Have you ever found yourself in difficulty trying to do something and then, all of a sudden, you find the power to do it?
My father has been complaining about walking for years, never really being able to walk for a long time as he got tired quickly. Yet, a few months ago, my parents went have a 3-week trip in Peru where they spent day after day after around a lot. At that time, my father didn’t complain at all and could walk a lot every single day to visit all he wanted. A week earlier, however, He was going to buy bread at the bakery by scooter despite it being at a few minutes walk.
The reason he didn’t have any trouble in Peru can be sum up with one word: purpose. He had not trouble walking because he wanted to and not because he had to. Changing his perspective was all that he needed.
While the above is only a short example, it is a perfect example of how motivation to reach a goal work can move someone.
Being with the End in Mind
This is why finding your life purpose is the first thing on which you should act. Yet, if it were that easy find, we would all have a life purpose set a long time ago.
This is why you first need to work on this. To do this, the best way to be perfectly honest with oneself is to follow the Habit 2 from The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: “Begin with the end in Mind”.
It does not refer to thinking of the goal itself being reached but goes further: think about where you want to be when you die. This seems rather dark and depressing in itself obviously. Yet, this will actually allow you to stop lying to yourself.
Think about how you want to be remembered, what you want to have accomplished and what contributions you’d like to have done; all this in the following 4 contexts: family, friends, work, community.
Obviously, this task will take time to complete and should be done without any distraction. It took me a total of 4–5 hours cut into separate batches to write everything down (taking into account the fact that reading the chapter about this had already gotten me to start thinking about it).
When writing this table down, think not only of the accomplishments themselves, but spend time on the contributions. I perceive the difference as being the following: accomplishments are reached once while the contributions are actions done on a rather regular basis.
Find what you want instead of what you need.
By pondering which contributions you want to make, you can find things that you enjoy doing. This means that any hard time you may have to go through can be handled because you want to.
Realizing what you want to do in the long run will allow you then to figure out the small tasks that combined together will evolve into a larger realization of your goals. You will thus be able to stop thinking you are in a hurry and work on those goals through small tasks.
Polyglots don’t wake up one day speaking 10 languages. They have to work on the languages day after day. Yet, knowing where they want to go and, above all, enjoying the process allows them to go through hardships.
Indeed, it is always much easier to do something that you want to do than to do something that you need to do. We all want to have a perfect body but, for this, we believe we need to go to the gym. If you don’t enjoy going to the gym, then you may give up but if you enjoy wall-climbing or biking, by doing some often, you can reach that goal.
Think of the alternatives
If something seems complicated or boring to do for you, it doesn’t mean that there isn’t any way for you to do it. Think outside the box and find the alternatives that fit your personality. The goals you’ve set yourself will become pleasant.
We always tend to think in black and white, in “either… or…”. Yet most of our lives has more colors to it. Thinking about options you have is not easy but there are almost always ways to do something differently. So if you feel blocked because X or Y goal “cannot be reached”, then dig deeper and find another path to reach it.
As goes the proverb: “All roads lead to Rome”. So find the one that’ll do the trick for you.
By knowing where you want to go and being honest with yourself in understanding where the hurdles will appear, you can find what triggers that thrill in you and go through with those. You will finally be able to see the time you have and even though you may not always find it at first, after months of working on those goals, you will be able to start proactively creating gaps in your schedule to work on those goals.