If you’ve ever felt like giving up on your dreams, you’ve probably missed a couple of important steps that will get you there. Whether you want to be debt free, take a dream vacation, or start a business, this formula is for you.
Spoon in hand, I stood over the stove, frustrated. The recipe said that the sauce would have thickened by now, so I must have done something wrong. I decided I’d give it another minute and then give up.
Within several seconds, that runny milk suddenly turned into a beautiful creamy sauce. In two turns of the spoon, my recipe had gone from slop to something delicious.
As I did my little happy dance, I couldn’t help but think of other times this kind of thing happens.
The toddler that was several months behind on walking (compared to his big brother) suddenly decided in one day that walking was no longer a challenge.
On a larger level, something like the Berlin Wall. For decades it was impenetrable, until one day (out of nowhere) it was open.
These events seem like magic. You put in hard work, but it seems like nothing you try makes it happen until it’s good and ready to happen.
Deep down, we know that it isn’t magic. If we don’t stand at the stove and stir the right ingredients, that sauce isn’t going to form itself.
While it looks like the baby went from total clumsiness to practically running in only a day, there are things happening that we can’t see. Science says that babies begin practicing “reflex walking” as early as 10 weeks old! When you put them down for some tummy time, they are actually watching you walk away and studying the motions.
Your baby seems like a sleepy little guy, but he’s actually putting in the time it takes to learn how to walk for months before you’ll see the result.
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How Do You Stop Yourself From Giving Up?
What does sauce and baby walking have to do with your situation?
Because when you have that strong desire for something new, that’s the time when everyone else seems to have it better than you.
We all know that one guy that has it all. Everything just seems to click for him.
What you can’t see is that he studied “walking” for months before those clicks began to form. That sauce that suddenly thickened was a mixture of just the right amount of fat, flour, heat, and time.
Those sudden success stories are sometimes nothing more than dumb luck. But you can’t replicate that, and jealousy over it is a waste of time.
So let’s look at the majority of success stories, instead. Because most of those things have a recipe that you can replicate.
The Steps You Can Copy
- Know what you need to do.
- Gather all the right tools.
- Send out as many worker bees as you can. Then send out more.
- Don’t give up until you’ve worked at least twice as long as you had thought it would take.
Begin with Knowledge
The first step is important. The reason we aren’t already living our dream is often because we don’t know how to. You’ll want to read up on what it takes to get to the life you want.
Beware imposter syndrome! Nearly all of our brains will try to protect you from failure by throwing out thoughts like “I can’t do this! I’ve never done it before. And everyone will know I’m a fraud.”
Unfortunately, this starting step is where most people live. They stay in the gathering stage forever and complain that the timing isn’t right.
You’ll know if you’re afraid to leave this step because you say things like:
- I can’t get rid of debt because I don’t know how much I owe to everyone. And I have to finish this book about being debt free. Oh, and the website said I have a couple more things to do before I choose the first bill to pay.
- That dream job would be amazing, but I don’t have the right degree for it.
- As soon as I have saved 6 months expenses, I’ll quit my job and try working for myself.
- A vacation with the family is the dream, but we could never afford to go to Paris with five kids.
Gather The Right Tools
Years ago, the only way to get ahead was to get an education from an accredited university. Luckily, we live in the information age. Education is at your fingertips.
If you want to get out of debt, pull together a biweekly budget and take on a side job.
To take that trip, learn the cheapest ways to travel and decide that your dream trip is more important than your daily latte. Pile up cash that’s just for your trip.
For the first couple of years of blogging, I would make one image for my blog posts that people could pin. Then one day I learned that many big bloggers actually make as many as 10 pinnable images for every post they write! And guess what? They get a lot more traffic from Pinterest than I do.
That’s because instead of sending out one small worker bee and hoping he brings “food” (in this case, traffic) back to my blog, they are sending out 10 bees. That increases the chances that people will enjoy one of the ten pins and they’ll be more enticed to click through.
(If Pinterest is something that interests you, this book has some amazing information that will definitely improve your game.)
How many worker bees do you send out before you give up? Your buddy who has it all probably sent out 10 times as many bees as you did. Try sending out more:
- meet and greets
- hotel and airline searches
- items for sale on Ebay, Craigslist, Amazon
- “Just $2” to the credit card company (A lot of one dollar bills will eventually add up to getting rid of debt.)
Have you seen the old cartoon of the man who gives up digging a long tunnel just a couple of feet from diamonds? Most of us underestimate how much hard work it takes to get what we want. Just like the sauce I was ready to give up on, we quit just before we hit the good stuff.
This quote hangs by my desk, and I read it often.Achievement seems to be connected with action. Successful men and women keep moving. They make mistakes, but they don't quit. ~Conrad HiltonClick To Tweet
Dig deep and find your tenacity. With a solid foundation (knowing what to do, the right tools, and more worker bees than you ever thought you’d need), the last, but critical step is sticking with it.
Decide if you want to live a life of giving everything to your dream, or a life of “what if?”.
Don’t Give Up Yet
Often people will tell me that they can’t get out of debt. A #yearofno isn’t possible for them, because of X, Y, or Z.
The truth is that some people have been dealt a hard spot in life… and they may never overcome it. Those people need a strong support system.
But far more people choose to pick up the blanket of “life is hard” and wrap themselves tight. Shaking off hard circumstances isn’t easy. Remember that just because you’ve had a rough six months doesn’t mean life is always going to be this hard. Give yourself every opportunity you can to pull yourself out of that rough patch.
Be intentional. Want a change more than you want the safety of staying where you are. Remember that you could be just two turns of the spoon away from what you want most.
What do you do when you feel like giving up?