What’s the most important factor to living your dreams?
Is it skill, ability, intelligence, or creativity?
None of the above.
The secret to realizing your dreams is simple: consistency. It’s not a magic recipe. It’s not a secret of the top 1%. Anyone can show up every day.
It’s important to clearly identify your goals. It’s critical to create a plan, implement deadlines, monitor progress, and add accountability. However, consistency is the essential ingredient in the recipe.
Your emotional states and beliefs play a key role in turning dreams into reality. If you don’t believe that you deserve your dreams, you will sabotage your efforts so that you get what you deserve.
If you focus on your fear of failure, you will be frozen into inaction. If you constantly feel overwhelmed by the mountain you need to climb to realize your dreams, you will give up and climb a hill instead.
The antidote to destructive emotional states and limiting beliefs is to show up and focus on the process.
When you’re anxious and afraid, execute your plan. When you’re uncertain about the market’s response to your product, get to work. When you’re crippled by feelings of inadequacy, follow your plan. Always execute the plan and focus on the next step.
Negative emotional states lurk inside of you, waiting to pounce in your moments of weakness.
When you follow your road map every day, your emotional states lose their power over you. They can’t control you anymore. Your beliefs will be transformed as well. Your self-image will transform from a wandering traveler swayed by the winds of circumstances to a train headed towards its destination.
Step at a Time
The focus on showing up every day disarms the feelings of overwhelm, inadequacy, and fear. Your only job is to sit down and work on the plan you created. Your focus is on the next step rather than the mountain ahead. By focusing on the next step, you can apply surgical precision to overcome obstacles that arise.
When you meet a roadblock, you can strategically decide whether the best path forward is around, over, or through the obstacle. Your clarity and decisiveness result from a singular focus on the next action.
“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” Lao-tzu
The more you show up consistently regardless of the circumstances, the easier it becomes to continue the habit.
At some point, it becomes easier to sit down and work every day than to be derailed by endless distractions. Additionally, thinking about your goal every day tunes you into a frequency that broadcasts avenues and opportunities that facilitate your goal. Maybe it’s an alternative approach you haven’t considered. Maybe it’s a connection to someone who provides the value you need at a specific moment. You open yourself up to seemingly fortuitous opportunities that propel you forward.
Process over Outcome
When you trust the plan, you choose process over outcome. If you obsess over outcome, the failures sting. They lead to feelings of inadequacy and incompetency. They lead to discouragement. On the other hand, focusing on the process enables you to view setbacks as opportunities to learn and improve. Failures become your best teacher.
When you prioritize execution, the results don’t matter.
If you faithfully execute the plan, the results will follow eventually.
You can focus on excellence in each action instead of being distracted by your peers or the distance remaining to reach your goal.
You make incremental gains each day. The continuous forward progress and small wins create exponential, massive gains over time. You’ll look back and marvel at how far you’ve travelled from the starting line. Excellence in each task adds up to a masterpiece over time.
In an interview with GQ before starting The Late Show, Stephen Colbert had a great explanation of process: “The end product is jokes, but you could easily say the end product is intention. Having intentionality at all times… The process of process is process.”
The end goal matters when you’re developing the road map, visualizing your dream, monitoring progress, and strategically adjusting your approach. However, when you’re doing the daily work that’s required to reach your goal, process, execution, and consistency rule the day.
Show up today. Show up tomorrow. Show up the day after tomorrow. Focus on the journey. Obsess over the process. That’s the simple secret to turning dreams into reality.
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