It’s not unusual for a person to think they’re doing worse than they actually are. Progress can also be hard to see sometimes, particularly when things aren’t working out for you, you’re experiencing failure, or you have little to no results and rewards for your efforts.
If you feel like you’re working hard with little to show for it, you’re probably mistaken, and it’s likely that you’re doing a lot better than you think! As an analogy, think of a seedling planted in the soil of your garden. Each day you take care of it, feed and water it, and keep away the weeds in order for that seed to germinate and finally sprout. Depending on the seed, it could take weeks or months before you see any signs that it’s actually growing. But soon enough you start to see signs that this seed is starting to grow.
In the same way, this is how you should view your progress towards achieving something worthwhile and significant. Even though there are no tell-tale signs, things are in fact happening. You just have to recognize the signs.
1. You’re learning the lesson that each mistake and failure brings. If you can learn something from every failure and mistake, it won’t take long before you’re incredibly successful. Each failure and setback is really information and data telling you that you need to adjust your plans and actions. They are helping you to self-correct, much like the autopilot of a plane does, to keep you on track.
2. You’re clear on what you want. You have a huge advantage if you know what you want. Most people are aimlessly floating through life, but when you know what you want and why you want it, you’re on your way because you know what you’re aiming at.
3. You spend your time wisely. Spend your time well and good things happen. Spend your time poorly and your life will be a train wreck. Instead of binge-watching TV, what else could you be doing?
A great question to ask yourself is this, “Is what I am doing right now in this moment moving me in the direction of my goals and dreams?”
4. You’re making regular progress. Consistent progress is a great sign. Even if you feel like you’re light years from your goal, all you need is regular progress on a consistent basis.
For example, if your goal is to lose say 20 Kgs (44 pounds), you wont lose it all at once, and in fact in the beginning you may feel like that you aren’t making any progress at all. However, every positive action you do to lose the weight becomes meaningful over a period of time, until you finally achieve your goal, a few months later.
5. You’re consistent in your efforts. Success isn’t about working really hard for a day here and there, it’s about putting in the work on a daily basis.
I have a saying that I embedded into my thinking which has now become habitual for me, ‘Be disciplined, consistent, and persistent, every day, every week.’ This mantra has helped me overcome some huge mountains and obstacles in my life simply by taking the small, consistent efforts required each and every day.
Being consistent in your efforts also means that you’re sticking to your goals. Working for a week on one goal and then changing your mind and working on something else is a path to nowhere.
6. You’re not alone. Even if you think that you are all alone, you’re not. You may have no one to help you as you struggle each day to achieve something, but there have been others who too have had to do it alone for a while until they succeeded. Draw on these people for hope and inspiration and let them become beacons of hope for you. In time you will attract the right people which will make the experience so much more worthwhile.
7. You’re optimistic. When you’re optimistic, there’s hope, and when you’re optimistic, you’ll take action. Conversely, when your expectations are low, you quickly become stuck, because you believe your efforts will be a waste of time. However, your focus should always be on the end game, keep your eyes ion the prize. This will provide you with hope and optimism that one day, in the not-too-distant future, you will be standing on top of the mountain you have just conquered.
8. You’re determined. Commitment is a great sign that you’re going places. Good things happen when you’re determined. When you’re determined and committed you will do whatever it takes, which is another tell-tale sign that you’re already on your way to victory and success.
9. You’re not worried about the opinions of others. If you care too much about what others think, you’ll prefer to play it safe, and you won’t do anything significant. However, if you don’t care about the opinions of others, it’s another indication that you’re on your way to the success and achievement you want and deserve.
10. You’re healthy. If you’re basically healthy, you have a huge leg up on a lot of people. Good health is a huge blessing. In fact, I’m of the belief that having sound physical, mental and emotional health are one the most important things a person can do to live a happier life, and in order for a person to achieve this, they need to be willing to put in the effort to have and maintain sound health. With each positive step a person takes to improve their health, they are already successful.
Life is both easy as well as challenging and it will have its ups and downs. Added to that there are societies expectations on achieving financial success. But there are other things that are just as important including family and friends, a warm bed, and a job. If you have these in your life you’re actually doing ok. If you don’t then acknowledging this can be the stepping stone to having these in your life, which in itself is a good sign for you.
If you’re clear on what you’re trying to accomplish, and you’re spending your time wisely, you’re doing quite well. This is true even if the results haven’t revealed themselves yet. Have faith and remember all you need to do is,
‘Be disciplined, consistent, and persistent, every day, every week.’