Life on the Small
Everyone knows how to eat an elephant, … in small bites, of course. So why should life be any different? Most people want to begin at the top of the ladder. These days, it’s almost impossible to meet anyone who wants to start small, and start from the beginning. Everyone wants to start at the top, and I must admit that I use to think like that once, as well. The culture of “hero worship” is largely responsible for that result.
We are constantly bombarded, on a daily basis, with the great accomplishments of athletes, and/or similar feats of political or financial achievement. Is it any wonder that we want the same for ourselves?
When we see a quarterback throwing “the long bomb” pass, or another, scoring an incredible goal, we imagine ourselves doing the same, and then feel disappointed when we fail to achieve similar results for ourselves. The fact of the matter is that this athlete may have been practicing that technique for 10 or 20 years. Golfers, for example, practice their swings for years and years. What makes you think that you could achieve similar results is 15 or 20 minutes?
This fact applies to all facets of life. In the Building Trades, it is common knowledge that an apprentice requires 10,000 hours of study and practice to reach journeyman status. 10,000 hours, at 2000 hours per year is 5 years of persistent effort. This means that after spending 5 years in ANY field of study, you are only breaking the surface of the body of knowledge required to understand what is necessary to become competent in your field.
We live in a world of “instant” soup, instant coffee, and instant results. Let me go out on a limb here and say that they are NOT the same as “real” soup, great coffee, and the results that are achieved from years of dedicated study and practice.
Your life needs a routine and a schedule. Without it, chaos will reign supreme. You cannot function efficiently without order and structure. Ships need captains, and airplanes need pilots. How would you feel flying across the country, in an airplane, where the people in the cockpit were arguing on who was going to fly the plane, and what elevation they would be flying at. How comforting would it be, to fly with a pilot who just got his pilot’s certification, in only 30 days, “on the Internet”.
The only “instant” in life, is the struggle. Stop listening to the “sugar-coaters”. Sit down alone and ask yourself, “What do I want”, “What motivates me”, “How can I realistically achieve this”? Learn to leave your phone alone for a few minutes. Stop listening to everyone else, all the time. Take a few minutes to ask yourself questions, … and listen to the answers!
Teach yourself to listen, to read, and to study. Without study and learning, you are not going to be able to move forward in your career of choice, let alone compete with the best in your company, or in the world. Again, start small. It takes years to be able to do these things well. Learn to negotiate. Learn to speak up. Learn to stand up for yourself. You cannot, and will not, change the world in one day, but you can improve your life, and the lives of your loved ones, a tiny bit, everyday.
Do a little more today than you did yesterday, and a little more, tomorrow. In this way you can maintain a small amount of progress over time. You will be amazed at how much this adds up to over time. In a year, you won’t be able to recognize yourself.