“I walk slowly, but I never walk backward.” – Abraham Lincoln
Not seeing results? Feel like giving up?
Consider this: the last thing to grow on a fruit tree ….is the fruit.
In this fast-paced world, we want everything instantly – instant coffee, instant noodles, instant home loan, and so on.
Everything we do is result oriented. Our bosses get mad when they don’t get results quickly and students are pushed to study harder so that they can score good grades. And this is not limited to our professional life but also evident in our personal life. For instance, when we start learning a new thing, we expect to master it quickly.
Even a fruit does not grow the moment its seeds are planted. It takes time, time to nurture itself, soak in energy from the rays of the sun, time to grow into a juicy fruit. Likewise, while technology has made everything available to you instantly, literally at your fingertips, achieving great success takes time. We have to climb step by step and the process makes us impatient. We live in a world of instant gratification. Pop up notifications, light-speed Twitter feeds, instant internet connections…and frustration upon delay. We have evolved into a species who are able to create convenience, begin to enjoy it, and 5 minutes later become dissatisfied, because we want something even more convenient and faster.
We must understand that the nature of business and life is more organic. A gorgeous wine takes time to mature. A precious garden takes time to bloom. And great businesses and world-class lives are not created in a day.
Progress is more about evolution than revolution. Those small daily improvements, over time, lead to stunning results. It’s the small steps that matter most. And while taking these small steps, we cannot simply expect big results, just as simply chopping vegetables will not satisfy your hunger, you have to cook food and consume it before you feel satisfied.
When we start try learning new things, there is a possibility that we might not get instant results, be it weight loss, earning money, being happy or learning a new dance form. And when we don’t see results, we are generally bound to give up or quit. This often turns into a vicious cycle – we try something, we don’t get immediate results, we give up, again try a new thing again and this continues, we blame ourselves that we are good for nothing. Do you know Thomas Edison didn’t invent the light bulb in the one go? Before giving up and losing your patience, ask yourself why you started, in the first place. You started doing something with a vision in your mind. So why leave it half way, incomplete? Slow progress leads to success, and breakthroughs.
Here are 3 simple steps to follow when you feel that things are taking too long.
1. Don’t Force It
The most important thing is to stop forcing results. When you’re stuck and feel like banging your head against the wall, it’s a good idea to take actions cautiously. Let things marinate in your subconscious. The same applies when you’re taking any action in life. Don’t set grand goals from the beginning or expect immediate results. All good things take time and if you acknowledge this simple idea, things will go much more smoothly.
2. Respect the Process
Everyone works differently and have their own ways of doing things. Don’t be too hard on yourself when you aren’t able to write for 10 straight hours or change your diet overnight. There’s an optimal process that each of us follows. You need to respect it. Getting distracted isn’t a bad thing. Do what you enjoy, take breaks, and let things happen organically because often times, it is in these creative and playful moments that our mind truly opens up.
3. Make Progress
It doesn’t matter if you do a little or a lot on a daily basis. The only measurement is that you are getting closer to your goal everyday. If that’s searching for a breakthrough, engage with focused, conscious thinking for a couple hours, but don’t burn yourself out. Take a break and let the subconscious take over for a while. After all, the point is progress, not immediacy. Slow and steady wins the race. Ultimately, as long as you’re putting in the effort to move forward, you’ll achieve success. No matter how small or slow it feels, these little efforts add up far quicker than you’d realise. If you are a coach or trainer and want to help your clients manage daily disappointments and achieve their goals faster, check out this extremely effective skill building course for coaches and trainers.