The old adage "slow and steady wins the race" has been used to motivate people to continue, or persevere, in their quest for their dreams even in the face of adversity. The truth is, success does require perseverance, but it also requires timeliness. You have to be aware of the span of time you have available to meet your goal, which occasionally means you have to move faster than you're comfortable going.
How often have you heard a compelling story such as the 92-year old who finally finished college? That would be an example of perseverance in the purest form of the word. There's only one small problem with this scenario. I bet that when the woman decided she wanted to finish college someday, she had plans that went along with getting that degree: a job, a new career, maybe the ability to make more money to buy a larger home. How does finishing that college degree now help her make her life better? The answer is, it doesn't.
In order to be successful, you have to embrace the potential for success. This means not settling for "eventually" finishing your degree or "one day" opening your own business. Patience is one thing, but casualness is quite another. You should wake up every day with your goal firmly in mind. You must also be mindful of the timeline in which you plan to reach your goal, which is where this obsession with perseverance falls short.
Authors know this concept all too well. When you come up with a brilliant idea for a story, you don't work on it a little bit every day until you finish it. You try your best to push the writing out of your soul and onto paper in as little time as possible so that you can send it to publishers before someone else comes along with the same idea.
Don't ever think that it's too late to incorporate your own timeline into a long-term goal. Begin by taking your current goal list. Review the goals you have for yourself. Are there any that are time-sensitive, like finishing college or getting a promotion? If so, consider breaking the goal up into manageable pieces and begin to tackle those immediately.
Be ready to quicken your pace when an opportunity arises. If you are wanting to start a business, for example, and suddenly find yourself laid off or facing a cut in hours, don't immediately go in search of another job to replace what you had. Sometimes things happen that appear to derail us from our chosen route to success, when it might be that you're simply being pushed to switch tracks.
Don't settle for meeting the bare minimum. If you finish a weekly goal early, work on next week's goal, change your timeline to reflect a faster pace and don't look back. Success isn't so much about perseverance over a long period of time, it's about persevering when the circumstances of your life threaten your current progress.
Go for your goals with gusto every day. Motivate yourself and don't' acknowledge obstacles. You can realize your future before your future passes you up.
My challenge for you this week:
Write down two goals that, once accomplished, will significantly improve your life.
Develop a timeline to complete each goal.
List sacrifices you are willing to make that will shorten the time necessary to reach each goal.
These steps will allow you to make sure that you not only persevere, but that you will also complete your goals in a timely manner!