Technology is evolving so quickly and opportunities are expanding so rapidly that it seems anyone can be an entrepreneur, if they want it badly enough.
Gone are the days of working 40 years at the same job and hoping to enter retirement with enough money.
The earnest and fastidious have everything they need in today’s world to create the exact life they want.
But what’s little known to those outside the arena of success is the road to failure is paved with good intentions. Fulfillment requires more than simply waking up with a smile on your face and a handful of lofty yearnings.
How to Stay Motivated During Tough Times
The world is not so simple and straightforward that a bright idea will open every door of your heart’s desires. Achieving lasting fulfillment requires mental tenacity, emotional resilience and intellectual prowess all balanced with a youthful courage.
Below I’ve compiled four of my most reliable tips for staying in the game, even when it looks like nothing can get better.
1) You Have to Maintain Your Course of Action When the Road Gets Tough
First and foremost, it’s critical to address your mindset as you carve out a path towards your business, goal or achievement. As the headline indicates, “good intentions”, as correct as they may feel, can sweep us off the path before we have a fighting chance at reaching our goals.
At some point along the way, everybody encounters thoughts of getting started with their passion project and allowing solely their love to guide the way.
As essential as it is to love what you do, widely-appreciated entrepreneur Tim Ferriss encourages those starting up to be “almost pessimistically pragmatic.” What Ferriss is getting at here is viewing your pursuit with enough clarity to recognize things will get tough. The litmus test for your success is to ask yourself:
“Do I care enough about what I’m doing that I won’t quit even when I think everything has broken down?”
2) There is Not Always a Way out… But there is Always a Way Through
Any person who has become successful and is honest – whether an author, entrepreneur, athlete, restaurateur or someone else – will share that at one or more times along their path, it seemed like everything was at a dead end.
Our world functions in such a way that often times, small results come easily and magnificent results come with much more struggle.
It is very plausible that you’re facing a dead end in your business – or you feel you are. In truth, there is not always a clear-cut way out of your problem, but there is always a way through. Perhaps there’s a software you need to learn and you don’t have enough money budgeted to outsource it.
You might need to reach out to a key figure in your niche and it feels intimidating.
There could simply be a lot of work to do and you don’t know how you’re going to get through it all. The circumstances you’re facing are a unique challenge that, when embraced, can create greater strength in you than you thought possible.
3) Safety and Security do Not Always Promise What we Truly Want
In these trying moments, jumping back onto “the shore” and stepping away from the sea can look awfully tempting. Getting that “cushy office job” or returning to school for another two years always present themselves as shining lights in the dark tunnel of persistence. When evaluated with the long term, however, security and safety are only obstacles to the true dreams you want.
Therefore, it’s vital to understand that freedom and security are forever at odds. Technically speaking, you cannot have both. With a secure job or career, you have a paycheck you can rely on at set intervals and set amounts, allowing for budgeting to be simpler. You also typically don’t have to worry about growing a clientele.
With freedom, these comforts and many others temporarily fade, but you open the door that will – with the right kind of work – unlock the tangible dreams you’ve always hoped for.
Ultimately, “security” is a fallacy. World markets and economical conditions change so swiftly that within 10 years, the consummate landscape of production and consumption could look almost entirely different. What’s more, those with the most secure work are those who are constantly creating new opportunities for themselves and those they work with.
They are unafraid to push the limits and ask new questions, thereby uncovering places in the world that hold fresh possibilities.
Along your path to success, decide which fork in the road holds the cost you’re willing to pay – security, or freedom. Would you rather hold on tight to a “secure” job, never knowing if it will finally provide what you want? Or are you willing to pay the full cost up front for freedom, trekking towards authentic fulfillment?
4) Take the Risk Now – You’ll Learn and Grow Through it
The final step in staying away from the premature death of good intentions is taking the risk now. Before you jump to conclusions though, hear me out. The most common misconception about risks out there is that risks are this “blind faith” thing – as though you ought to walk into a venture having no idea what you’re actually doing, but somehow trying to pass pure excitement off as the only fuel you’ll need.
A proper and healthy risk is a fundamental plan that, while not containing all the details, outlines specific steps towards a goal and is backed up by faithful action. The risk part of a risk comes in where you don’t know the exact outcome of every step, but you’re willing to remain steadfast to complete that final goal.
Use these tips to keep you focused and determined when you feel the pressure couldn’t get any worse. And more than anything, use them to remind yourself that you’re not alone on this journey. Everyone who has become successful at some point ran into roadblocks along the way, and decided they wanted the result more than the pain.
Stick with it – success is right around the corner!