Just when I think I’ve got it, it’s gone…

Studying is hard, but then so is everything else.

Last night I was talking with a trusted friend about holding on through the times when it seems like your hard work and sacrifice are never going to pay off. It can be hard, and the truth is that most people don’t bother to do it. It’s very easy to get side tracked or discouraged or just plain old quit.

To be honest, I think that hard work and sacrifice only pay off if you a)have a goal in mind and b) are realistic and focused about what it is you want and how you are going to get it. In other words, count up all the costs and realize that for some things to be done, others will have to remain undone.
More after the jump…

We all know people who work on dreams forever–and we all know other people who manage to turn those dreams into reality sooner or later. I honestly think the difference is in focus, trajectory, and to some extent, ego. If you are willing to let your small victories in your new endeavor be just that–small victories–and keep yourself focused on larger goals, then I honestly believe that those goals can be attained. It’s when folks get sidetracked by the small milestones and let those distract them from the bigger ones that you see the most dramatic failures. Everyone knows someone who wanted to be a pop star or a producer and was on track to do so…but they stalked met Snoop Dogg at an after-party once and got so caught up in bragging about that encounter and expecting that to make things happen for them that they never bothered to continue to work. Everyone knows someone who started a small business, got the license, that first dollar, and maybe made enough to move into that first storefront…but the storefront quickly became an obstacle rather than a success because the business owner can’t understand WHY the customers aren’t just waltzing through the front door. After all, they’ve worked their way up to a storefront!

And then, everyone knows–and perhaps has gossiped about or ridiculed–someone who has worked hard for something, sacrificing time and money and energy and sometimes sanity to get it–but when the time comes, in order to continue to the ultimate goal, that something has had to be let go–and they allow that to happen, continuing to sacrifice and work towards the next thing that will assist them in their journey. Those are the people who achieve success.

My point is, as always, is that success is a process, not a stage. If you’re not willing to continue past the first few milestones, you won’t make it. Harsh but true. When the mini-milestones become the daily norm, you just might have made it. Even THEN, you probably will need a lot of divine intervention and a good support network to keep going.

I’m not saying to start just discarding things willy-nilly, by the way. Trying to reach success does not mean that you get to get rid of all of the things that piss you off, confuse you, or demand things of you. It actually means that you might have to give up some easy stuff and chase after some things that you’d rather not pursue. You might find that things that piss you off might seem to be chasing you, and it’s only when you stop, embrace, and understand those things that you can move on to the next step.

And I say all of this while procrastinating writing a paper that is critical to my MA grade. *sigh* Time to practice what I preach, one A doesn’t make a degree. And one degree doesn’t make a success. Onward and upward…

Today’s title quote comes from the incredible Jennifer Knapp, one of the few Christian musicians whose albums I buy. She actually makes real music, y’all. And for whatever reason, very little of it is on the internet. (This may have something to do with her quite dramatic journey through Christian celebritydom…check this video out.)

In any case, the song is called Romans and I think you can hear it HERE on Spotify. Meanwhile, check out a live performance of another song by the talented Ms Knapp…

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One response

  1. […] the way, to me, this is one reason I believe that success is an incremental process that often has a lot of false starts. Maybe I’m the only person on the planet who remembers […]

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