One of the issues with blind optimism is that living your life with blinders on can leave one vulnerable to being exploited by others or simply knocked off balance when something you didn’t see coming happens.
It’s better to live with your eyes open and acknowledge what you can’t control — while directing your attention to what you can — than it is to pretend that the things you don’t wish to see don’t exist.
Whatever you focus on grows stronger because energy flows where attention goes.
So focus your attention on what you desire — and what you wish to change — without putting blinders on, and you will be putting energy where you want it, without losing sight of the larger picture.
You are stronger, smarter, and more resilient than you think. You are capable of achieving far more than you believe.
You were meant for greatness — like all of those who have achieved it.
But it takes persistence. It takes determination. It takes facing your fears and doing that which is hard & necessary, instead of what is quick and easy. It takes skipping the mythical shortcuts & using your imagination as a map and preview of life’s coming attractions.
Because if your aspirations don’t push you beyond your comfort zone, you’re not aiming high enough.
The most worthwhile goals in your life will be mountains, not molehills. They will not only force you to face challenges you expect, they’ll force you overcome obstacles you couldn’t anticipate when you started.
It’s not the challenges we expect on a journey that force us to face self-doubt as much as it’s those we never see coming. Learn to expect the unexpected and don’t be deterred by it.
Whenever self-doubt strikes on your journey, remind yourself why you started and focus not on how far you are from your goal, but instead on how far you’ve come.
Focus on your progress and your victories, no matter how small. Focus on the knowledge you’ve gained on your journey and all the new insights you can convert into wisdom.
Accept setbacks and self-doubt as part of your journey and refuse to let them deter you from the greatness you know is within you.
Remember that you didn’t pick your goals because you knew they would be easy, you picked them knowing they were hard but worthwhile.
No. Life isn’t fair. But how you deal with life being unfair is a choice. You can choose to play a victim and let it weaken you. Or you can choose to be a warrior, learn from it, and let it strengthen you. Because despite the fact that life isn’t fair, every person has the ability to do whatever they can with whatever they have to make something positive of themselves, their lives, and the lives of those around them.
“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms–to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.” — Viktor Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning
No matter how small what you do may be, every step you make towards a goal is progress, and everything you do to make a positive difference, counts. In the words of Vincent Van Gogh, “Great things are done by a series of small things brought together.”
You will be surprised by how much you can do with only a little.
No matter what life throws your way, no matter how unfair it may seem, refuse to play the victim. Refuse to be ruled by fear, pessimism, and negativity. Refuse to quit. Be a warrior and work through whatever challenges you face in life with courage, love, and positivity. And continually push forward.
Because you are a survivor of the unfairness of life. You are stronger than you think. And you are capable of achieving far more than you believe. Don’t ever give up.
Who we are today is a result of all the decisions we’ve ever made in life. Whatever we wish to be in the future depends on our present actions. To become who you wish to be, simply determine how that person would act and then, little by little, act like that person.
“Stubbornly persist, and you will find that the limits of your stubbornness go well beyond the stubbornness of your limits.” — Robert Brault
20 things I’ve learned about determination & commitment in 333 days.
1. It means focusing on your heart’s desire(s) and not giving up on your goal(s) when you are forced beyond your comfort zone or when inevitable setbacks or disappointments happen.
2. It means focusing on changing the things you can and not complaining about or focusing on the things you cannot.
3. It means taking action and doing what is hard & necessary to get things done and not expecting others to do it for you.
4. It means facing your fears and battling doubts, but refusing to give in to either.
5. It means making mistakes, falling down, or suffering embarrassment — but learning from these experiences and using them to push forward towards your goal — not letting them weaken your resolve or overcome you.
“Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful people with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan “press on” has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race” — Calvin Coolidge
6. It means taking steps every single day, wherever you are, whatever you are doing, and no matter how small your steps may be, to move towards your heart’s desires.
7. It means focusing on the bigger picture — making sacrifices and delaying gratification in order to invest in where you intend to go.
“Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising up every time we fail.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson
8. It means letting go of trying to please or be “friends” with everyone.
9. It means potentially (likely) stirring things up, causing a “ruckus”, drawing complaints, or attracting “haters” due to your actions — and pushing forward regardless.
10. It means dealing with the criticism from friends, family, colleagues, competitors, or anyone at any time who may cross your path and judge you or laugh at you or tell you “you can’t” or “you won’t”, but not letting it stand in the way of you and your goal.
“Keep your dreams alive. Understand to achieve anything requires faith and belief in yourself, vision, hard work, determination, and dedication. Remember all things are possible for those who believe.” — Gail Devers
11. It means living with integrity — sticking up for your beliefs & values and being honest with yourself and others — even when it’s uncomfortable or your views or goals appear unpopular.
12. It means constantly seeking ways to improve yourself and your “craft” and better ways to do whatever is necessary to achieve your goal.
13. It means not giving up when a door is slammed in your face or you are told “no” 99 times — instead, you focus on finding alternative paths to your goal — some way, somehow to get to the person behind the 100th door that says “yes”.
14. It means if you are offended, betrayed, or belittled by people who are close to you or you discover others working against you, not letting it derail you from reaching your ultimate goal.
15. It means continually and deliberately reaching beyond your comfort zone and doing what others won’t in order to achieve your goal.
“With ordinary talent and extraordinary perseverance, all things are attainable.” — Thomas Foxwell Buxton
16. It means understanding both your strengths and your weaknesses — and maximizing one while trying to minimize the other.
17. It means fueling your own fire and being a significant source of your own motivation — utilizing your passion for what you’re doing to achieve your goal.
18. It means finding a way, no matter how difficult or uncomfortable what you’re doing may be, to enjoy and learn from the process & journey — to live in the present and appreciate what you’re doing or any positive impact it may have on others.
19. It means believing in yourself and a goal that may appear “unrealistic” or against the odds to many — but knowing deep down that it’s not only possible, but that you can do it.
20. It means living up to your own standards.
Giving up is the easiest thing to do. In fact, many times people are happy to accept quitting as long as one appeared to put in some effort — even if it wasn’t their best — “It’s ok, you did the best you could.”
Some may even tempt you with, “No one will think any less of you for quitting.”, but…
If you’re truly going after your heart’s desires and you truly believe in yourself and what you’re trying to accomplish, then it doesn’t matter what other people think because you’re not doing it for them — you’re doing it for you.
“Success seems to be largely a matter of hanging on after others have let go.” — William Feather