The reason get rich quick schemes exist (although never work) is because we have such a preoccupation with being rich and successful. It’s the same as how we diligently do the lottery each week, hoping that we can bypass the ladder to success and land upon the ultimate goal; wealth.
Wealth to everybody looks different. I’m sure many of you – just like I have – have daydreamed about what you’d do if you won the lottery (I don’t even do the lottery so it’s a mathematical certainty that I’ll never win, but still). I would divvy my millions up between my family and close friends. I’d give some to charity. I’d buy the big house that I drive past by simply throwing my money at the current owners. I’d get a full-time live-in-the-garden-like-a-gnome gardener.
I like to think of myself as a pretty positive person, but let’s get realistic here, if you’re waiting to win the lottery or become an overnight success, you’ll be waiting your whole life.
The pursuit is the fun part
Hear me out. How many of you would still work if you won the lottery? Perhaps you answered that question by saying ‘I’d do something, just not what I’m doing now’. If that’s your answer, then start doing whatever that ‘something’ is on the side. If your dream is to make macrame wall hangings, then you’re going to have to start macraming – macrameing (ok, it’s not a word) – you’re going to have to start MAKING THE MACRAME in your spare time.
You have to find contentment in the journey to your goals, otherwise you will find yourself utterly miserable for large portions of your already short life.
‘Sometimes it takes years to become an overnight success’. You’ve all heard this quote. It’s apparently by Steve Jobs, but what motivational quote isn’t by Steve Jobs? For such a busy man, he sure had a lot of time to offer up philosophical musings.
He has a point, though.
It doesn’t help anybody to see stories of businesses rising through the ranks at what seems like lightening speed. It doesn’t make a good news story to talk about the years of boring, monotonous struggle, though, does it?
Let’s get real
I know of a lot of people who have given up on a dream based on what’s going on around them. I’ve done the same. I bawled my eyes out when somebody I know got a book deal. It wasn’t that I wasn’t extremely happy for them, I was just frustrated. Frustrated with myself, frustrated with the broken system, ready to blame anybody and everybody for my misfortune.
Whenever an influencer gets to write fiction (having never written a book in their lives) a small part of me dies. It actually just keels over and dies. Again, it’s not a reflection on them, it’s just sometimes bloody hard to keep watching other people succeed when you’re stuck on a hamster wheel.
I’m not immune to these feelings. I’m not writing this blog post from my ivory tower as somebody who has never experienced work struggles. But, it was on the day of the weeping and the friend’s book deal that I made a decision; if you want this then you’re going to have to cope with these days.
So, what do I do?
Break it down
To do list:
O Become a millionaire
If being rich is your overall goal – I can’t really tell you to change it – but personally, I think it’s probably better to be happy than rich. Arguably, the two go hand in hand. Arguably, they don’t.
In any case, that goal is massive and when you have a goal that is so overwhelmingly big, you end up doing nothing. I’m far more productive when I break down the steps I need to take to reach that overarching goal.
Be prepared to go back a step
Just because you’ve ticked off one of your goals, doesn’t mean you won’t have to tick it off again. I’ve written entire manuscripts only to be rejected one thousand million times. Then, I’ve had to go back to square one; re-think, re-write, re-submit. It’s tedious.
I’ve re-read my books and articles so many times until the point they make me feel physically sick.
Be prepared for that and know it’s an essential step towards being successful – unless, of course, you’re very lucky*.
*Have rich parents.
Write a rage page
I’ve got a book which I angrily scrawl in when something hasn’t gone to plan. I blame people who don’t deserve to be blamed, I moan about stupid, childish things, I write things that I would never say.
It’s therapeutic. Stacie Swift explains it better in this Stylist article all about rage pages.
Sometimes you just need to vent and what better way to do that than to moan away to an empty book. If you really don’t want anybody to see it, then you can always do a sacrificial bonfire of said rage pages afterwards. I’ve not reached that level, yet, but I’ll never say never.
The secret to reaching success a little bit quicker (in my opinion…)
We’ve all worked with those people who just ‘can’t’ haven’t we? The term ‘it can’t be done’ needs to be permanently deleted from existence.
If I look at the successful people I know, they all have a ‘can do’ attitude. They do above and beyond. If they can’t do something, then they won’t bore people with the nuances of it until they’ve come up with a plan B.
I’m sure there are some ‘can’t’ people who are successful* but I reckon the majority of people who are in positions you would consider as #careergoals have a PMA. Positive. Mental. Attitude.
I hate the term positive mental attitude, but you get my gist. Right?
If you’re willing to go above and beyond for yourself, I imagine you’ll reach whatever your end goal might be a bit quicker.
But, really, isn’t it all about the journey?
*those people probably have rich parents.