“you don’t know how tough you are until you’ve been punched in the face”
“The best way to get rich is fast” that’s a phrase I’ve heard more times than I can remember. It’s obviously true that arriving at a place where you don’t have to worry about money is very important and the sooner one can get there the better. But money in and of itself is shouldn’t be the primary reason one does what they do, I know you may be rolling your eyes thinking “here comes a long sermon on how money can’t buy happiness” I promise that’s not what this is about. The reason money alone can’t serve as a sustainable motivation for why you’re pursuing your dream is because it typically takes a while for whatever you’re doing to finally show any material return i.e. money. The way life slips away from a lot of people is that a person will try something, maybe they’ll start a business and after a while of encountering challenges they’ll decide “this is taking too long and it’s too hard. Let me try something else” and they’ll do this over and over until one day they realize 20 or 30 years have passed and they haven’t stuck with anything long enough to see it through the inevitable pain and struggle that anything worth doing brings with it. The real objective for writing this is to hopefully help someone realize that the path to realizing your dreams is made up of a variety of different traits that you usually don’t start off knowing you have but are revealed to you as you engage with the reality of pursuing your dream.
The two traits I believe one needs to harness and strengthen the most however are; firstly a strong and sustained motivation and secondly a huge amount of patience. The desire to get rich isn’t necessarily a bad thing but it simply isn’t enough to fuel a sustained effort and an unwavering commitment towards realizing an objective. The reason for this is because for a very long time you won’t be making any money from your efforts and perhaps there’ll come a time when you feel like you’re in the clear financially only to find that your financial models are incorrect and not conducive to building a sustainable business and you have to start over financially. This happens sometimes; some people have businesses in order to finance their lifestyles, this invariably leads to a collapse of the business because, instead of reinvesting in the business, funds are used to buy a new car or spent in a night club somewhere. And while this isn’t ideal, it’s absolutely fine if you take your lessons from the mistakes and rebuild yourself as a better version having gone through the devastating pain and humiliation of failure. So it’s so essential to understand that sustainable success comes over a period of time in business, because at the same time you’re fighting to build a business you’re also unknowingly building yourself as well. With each step and misstep you learn lessons that will better equip you for the next major challenge you face and when you slowly become aware of this you start to enjoy it and that I believe is the key factor, enjoying the proverbial journey of moving towards a dream is the real fuel for arriving at your desired destination.
Don’t get me wrong money is very important, in the same way a car needs petrol to keep moving, a business needs money; in the same way Rembrandt needed paint in order to express his artistry in the form of beautiful paintings you also need money, but it should be remembered that Rembrandt was an artistic genius even without the paint. So at the center of the pursuit of your dreams is a self-awareness that says “I am not defined by any of the external circumstances I find myself in, be they good or bad” I truly believe once a person arrives at that realization there is no stopping them, because their desire to succeed stems from a knowing that they are capable of succeeding and not the trappings that come with success. Essentially what I’m saying is; learn to enjoy the process because that’s where your evolution happens, that’s when you go from cocoon to butterfly; from student to master. But without properly understanding that it’s a process that may and probably will take a long time, a lot of people quit because their motivation exists in external conditions and as such lacks stamina. Everyone is motivated at the start of a journey, but the first few blows and encounters with the harsh realities of seeking a meaningful life have the ability to tamper downwards the enthusiasm we have at the beginning and that’s where the “sorting” happens; many quit and only a very small number of people find the internal motivation to keep going. When you find the answer to your internal “why am I doing this”-success is already yours, it simply becomes just a matter of time. So my advice for anyone who’s determined to achieve a goal, whatever goal you’re getting after is this; understand it’s a process, success doesn’t happen overnight and if you truly allow yourself to fall in love with the process of your evolution into the version of yourself worthy of earning your wins, simply because you’ve taken the hard lessons that everyone else tried to avoid or just didn’t have the stomach to endure then you’ve won. Life is what’s happening right now, the space between the beginning and the end is what we call life and very few people ever learn how to enjoy that period, we’re all mostly thinking about the prize at the end or regretting having started, the ones who make it to ‘success” are the ones who learn to enjoy the moments in between.