“When you do what you love, the seemingly impossible becomes simply challenging, the laborious becomes purposeful resistance, the difficult loses its edge and is trampled by your progress.” ― Steve Maraboli
Even during the windy, rainy days of spring, we know that warmer days are on their way. And so long as we plant the bulbs of tulips and daffodils in the soil before the warmth of the spring, we can be confident that in time, their blossoms will offer their beauty.
You see when we know the rules of how the world works (in this case the seasons), and we do the front loading to ensure to our best ability that indeed what we expect will occur, we stack the odds in our favor. Understandably, there may be unexpected events like a dog digging up your prized bulbs or a freak snow storm in the middle of April, but more often than not, we can plan on success so long as we give ourselves time to prepare.
Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about preparedness. Often when we’re in the middle of it doing the hard labor, the hours of study and research and making the mistakes that teach us the necessary lessons we need to learn in order to be successful later, can make it seem as though our goal will never be reached.
But almost as if by magic, we get busy with the doing, we forget how much time has passed and we realize that the winds are beginning to blow in our favor. Opportunities begin being presented that we can now take advantage of, our confidence is boosted because we’ve shown ourselves we can indeed learn new material, tricks and skills, and as we slowly put forth this effort, we ourselves are forever changed for the better. After all, we cannot transform our lives if we aren’t willing to transform our thoughts and behaviors.
So today, I’d like to offer some reassurance. Whether you are striking out on a new career path, giving your entire life a facelift or simply wanting to strengthen your financial security, below are 10 signs that if you recognize them in your day-to-day routine, you can rest assured that you are progressing in the right direction and in time, success will be met.
1. When Problems Arise, You Strategize, Rather Than Sulk
Navigating through life successfully requires that we grow up and deal effectively with the obstacles we will inevitably have to face from time to time rather than whine or blame others. So upon the arrival of the unexpected (and unwanted occurrence), try to remove as much of the emotion as possible, sit down, logically look at the problem and all of the solutions available. If you need to, talk to others who may be able to impart some wisdom, because nothing you are facing is impossible to overcome. In fact, in may just be an opportunity in disguise.
2. Before Making Big Decisions, You Do Your Homework
In order to evolve and bring about the change we seek, we must make decisions that we’ve never made before. However, it is important to understand that in making potentially life alerting decisions, we need to prepare ourselves sufficiently. With access to seemingly unlimited information, there is no excuse not to educate yourself on whatever it is you are pursuing. Just as you must study for an exam, you must study for the life you want.
3. You Are Willing to Ask Questions, Say No, Step Back and Assess
Rather than accepting everything at face value, you consider the source, you ask questions when you don’t have the answers or aren’t given what you expected or were promised. And most importantly, you have the strength to say no when whatever is being presented doesn’t work for your life plan, budget or align with your priorities. Certain situations will be easier than others, but no doubt, it is in the respect of your life that you must find your voice even if others do not understand.
4. With Clear Goals Set, You Know What Can Be Sacrificed and What Cannot
As I mentioned a few weeks ago, once you know where you want to go, the guess work is gone. You may have to weather some storms, but once you know what you want, you also know what you need and what you can let go of. How do you know this information? You’ve been doing your homework (as mentioned in #2). And when you know what you can sacrifice, #3 becomes much easier as well.
5. The Past is in the Past
When you are able to let go of the past, accept the decisions you made and live in the present while planning for the future, you no longer have the weight that is holding you back. The easiest way to ensure that leaving the past behind will be simple is to be present in the moment right now – speak your truth, treat others as you would wish to be treated, but maintain your self-respect and voice in tandem. So long as you do your best in the here-and-now, you cannot wonder “What if?” or “If only”. And so you can move forward knowing that you did your best and when you know even better, you’ll do better.
6. Trying Something New is Something You are Willing to Try
When you become secure and more assured of the life you are living, you become more willing to try new things. It could be something small such as having sushi or it could be something grand like applying for a job overseas. You see when we have a healthy understanding of our worth (and we are all worthy), we realize that while we may not be successful or we may end up spitting the sushi out, the worst thing that can happen is that we learn something about ourselves that helps us better understand the life we want to live. And what a wonderful gift to give ourselves?
7. The Life You Are Living (or Creating for Yourself) Makes You Smile
If you ever catch yourself wanting to pinch yourself as you find yourself in moments that leave you absolutely giddy and speechless, then I’d say you’re on the right track. It may take a while before these moments begin to happen, but when they do, drink them up because so long as you say focused, there will be more to enjoy.
8. Mistakes Have Been Made, But They Aren’t Holding You Back
Just as when you try something new, sometimes, you will trip, stumble or barely get started before hitting a wall or being rejected. Whether this happens to reroute you or condition you as you continue on the same path, you know there is value in these mistakes. As Kurt Vonnegut reminds us “A step backward, after making a wrong turn, is a step in the right direction.” Knowledge is dripping from everywhere if you only know to grab it and use it as you progress.
9. Satisfaction Comes When Your Best Effort was Given, Not When Perfection is Achieved
Knowing the difference between pursuing excellence rather than perfection can be a life lesson that takes time, but understanding the value in simply giving your best and the peace of mind you give yourself (and only you can give yourself) is life altering. Click here to read more.
10. You Begin to See Glimmers of Change, Hope and Possibility
Whether you have achieved your goals and are in pursuit of another one or are in the middle of pursuing your first grand goal, there will be moments when you will see glimpses of the life you have been working toward. When you experience these moments, it’s not a fluke. Rather, see it as encouragement and motivation to keep trekking because you’re heading in the right direction.
Life doesn’t usually show up outside of our door with an encouraging sign that lets us know we’re heading in the right direction, keep up the good work. However, life does offer us signs that occur to encourage us, remind us and reinvigorate us as we continue forward. After all, if we love the life we are creating, nothing is impossible. It may take more work, more investigation and a few more hours, but it can be done.
Keep up the hard work. You’ll be glad you did.
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