“Until you have had the taste of finishing, you will never respect yourself.” ~ T.D. Jakes
I resonated so deeply with the above motivational quote, because I discovered self-respect for myself when I made the decision to be consistent, for ONCE in my life. Since starting Push Factor, I had a lot of energy, motivation and drive in the first 6 months… and then July thing started to slow down for me. I slowly began to lose the momentum I begun with. At first, I was very hard on myself about this, because I was on a roll, but because I had so many expectations for how far Push Factor should have gone this year that did not materialize, I slowly started losing traction in terms of my overall goal for the website.
The beginning of anything is not easy. You should know that the middle is even tougher, because once you have created a system, and a routine for that system, you have to create the discipline to maintain it, and this is where people end up quitting.
It’s time consuming, it is tedious and boring many times, and because you do not see the fruits of it, you find yourself quitting while you’re ahead.
Do you know what it feels like to already be down on yourself about something you started, and then add insult to your already injured self to quit it? It can be painful. For many of us who are serial quitters – you can consider me a recovering one – it hurt the first time when you decided not to do something anymore. Perhaps when you were a kid, and you realised you weren’t much of an athlete like some of your schoolmates, or that you couldn’t draw to well… the minute you realized this, you made the decision never to pursue it again, and that’s true for all of us.
But as you got older, you found yourself not giving effort towards much of anything, even the things you knew you were good at. Now as a fully grown adult, you are not particularly happy with where you are in your life, and surprise, surprise, there are many ventures, activities, hobbies, projects, etc. that you may have started, but have never followed through on. You simply do not know how to start something and see it through to the finish line.
Many of us are employed simply because we have to pay bills. What we do for a living really does not interest us, and we run away from the reality of it by escaping into anything that will distract us, usually after working hours and of course during the weekend. Many of us want prosperity but we do not know what it takes, because we have never cultivated the discipline to finish something we ourselves have started.
Personally, I was not nurtured to bear or struggle for anything. I was brought up in an environment where everything else was taken care of, and all I had to do was get good grades in school. The biggest tragedy I have suffered was losing my brother, but life has been extremely good to me other than that. Now I do not mean that we must show our children what it is like to struggle and make their lives extra hard, but what I did not get from my parents was the lesson that struggle, academically, and with my own abilities is actually good for me, and that if I stuck with it then I would see the results. I am absolutely thankful for how I was raised, and what I learnt, I shall pass on to the next generation, whether I decide to have a child nor not…
What I realise now in my 30s is that I had no self-discipline when I was younger, because there were no immediate consequences if I chose not to go for piano classes, or take art class seriously, etc, etc. I did not take them as a personal initiative to cultivate my skills. I just saw my talents as chores. I laugh at that idea now, but my discipline then, like my mind, was extremely immature. Quitting was like second nature to me. If I didn’t like it, I quit. I’m still like that now, especially with food. I don’t know where I will find the discipline to stick to a clean diet… but that’s a story for another day.
As adults now, we realize that anything worth attaining requires discipline. The Dalai Lama says that even happiness requires discipline, because it is a conscious, daily practise to change one’s mood from bad to good. It takes work, and it takes time. It is tedious work but it must be done because we have a greater goal to achieve which we shall truly rejoice in, if only we make the effort to do the work, whether it is spiritual, physical, financial, mental, emotional, it all requires discipline and daily practise.
So how do we go about starting something and seeing it through? I have 3 steps for you to consider:
1. Find Your Push Factor
A Push Factor is not just a goal you write! A Push Factor must have a strong emotional attachment attached to that goal you want to accomplish. Ask yourself WHY you want to accomplish that goal. What is your big Why? What is so important to you that this goal must be done? Another important question to ask yourself is what are you sick and tired of that this goal can help you transcend that feeling of frustration? And finally, what will be the consequences if you do not follow through on accomplishing your goal?
You see, the pain of what you will go through if you do not accomplish your goal must become greater than the fear, or even the laziness of not wanting to do it. It must become a MUST and no longer an option for you!
2. Create A Daily Process or Routine
Let’s face it, the way you run your life everyday might not be enough to accomplish that goal you have set for yourself. There will be some daily modifications you will have to make, like the time you will need to set aside to put effort into your desired goal. You will not only have to deny yourself a lot of immediate gratification and luxuries, but you will also have to make a daily habit of it. You have to get used to spending more time on the thing that is important to you. Now I do not mean isolate yourself. We all know that there is a time for fun and a time for work. But most of us dedicate our time to fun that will not benefit us, or can be harmful to us physically and emotionally, so choose to create a daily routine and process that adds value to you and your desired successes!
3. Prepare For The Bad Days
I did not mention this in the video, but I have realized that on my worst days, I get through them best when I am gentle with myself. I would much rather console and encourage myself than berate myself for something I have not done. Even now, when I have fallen back on my work schedule and my mind goes into my old ways of negative self-talk, I make myself aware of the voices in my head, and consciously remind myself that I am human, I make mistakes, and that I can always start again. I also remind myself that I am the one who started my projects, and that I can create my own rules. As long as I do what I need to do by the time allotted, I do not have to follow anyone’s advice, or voice, but my own, and that helps me get through some very bad days.
Also practise patience. At the beginning, and even long after that, almost nothing really goes as you expect, and this is why many of us quit. You have to find something else to focus on within the project or endeavour you are working on that gives you encouragement, and not necessarily on the bigger expectations you had. You have to find ways to motivate yourself through the tough times, and sometimes, they can last for long stretches, like a big bad drought. This is your truest test of resistance to quitting, and when you find your own water reserve within your drought, then after that, trust me when I say that there is absolutely nothing you cannot get through.
I hope this video and article have helped you.
Question: What do you do to resist the urge to quit? Do comment below and let me know what your thoughts are.