Begin with the End in Mind

Living in the moment is easier said than done.

For the type-A-overachievers it can be one of the biggest challenges you will ever face. And by facing that challenge you may encounter the peace that you are looking for.

If we could only have a button to shut our brains off… If only for a couple of minutes…

Let’s be honest. You know you “Dream” about being able to relax, not having to work and solve complex problems. But you also dread not having anything to do.

It is who you are, so you must accept it. You are in flow when you are facing challenges, and working to overcome them. And the growth that happens thanks to that process is your bliss.

How could we stay forever in that state of bliss? Well, we just can’t! And the sooner we accept it, the better of we will be.

Instead of focusing on finding and craving those moments of bliss, let’s appreciate the ones we’ve been able to have. And let’s be mindful so that when the next one comes we will be able to live it and feel it to the last second.

We need to be constantly reminded of these things until it becomes a habit.

Tell Me About It!

Have you ever been running, doing exercise, or hiking, and forgot to bring water? You were probably so thirsty that your mouth and throat felt like the desert.

How much did you value the water once you were finally able to find it? It was probably one of the best moments ever. Just like sleeping after a very long and tough day.

Yet we complain so much about all these “hardships” and obstacles that we face, without understanding that it is actually thanks to those hard times that we can enjoy and appreciate the good ones.

This may sound a bit esoteric, so I am going to bring it to the business/professional career context.

How many times have you complained when you are at the starting stages of a project? That stage that seems boring because you have to do a lot of research and data gathering. And then start compiling and formatting that data…

And then when the data starts looking better your brain starts connecting the dots and identifying patterns... You actually start to enjoy the process!

Later you have to prepare for the presentation and here comes fear. You probably procrastinate because you are trying to run away from the possibility of failure and looking like a fool in front of your peers.

But you toughen up, you prepare enough. You practice over and over. And you nail it during your presentation!

Ahhhhh… You feel great!

And by now you have forgotten how it all started… by doing some boring data gathering and formatting.

The next project starts and you go through all these thoughts and emotions again. Sometimes letting those emotions take control of you.

What if there was a different way to go through this process? One where your perception would allow you to stay positive, and focused on the good side of every step.

Focus on the Positive

Many people confuse being positive with never having to face tough times, or they think being positive is an unrealistic point of view.

Whatever you think, you are right! Because your perception will become your reality.

To me, being positive is focusing on the good side of what is happening. For example, I see failure as a learning opportunity.

It doesn’t mean that I don't feel a bit disappointed when failure happens. It just means that I don’t let that emotion take control of me and my decisions.

How can we apply this to be motivated every time we start a new project?

First of all, you should visualize how the end of the project is going to look like, and especially how is going to feel like. If visualizing is hard, then try to remember a successful project that you have already completed.

How did you feel at the end? Keep that thought and picture in mind and connect it with the new project. And you should also remember that the beginning stages were not so energizing, but that was the first and necessary step. Without that step, you wouldn’t have been able to end on a high note.

Appreciate the tedious and boring steps, because they are necessary. And breaking the whole project into stages will allow you to have a clear picture of the process. It will let you know that soon you will be engaged in more interesting and meaningful work.

  1. Begin with the End in Mind: Visualize how you want to finish. Be excited about the possible results you will achieve.
  2. Design a Route: Break the project into small tasks. Remind yourself that the tedious steps are necessary.

If there is nothing that you actually enjoy about the projects you are currently doing, then you should probably be doing something different. Loving what you do doesn’t mean that you will always be happy and energized. It means that you enjoy some parts of it so much that you are willing to endure the not so good ones.

Ask any athlete. If they are honest they will probably tell you they hate practice (yes, “we talking bout practice” again). But those same athletes will tell you how much they love winning.

And the ones that love performing at a better place than the ones that just love winning. Because their ego won’t be attached to an outcome, it will be attached to the process of becoming better.

Appreciate and embrace the struggles. They won’t last forever. And you will be able to enjoy life more thanks to those hard times.

Learning and sharing knowledge are my passions, let’s connect if those are yours too.

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