Truth be told, we all know what it takes to be successful in any given area.
Whether is writing, business, or art, the formula remains the same — figure out what it takes to succeed, practice, and do it long enough that it works out.
It’s the last section that trips most of us up.
Most of us quit before we scratch the surface of what we’re capable of, except a few of us don’t.
They’re the ones we call successful. They’re the ones we look up to in awe because they did what most of us will never do — stayed the course.
I want to be one of those people. I’m sure you do too. Both of us struggle with the choice that determines futures.
So how do you persist?
I’ve been writing for a few years now. It’s going well. I’m making some money, connecting with smart people, and engaging with a wider audience.
Even though the direction of my writing career is pointing up, I still have quite a way to go, and I’d be lying if I said there weren’t times I felt like quitting.
…when I launch a product that doesn’t do well.
…when I pour my blood, sweat, and tears into a blog post I thought was amazing, and nobody reads it.
…when I realize to become the awesome wealthy author I picture myself as I’ll have to write multiple books and sell multiple products and go through dozens of stops, starts, and iterations.
Sometimes when I look at the sheer scope of everything I need to accomplish, I think to myself, “Shit. How am I going to do all that?”
Then, after using this technique, I get back to work. I zero in on what needs to be done that day and I do it — even if I don’t feel like it.
So what’s the trick?
I put on my future goggles and I visualize what my life would look like if I did nothing.
I visualize myself at age 45 sitting in a cubicle every day, coming home to watch to watch a little T.V., and doing it over and over and over again until I die.
I’m not passing judgement on that type of life, but personally it horrifies me.
I don’t want to live a life where my income is always under someone’s control, and where I feel like I’m trapped in a prison of my own circumstances.
Sure, it hurts a little when I get rejected.
It stings a bit when something I write doesn’t do as well as I’d hoped. It’s frustrating when my writing career feels like climbing a mountain.
…but none of those hurt as bad as that picture of 45 year old me having given up on the life he wanted, living out the rest of his day in quiet desperation.
That won’t be me, because I’ll never quit.
I’ll never quit, because that won’t be me.
Honestly, I wish I could come up with the magic formula or recipe that’s going to get you off of your ass and help you get to work.
I don’t know what your circumstances are, but if you don’t like them….
Feel how much they hurt so you can do something about it.
Picture your life down the road if you continue to live this way. Do you like the way it looks?
I’ve got news for you. If you don’t do anything, that’s what your life will look like, and then you will die.
What a waste.
I’m not saying that to be mean. I’m telling the truth.
I don’t know what your personal dreams are. Nor do I care. What I do care about is whether or not you follow them. If you don’t, you’ll look back with regret and then you’ll die, never having done what you wanted. To me, that’s tragic.
So use my trick. Feel the pain of the future you don’t want and do everything you can do avoid it.
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Originally published at medium.com