This has been an interesting season of life for me recently. Specifically, as it relates to this blog, I’ve admittedly had a hard time keeping up with my own expectations. Whether it’s a certain number of posts or a desire to scale and grow, or my desire to diversify my content, I have not done a good job at self-managing. I have not had any systems in place since coming off my last hiatus. That [not having a system in place] was and has always been an intentional decision of mine however, I’m learning that I cannot have ambitions to grow with no structure guiding me to do so.
The blog is a small example but the same has been true of my personal life recently too. I’m starting to put those necessary fail safes in place however, it was a challenge for some time. The main contributing factor to that is because I wanted to do too much. Between work, applying to school, a recent whirlwind of family issues, aspirations of maintaining the little bit of a social life I currently have, and other miscellaneous personal things that take of my time, I found myself being spread too thin. At one point, I even considered posting a half assed post on here for the sake of having some content up and driving numbers to my page. In short, I allowed myself to lose my joy. This is not uncommon for me, but this is the first time I’m acknowledging it and definitely the first time I’m writing it down and making it plain.
I always tend to lose my joy in one way or another, mainly because I allow myself to forget why I do what I do in the first place. Writing for example went from being a passion to being a business, which is not inherently a bad thing, but my relationship with that paradigm was bad. Other things in my life did a similar transition where the narrative shifted from “hey this is an opportunity/privilege” to “this is an obligation”. Without a why nothing makes sense. I learned recently that big victories are not big because of their scale and scope. Big victories are big because of the discipline that comes before the opportunity. The equation to success is hard work plus luck.
The harder a person works, the more luck they are likely to generate for themselves, and the more success they are bound to have. What I’m saying is, there have been two major extremes in my life leading up to this realization and acknowledgement: on one hand I can be really passionate and give something everything I have, and on the other hand, my expectation of that work ethic is rapid success and growth. The reality is success does not come rapidly nor is it always grandiose, but it can come consistently.
It’s a matter of how we quantify what success looks like. This is an old adage but the most successful people most likely started by making their bed everyday. The bible says to “do not despise your humble beginnings”. It’s not the action of making one’s bed everyday that makes a person successful, it’s the discipline of it, with the reward being that at the end of everyday they get the privilege of coming home to a made bed.
If we can begin to shift our focus from success that is rooted in results, to success that is rooted in disciplined activities and systems that lead to desired results, we will begin to see constant success, and we will create for ourselves opportunities to be successful on a larger scale. I’ve begun to implement this strategy in how I organize my days and weeks. Time management has been an area of growth for me; I’ve been finding ways to put systems in place at home and at work that would allow for me to make the most of my time.
Another good example is the gym. I recently started working out with a close friend and we’ve put different systems in place that have held us accountable to going to the gym and has allowed us to stay engaged and motivated. As for this blog starting today I will be putting systems in place that will allow for me to meet my goals but will also allow for me to retain my joy; Like writing about things that are motivated and inspired and not just pumping out posts because I need content or because I need more visitors to my website.
How can we create atmospheres for ourselves that allow us to be consistently successful?
The first way we can all engage in generating consistent success for ourselves is by doing things that we are passionate about. If we are passionate about something the success will come. That is because passion drives motivation, motivation drives discipline, and discipline drives success. I’ve never actively decided to put a system in place for something I had no interest in. This is true in all areas of one’s life: at work, at home, in school, in relationships, and everywhere else.
After a person finds passion in what they do, the next step should be a desire to get better. It does not matter how much I want to do something, if I’m not willing to get better at that thing I want to do, it’s not a passion, it’s a past time. Truth is, some of us need to recategorize what we claim as a passion as a past time. An example of this for me would be Pokémon. I was once passionate about the series and the prospect of getting the new generation 8 games. but recently, I’ve come to the realization that I’m not passionate enough about the series to continue to play at the level I use to, and it has become more of a past time for me. I would encourage all of us to take stock of our passions and past times.
Finally, the way we create atmospheres for ourselves that allow us to be consistently successful, and hopefully by now this does not come as a surprise to anyone, is we become disciplined in our actions. How we do that, is by making small yet intentional behavioral changes. For me that has looked like going to the gym consistently, reading regularly, and creating space for certain things. I’ve also utilized accountability partners to assist in keeping me on track and focused on my growth. Success is available to all of us, and I think we achieve it by first redefining it, and secondly, by applying it to areas of our lives that matter. Let’s not be jacks of all trades and master’s of none, that will leave us with a whole lot of past times with few, if any, passions.
Join the conversation and share your perspective in the comment section below!