Why am I not seeing bigger results? Why is this taking so long? Shouldn't I be further along by now?
We live in a world where the big story wins. It's all about the biggest loser. The one who has suffered the most. The fastest time. The most hits on YouTube. We all crave the viral story – the name in big lights – to be the voice heard around the world. In the land of opportunity, many of us are looking around to see who gets there first, who is ahead of us, or how fast we can say we reached the top.
In our fast-paced race to reach our dreams, we fall into the trap of thinking it must happen fast. And if it doesn't, we feel like we are failing.
In the business of being a motivational speaker, I see this all the time – frustration that results are not coming quickly enough. And you wouldn't believe how many people I see who are waiting without doing anything to make it happen! If I've learned anything in life and in business, it's that success doesn't happen by magic. And it doesn't happen in one step.
Success is not a one-step process. It's a series of tiny steps.
I know when we look at the world around us, it feels like other people are getting big breaks and being in the right place at the right time – getting noticed. Sure, people get noticed. But usually after they spent a lot of time preparing, and getting in lines. Nobody gets there in one moment. It just so happens that the moment they arrive is the moment we see.
So why do we expect to get healthy in one step?
Yep. Guilty. I'm doing that right now. And I should know better. I'm in that place somewhere in the middle of setting a goal and reaching it. More towards the setting than the reaching. And it's a gross place to be. Because the results are tiny. And I'm frustrated. I want them to be bigger. And I want them to be NOW. So it's time to shift my perspective once again.
Instead of focusing on that end goal and being frustrated at how far you have to go, focus on every tiny little victory – no matter how small.
Motivational Speakers know the power in focus and perspective. We know that being focused on the wrong thing can sabotage your success and cause you to quit. So lying in bed at night and feeling like a failure because I'm not further along, I need to take a closer look at what I did do TODAY. The hundreds of tiny victories that I swept under the rug.
For example, yesterday on April 29, 2013, I was frustrated because I wasn't closer to my healthy living goal. What I failed to notice was:
Every single thing I ate yesterday served a good healthy purpose for my body. Not one bite was wasted on food that would harm me. That is HUGE for me. HUGE. My whole life I have looked at food from the perspective of enjoyment. Yesterday, not only did I look at food as a source of fuel for my body – I didn't even have to do it on purpose. It came naturally! Big. Big. Big victory. And to think I almost missed it.
I got up at 6am and drove to the gym and worked out with weights. I didn't quit too soon. And I actually enjoyed feeling my muscles burn. Again – HUGE! What a shift in my attitude. But did I spend one moment patting myself on the back for that? No. I was too busy dreading tomorrow's workout.
Yesterday I got on the scale and threw up a little bit in my mouth. Yuck. This is not the number I wanted to see. I went through the rest of the day feeling like the Goodyear blimp – convinced that one day I'm going to make front page of the paper because they are going to have to come cut me out of my house. And so I wore failure like a comfortable old coat. I didn't even think about what that scale said just three weeks ago, and how much work I had put into changing it. How many tiny little steps and challenges it took for every number that disaappeared. I totally lost sight of the fact that my goal was not a number – but to change a habit and create a new lifestyle. So why was I focusing on the number? Once again, I took my eye off the destination, and focused on the distraction. Wrong.
I bet if I put more time into it, I could count dozens more tiny little victories just yesterday alone that went unnoticed. And I bet if I'm missing those victories, so are you. So I'm going to ask you a favor – those of you who are discouraged and wishing this would happen faster. I'm going to ask that you release those wishes and focus on what went right. Pick apart every moment, every detail of this journey – whether this is about your health, your business, your relationship, or your life. Pick it apart and find those victories. And CELEBRATE them. No matter how small they seem. They aren't.
Every tiny victory is actually one piece to the puzzle that is your end goal. Without each tiny piece, the puzzle is not complete. While it is important to know what the end puzzle looks like – right now it is more important to focus on the tiny pieces. One by one. Like beautiful pieces of art you have created. Don't be so busy looking for big victories – that you miss the small ones. This mistake might actually cost you the big victory.