The path to one’s goals isn’t linear

Excerpt from: my book series

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On many occasions, the answer to problems in one area of your life will come as a result of making progress somewhere else.

Refuse to waste time being deterred by something you can’t do and focus on something else that you can. Sometimes the rewards for your efforts on one path will help provide you with what you need to go down another.

The fire you light within yourself

Excerpt from: my book series

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Along the way to achieving whatever it is you desire, make sure your mindset is conducive to creating positive thought processes that reinforce your efforts.

Because until one changes the way they think, they will continue to follow familiar patterns in life. An example of this is when people start new endeavors with enthusiasm (or make New Year’s resolutions), but then fail to find the motivation necessary to follow through after obstacles arise.

The fire you light within yourself must not only burn hot enough to stay alight during turbulent times, it mustn’t be dependent on things you have no control over.

The path to success isn’t a straight line

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Don’t stop working towards a goal just because the path to it isn’t as direct or as easy as you hoped it would be. It is often the lessons one learns on their journey that are exactly what one needs to complete it.

“What we learn to do, we learn by doing.” — Aristotle

Related:

Do your thing.

It’s important to recognize that although some portions of one’s path through life may resemble another’s, we all have a very unique set of personal resources, life experiences, and circumstances that keep our paths from ever totally matching someone else’s. On top of that, we are all driven by a combination of values and priorities that are as unique to each of us as our DNA.

So it should be obvious that no two people live the same life.

And yet, many not only make a habit of comparing their lives to others, they get discouraged when they discover that someone has attained something they lack or achieved something they haven’t.

The reason we struggle with insecurity is because we compare our behind the scenes with everyone else’s highlight reel.” — Steve Furtick

Always remember that although some people’s paths may, at times, resemble others, no two people are on the same journey through life.

And because every person’s path through life is unique, it makes no sense to let the apparent successes of others on their paths discourage you from walking your own.

If you focus more on what you wish to accomplish in your life and less on what others are doing in theirs, you will be rewarded with an authentic life that fits you and not a poorly fitting imitation of someone else’s.

The point of life isn’t to follow the footsteps of others. It’s to make your own. So do your best and concern yourself more with what you want to do on your path in life and less about what others are doing on theirs.

Be inspired by the greatness of others on their paths, but don’t ever let the accomplishments of another person deter you from your own.

Related:

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The struggle to achieve

Anyone who has ever struggled to achieve something great knows that the journey to accomplish worthy goals is often fraught with hardship. They know that great tasks may sometimes appear improbable — or even impossible — before completed.

And, finally, they know that there is far more value in attempting great things — and learning from the experience — than there is in never trying.

“Be bold and courageous. When you look back on your life, you’ll regret the things you didn’t do more than the ones you did.” — H. Jackson Brown, Jr

Listening to sage advice from experienced individuals who wish to help you is one thing, entertaining criticism and fear mongering from people who have little understanding of what you want to do is another.

Not everyone will understand your journey. That’s fine. It’s not their journey to make sense of. It’s yours.”

Refuse to engage with those who try to scare you from going after what you want in life by pointing out all of the things that could go wrong or how weird what you want to do is.

“Freedom lies in being bold.” — Robert Frost

Know that, more often than not, the people who try to deter others from going after their dreams are those who fail to have what it takes to go after their own.

If you truly believe in what you’re trying to accomplish in life, don’t be overly concerned with those who don’t.

Anyone can take the easy path, follow the crowd, or do nothing. Refuse to entertain criticism from those who do.

Related:

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Wanting success doesn’t ensure it.

Seen in a meme:

“When you want to succeed as bad as you want to breathe, then you will be successful.”

It’s a quote by Eric Thomas from his book, “The Secret to Success”.

To be fair, I’m uncertain of the context of this quote within the book, but as a stand alone saying, it’s incomplete.

Intense desire can provide the motivation to act, but without action, desire — like wishful thinking — does very little.

One can want to succeed as badly as they want to breathe, but without being both willing and able to take the steps and make the sacrifices necessary to meet their goal, one won’t survive the road to success long enough to arrive at their desired destination.

The desire to breathe doesn’t keep people from drowning. Taking the steps necessary to get oxygen and stay afloat does. And this starts with learning how to swim.

An intense desire to be successful does not ensure success. One must be willing and able to learn & commit to the actions necessary to achieve it.

You can read a million motivational sayings to pump yourself up — or echo them to others until you’re blue in the face — but that won’t change anything unless you take action and consistently change your behavior.

Related:

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There will always be someone better at something than you are

Excerpt from: my book series

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We are often unaware of the struggles that others must face in order to achieve success. As Lee Honda put it, “Success is 99% failure.”

Know that whatever it is you wish to accomplish, no two people, businesses, or ventures are exactly the same. You can’t help but bring a unique perspective to your endeavors and a unique combination of talents and skills.

So even if the field is crowded, understand that you can succeed, too, but in order to do so, it is essential that you put in the effort and take action to achieve your goals.

Getting discouraged at others’ accomplishments and giving up because you feel you can’t compete gets you nowhere.

Constantly comparing yourself to others is waste of energy. There will always be someone better at something than you are.

A wise person once said, “Comparison is the thief of joy.”

Don’t let the success of others discourage you from your own endeavors or make you bitter. If someone has done or is doing something you would like to do, let it inspire you and be an indicator that you, too, can achieve great things.

Achieving personal goals series:

Related:

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Fueling one’s fire from within

Excerpt from: Motivation & achievement

When one’s motivation is dependent on external sources, the moment those sources are absent is the moment one’s motivation begins to fade. This is because motivation is a state of mind.

And if a particular state of one’s mind is dependent on the availability of things it doesn’t always have control over, it can be difficult to attain the state of mind associated with those things when they’re unavailable.

This is why it’s important to learn how to develop the mental discipline necessary to be one’s own source of motivation.

When one is able to motivate themselves, they light a kind of fire that can burn indefinitely.

Related:

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“Do not follow your passion.”

[This was originally written as a response to a post by Wojtek Skalski on Medium.]

Every so often someone likes to challenge “Follow your passion” by suggesting that people shouldn’t (Huffington Post | Wojtek Skalski). And that’s fine.

But it’s important to realize that there is rarely a single approach to life that works best for all people.

“Do not follow your passion.” suggests that countless wise and successful people who have advised it are wrong. And that isn’t necessarily the case.

Because for at least some, follow your passion is the answer.

But whether it involves pursuing one’s passions or not, folks who dispense life advice would likely be far wiser offering open-minded suggestions than absolutes.

Neither is necessarily bad advice. It simply depends on what one’s source of motivation and values are in life.

Success can be defined and measured in many ways.

Not everyone measures wealth with money. Not everyone wants to lead a conventional life. And not everyone has the courage to go after what they truly want.

Whether a person ultimately succeeds at turning their passion into a sustainable career or not, one thing is for certain, they will no longer live with the regret of never having tried.

What is one of the primary purposes of life if not to continually reaching out for newer, richer, deeper, life-changing experiences?

People who don’t think that involves pursuing one’s passions may be successful at what they do, but at the expense of being truly fulfilled by it.

Video: Why you will fail to have a great career | Larry Smith |TED

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