As Tony Robbins says, most people over-estimate what they can achieve in a year and under-estimate what they can achieve in a decade. If you want to get good, great or amazing at something then you have to give it time. Do not rush your journey to mastery.
How long does it take for you to give up on something? If you were to fail at something once would you stop and decide that it’s not for you? What’s the longest you’ve ever worked at something: a week, a month, a year, a decade?
We all want to be amazing at life, but we often rush our efforts, doubt ourselves or give up at the first hurdle. If we don’t get what we want first time round we make excuses and say that it’s just not for us.
Charles Darwin and His Study Of Barnacles
Charles Darwin (1809-1882) first came up with his theory of ‘natural selection’ after his 5 year voyage around the world on HMS Beagle, but to prove his theory he needed extensive research if it was to be accepted by the scientific community.
Darwin proceeded to spend a further 8 years studying barnacles (the small shell like creatures that live on rocks by the sea) just to prove his theory. Could you imagine spending 8 years studying barnacles as well as holding down a day job? Well, Darwin did.
But during these 8 years he was able to gather enough research to prove his theory, which ultimately led to the publication of his greatest work ‘On The Origin Of Species’, and the rest is history.
When was the last time (if ever) you spent 8 years working on one thing?
Commit To The Process
Do you think Darwin had doubts during his 8 years of research? Possibly. Do you think he had people questioning what he was doing? Probably. Do you think he had people tell him that he should give up and move onto something else? Perhaps.
But Darwin never gave up, he pushed through any frustration, ignored the naysayers and after 8 years on one thing he achieved his goal.
What separates the greats from everyone else, is that when we learn a skill, we often reach a point of frustration – what we are learning seems beyond our capabilities. We then give in to our feelings and we quit, we look for excuses and find faults.
But when we reach this stage there are two crucial things to remember; faith and time. Faith in the process; that we can overcome this frustration, and that with enough sustained practice over time, we can push past the obstacle.
Frustration is a sign of progress – a signal that your mind is processing complexity and requires more practice. Trust the process, and the results will follow through your sustained efforts.
Ignore the results of others, instead focus on your own progress and commit to that process for the long haul.
It will be hard, and at times it may feel like you’re never making progress, but commit, commit, commit and one day it will be easy. One day, everything will just click and you’ll look back and see that all your hard work and frustration was worth it.
Have faith in the process and take your time.
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