Wouldn’t it be wonderful to accomplish our goals without putting in any work? I must admit, however, from what I’ve experienced in my life, it doesn’t seem to work that way.
Any time I accomplish a challenging goal it requires movement towards the goal, and movement towards the goal guarantees friction and obstacles that I must overcome.
Sometimes I let the barriers get in my way, and I take the easy way out which leads to me sacrificing my aspirations for short-term comforts.
Though, I’ve been fortunate enough to realize that when I am on target, I find ways to motivate and inspire myself to push harder and move towards achieving my goals. That usually comes in the form of finding out what I want first and then pursuing it relentlessly.
Let me tell you what happened to me:
When I was a Freshman in college, I worked at Taco Bell to pay the bills. I’m not going to lie, I was probably one of the most inconsistent employees in terms of work ethic there was. Back then, my my philosophy was to “put in the minimum” to get by. I was physically, mentally, and emotionally drained going to school full time during the week, then working close to 30 hours on the weekend. There was no such thing as a “day off.”
I could clearly see that food service was not my passion. My real passion was education: learning, teaching, helping others learn and become the best they could be. I was also really interested in student leadership, and getting involved with my college campus. At the beginning of my sophomore year I resolved to leave Taco Bell and find work elsewhere.
Anyone that’s ever looked for a new job can tell you what a terrifying experience it can be, and it was no different for me. I put myself out there and started contacting different departments on my college campus looking for work.
I knew it was a long-shot, but I knew in the back of my mind that I was capable of being an excellent worker at whatever I did, and I was ready to do whatever it took to prove my worth. I wanted to be a writing consultant so bad. That was my ultimate goal. That was my dream job.
Call me a nerd, I know, but I really enjoyed working with other students to help them write better papers. Unfortunately, I wasn’t even close to being near the qualifications of becoming a writing consultant. I managed to find a job on campus after asking the coordinator of Student Activities for a meeting.
I wanted to discuss what I could offer Student Activities, and my vision for what I could add to the program. Apparently, she was impressed, and decided to hire me. I spent that year working for Student Activities, while taking more classes in English, and building up my qualifications by taking a class specifically for writing consultants.
At the end of Spring quarter of my sophomore year, I applied for a job in The Writing Center. To my surprise, the director of the program agreed to give me an interview. In no less than a year, I achieved my goal.
I was hired, and I finally got my dream job as a writing consultant in The Writing Center. During that time, I also got more involved on campus and became active in student leadership. I finished out my schooling as a writing consultant, and involving myself in multiple leadership opportunities, including being elected as President of the Student Senate.
The key to my success was that I had a clear idea of what I wanted, and I went for it. I had the foresight to know that I could do anything I set my mind to, and that I was going to become a writing consultant and a student leader. I persisted and overcame every obstacle in my path to achieve my goal, and that’s ultimately what propelled me to where I am today.
I couldn’t imagine where I’d be if I would have just stayed working at Taco Bell because it was the “comfortable” thing to do. I would probably still be working at Taco Bell, miserable, having never accomplished what I really wanted to do in my life. That’s why I always try to help other people follow their dreams by showing them that it’s possible through leadership.
I’m not about to miss the boat again. And to think that it all resulted from having a vision that I wanted something better for myself, that I was worth something more, and that acted as a powerful motivator to help me persist and achieve my goals. How about you? Where do you want to go, and what is going to motivate you to persist?
What will your life be like in 5 years, 10 years, 20 years? What is your vision for your self, and why do you want to achieve that vision? Look for it, and you’ll find it. As Jim Rohn always said, “Finding is reserved for the seekers.”