The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity. The fears are paper tigers. You can do anything you decide to do. You can act to change and control your life; and the procedure, the process is its own reward. – Amelia Earhart
Some days are tougher than the other; sometimes you are upbeat other times you are down. No one lives a problem-free life; the key is to constantly show up, work hard, trust the process and relentlessly execute. Getting anything worthwhile done in life and business requires commitment, patience, consistency, and self-discipline. You do not need to be great to start, but you have to start to be great.
You are either preparing or you are repairing. To achieve long-lasting success requires consistent working on yourself, your business, and your goals. Anything worthwhile takes time, dedication, and commitment to the journey and not the destination. The journey is more important than the destination because when you get to the destination, the journey always continues. It is not what you achieve that matters, it is what you become on your path to success that really matters.
“It is good to have an end to journey towards; but it is the journey that matters, in the end. – Ursula K Le Guin
Life is in stages and seasons, there is a time to work on your project and there is a time to reap the reward of your hardwork, either through monetary rewards, awards or recognition. Success is cause and effect, what you sow is what you would reap. If you work hard, what is hard would eventually work but if you take short cut, you would eventually be cut short. We get rewarded in public for what we diligently practice and refine in private.
“Success does not require alibis, Failure Permits No Alibis ” – Napoleon Hill.
Social Media and Impatience
Patience is the capacity to accept or tolerate delay, frustration, pain, or suffering without getting angry or upset. Patience is a lost art in our society nowadays, thanks largely to the internet and social media. The average site visitor will abandon a site if it doesn’t load within the first 3 seconds; Youtube or Netflix buffering is unacceptable for more than 5 seconds. We have gotten so used to getting everything at the speed of thought, no need to research a topic in the library, Google it, no need to cook a great meal at home, order it through Uber eats, no need to have face to face conversations, send a message through Facebook or WhatsApp. These technologies and platforms have made our lives easier, but it also contributes to our collective impatience, nontolerance, and inability to listen to each other.
“Knowing trees, I understand the meaning of patience. Knowing grass, I can appreciate persistence.” —Hal Borland
Trusting the Process
Trusting the process means you let go of things you can not control and working on things you can control. Building a great product, career, or business that would stand the test of time requires that you work hard on the fundamentals, build systems and follow through on the essentials. To grow a tree requires sow the seed in the ground, watering it for a period of time, and trusting the process of growth of the tree, and eventually, it would germinate at the right time. The Chinese bamboo tree growth pattern is a great analogy on the power of patience and trusting the process.
Chinese Bamboo Tree.
Like any plant, the Chinese bamboo tree requires nurturing through water, sunshine, fertile soil, and sowing the seed. In the first four years of watering and nurturing, there is no visible sign of growth, but finally, in the fifth year, the tree grows up to 90 feet within a six weeks period. The tree’s growth pattern is how a lot of creative ventures grow; for example, you start a blog about a particular niche, and you post content daily for the first 18 months or 2 years, and you do not get the kind of traction you want. From experience, if you stay consistent with great content, learn from the data points and analytics about the content bringing the traffic, work on the 20% of the content that brings 80% of the traffic, with time, patience, and trusting the process, you would become successful.
“The twin killers of success are impatience and greed” – Jim Rohn
Cause and Effect
In As a Man Thinketh, Author James Allen writes:
The thoughtless, the ignorant, and indolent, seeing only the apparent effects of things and not the things themselves, talk of law, of fortune, and chance. Seeing a man grow rich, they say, “How lucky is!” Observing another become intellectual they exclaim, “How highly favored he is!” And noting the saintly character and wide influence of another, they remark, “How chance aids him at every turn!” They don’t see the trials and failures and the struggles which these men have voluntarily encountered in order to gain their experience; have no knowledge of the sacrifices they have made, of the undaunted efforts they have put forth, of the faith they have exercised, that they might overcome the apparently insurmountable, and realize the vision of their heart. They do not know the darkness and the heartaches; they only see the light and the Joy, and they call it “luck”; do not see the longing arduous journey, but only behold the pleasant goal, and call it “good fortune”; do not understand the process, but only perceive the result, and call it “chance”.
They do not know the darkness and the heart aches; they only see the light and the Joy, and they call it “luck”; do not see the longing arduous journey, but only behold the pleasant goal, and call it “good fortune”; do not understand the process, but only perceive the result, and call it “chance”.
The soul attracts that which it secretly harbours; that which it loves, and also that which it fears; it reaches the height of its cherished aspirations; it falls to the level of its unchastened desires,—and circumstances are the means by which the soul receives its own. Every thought-seed sown or allowed to fall into the mind, and to take root there, produces its own, blossoming sooner or later into act, and bearing its own fruitage of opportunity and circumstance. Good thoughts bear good fruit, bad thoughts bad fruit. The outer world of circumstance shapes itself to the inner world of thought, and both pleasant and unpleasant external conditions are factors, which make for the ultimate good of the individual. As the reaper of his own harvest, man learns both by suffering and bliss.
Remember that everything in the entire limitless universe operates according to the law of cause and effect. There are no exceptions to this. Nothing happens by accident. For every result, there’s a cause. You have only to take care of the cause; the effect will always, without exception, take care of itself. Good cause; good effect. No cause; no effect. Bad cause; bad effect. It’s as reliable as the rising of the sun.
In his book, The Psychology of Money: Timeless Lessons on Wealth, Greed, and Happiness, Author Morgan Housel writes about Rick Guerin:
You’ve likely heard of the investing duo of Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger. But 40 years ago there was a third member of the group, Rick Guerin.
Warren, Charlie, and Rick made investments together and interviewed business managers together. Then Rick kind of disappeared, at least relative to Buffett and Munger’s success. Investor Mohnish Pabrai once asked Buffett what happened to Rick. Mohnish recalled:
“Charlie and I always knew that we would become incredibly wealthy. We were not in a hurry to get wealthy; we knew it would happen. Rick was just as smart as us, but he was in a hurry.”
What happened was that in the 1973–1974 downturn, Rick was levered with margin loans. And the stock market went down almost 70% in those two years, so he got margin calls. He sold his Berkshire stock to Warren—Warren actually said “I bought Rick’s Berkshire stock”—at under $40 a piece. Rick was forced to sell because he was levered.
Charlie, Warren, and Rick were equally skilled at getting wealthy. But Warren and Charlie had the added skill of staying wealthy. Which, over time, is the skill that matters most.
“Having an ‘edge’ and surviving are two different things: the first requires the second. You need to avoid ruin. At all costs.” – Nassim Taleb
Patience is the Key
Patience is needed to achieve anything built to last; it takes time, overnight success is a myth; it requires deliberate practice, doing what you love, and believing that everything would work for you in the end. The path to greatness is usually tough but seeing the end in mind and playing a long-term game is the key to achieving long-term progress.
Life is tough. We all go through it, and the fact is that we are all not going to get out of it alive. The ups and downs, the pain, losses, the deaths, the layoffs, the disappointments, the rejections, the tears, the injuries, worries, anxiety, betrayals, envy, jealousy, the family feud, the disagreements, the divorce, the miscarriages, the infertility, the dejections, we are all going to go through it at one point or the other.
In his book, The War of Art: Winning the Inner Creative Battle, Author Steven Pressfield writes:
“The professional arms himself with patience, not only to give the stars time to align in his career but to keep himself from flaming out in each individual work. He knows that any job, whether it’s a novel or a kitchen remodel, takes twice as long as he thinks and costs twice as much. He accepts that. He recognizes it as reality. The professional steels himself at the start of a project, reminding himself it is the Iditarod, not the sixty-yard dash. He conserves his energy. He prepares his mind for the long haul. He sustains himself with the knowledge that if he can just keep those huskies mushing, sooner or later the sled will pull into Nome.”
No matter what it is, you have to trust the process: Decide what you want, follow through with your commitment, and execute relentlessly. This is going to be tough. Nothing that is meant to last comes easy. Write that blog post for a long time even though the traffic is not high right now, but if you keep at it, your tribe would eventually come around. I have been working daily on this blog with at least one entry per day for the past year and the traction might not be what I want it to be right now, but I have to trust the process by doing my best through great content and consistency, with time, I would get the breakthrough I desire.
Consistency is the key to achieve your greatest dreams and aspirations, the naysayers, cynics, ignorant and indolent would come around, whisper, shout and distract you from your goals but you have to tune out the noise, differentiate the noise from the signal, and trust the process.
All the Best in your quest to get Better. Don’t Settle: Live with Passion.