The Quakers have a saying: “When you pray, move your feet.”
We have to keep our eye on the prize; we have to constantly hold the vision of our big, unrealogical goal and focus on it intently (that’s the prayer part). But in the here and now, we have to take logical, planned action every single day that will move us toward that goal (that’s the “move your feet” part).
You see, remarkable people make a habit of doing things that MOST PEOPLE can’t, don’t, or won’t do. That is the key difference between the people who succeed and those who fail.
But, creating a habit requires discipline – the discipline to do what must be done even when we don’t FEEL like doing it! See, when most people hear the word “discipline,” they tend to think of punishment; however, discipline at its most basic level is giving yourself a command and following it – SELF-discipline. Without self-discipline we will never achieve long-term success.
As I have mentioned many times before, the path to our goal will never be a straight line; it is a journey that has its share of obstacles, setbacks, and disappointments, along with its triumphs. And standing here at this moment in time, our logic cannot even begin to explain HOW we are going to get from where we are right now to where we, ultimately, want to be.
If you try to view your goal as a single leap from where you are today to where you want to be, then you may as well forget it; that’s just not how it works. It becomes too overwhelming and you will quit before you really even get started.
Look at this figure:
Yes, the path to your goal is littered with all manner of unexpected events, but the path from point A to point B (from today to tomorrow) is almost linear. You can absolutely see the steps you need to take that will move you closer (even if only a fraction of a baby step closer) to your goal.
Maybe it’s a phone call that needs to be made, a meeting that needs to be scheduled, or one small piece of a larger project that needs to be completed.
“Go as far as you can see and when you get there you’ll be able to see farther.” ~ Thomas Carlyle
It’s like climbing a staircase. We can’t jump from the ground floor to the top of the staircase on the 5th floor in one step. But if we take the steps one at a time as we go, then in no time at all, we’ll be on the 5th floor.
So, be impatiently patient with yourself – know that it’s a process and that it will take time, but always be eager to move to the next step.