and gives you momentum in achieving your goals. Well-worn clichés like "genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration" still hold water today.
A missed deadline is just a chance for growth. And it makes for a great story about how you overcame obstacles along the way. Every success story has them. So why shouldn't you?
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How to Get Sh*t Done will teach you how to zero in on the three areas of your life where you want to excel, and then it will show you how to off-load, outsource, or just stop giving a damn about the rest.