How often do you find yourself on the verge of giving up, thinking it’s just been too long since you started? Before you make any decisions, it might be worth reminding yourself that the bigger your goal or your dream, the longer and harder it may take to get there. Along the way you'll meet endless achievers who have already arrived at their destination, either because they started earlier, they run faster, or they simply had an easier, more achievable goal. No dream is unattainable; it is just the question of distance that will determine how long it will take to achieve it. Remember that before you start on your journey, and be prepared. At the starting point you have zero visibility of the road, the outcomes, or the length of time. Whatever your estimations are, double or triple them. You will be pleasantly surprised if it turns out to be shorter, but at least you'll be prepared for the worst. Quitting before you get there will only make you disappointed, frustrated, and desperate to start again.
So here are 7 mind-sets to help you get ready and keep you going. Mind-sets, as opposed to actions, are ideas that lie somewhere between the real and the spiritual, governed by the intellect yet influenced by the mind. In order to have a strong belief in what you do, you are always tottering somewhere between the two.
1. Be led by value and not by success — If you stick to the value you want to create rather than the outcome, such as success, you will never lose your inner motivation and drive. You may change direction, you may look for alternatives, but you'll realize your vision. Because visions are conceived of a need, a need with which the universe will cooperate and lend a hand as long as it serves a purpose greater than yourself. By "universe" I mean the powers, elements, and human experiences surrounding us, many of which we know how to explain and many of which are still unknown. The universe will accept no vacuum, simply because the endless forces of nature, humanity, and the spirit have always found a way to coexist, as they have always been dependent on each other. That is why a vision that serves the whole, and can relate to many others, will find its way to be fulfilled
2. Concentrate on connections — It is a basic human need to connect, to see ourselves reflected in each other, and to support, comfort, and celebrate happiness. Together we are better, as long as we also find a good equilibrium within ourselves. Technology has presented us with endless opportunities, including new ways to connect and exchange ideas. This is not so that computer dialogues can replace human connections but to provide us with a helping hand and allow us to be better. Technology frees us from hard manual work, so that we can improve our lives and optimize our time. Cooperation and the exchange of ideas have never been easier. Some call it networking, I prefer to see it as "connecting" with other people who can join or support your vision, using technology to help make a better impact.
3. Strive for self-development and the fulfillment of your potential — If you believe you have some untapped potential hidden within you, put all of your energy into unleashing it. You don’t have to be a person who believes in a "calling" to look for what makes you feel connected to a purpose. That is life's journey – the uncovering of that potential. In the words of Henry Ford, "you can't build a reputation on what you are going to do."
4. Let creativity lead the way — Some of us are born with a talent, a gift that is easily discovered and shared in order to enrich the world. Unlike innate talents, creativity is acquired and can help you unfold the potential that lies within you. Creativity is how the spiritual and the mundane world interact. Make it your life’s journey to discover and realize that spark within you. Self-realization is a key component of happiness.
5. Fall in love with the challenges —Until such time that I learned to enjoy the challenges, I found it very difficult to deal with uncertainty. Once I had grasped the magic of the challenges, I couldn’t understand how I had kept going until then. As so eloquently said by Nelson Mandela: "After climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb." Challenges never end. Whenever you feel satisfied by a win, you realize it is only a small win and that there are still many more waiting.
6. Focus on the progress and not the results — Concentrating on the results will not only distract you from opportunities coming your way but will also increase your anxiety; anxiety about the unknown future and insecurity, doubts, and vagueness about any unclear or unexpected outcomes. At any one point, you can only do your best; you have no control over the outcome which is unpredictable, uncontrollable, and ever-changing. By focusing on progress, on the other hand, you ensure that you only do that which you are comfortable doing. As new challenges come your way, you will notice your comfort zone constantly changing as you become more flexible, open-minded, and ready for the next step.
7. Be true to yourself and make sure you do things your way — This has been my internal compass ever since I learned how to calibrate my own needs and capabilities. So much has been written on the entrepreneurial journey. There are so many lists of dos and don'ts – how to build a successful start-up, what investors are looking for – the list goes on and on. But what worked for others may not work for you. The more you try to adopt others’ expectations, the more you will stumble and fall. One way to deal with uncertainties is to navigate the challenges using your own unique, natural techniques. Be innovative, not only in how you build a product but also in how you manage the process. There is always a first time when doing things differently. Be true to yourself and cut your own path based on an understanding of your own strengths, weaknesses, and natural inclinations. It will make the journey bearable and manageable. As said before, the journey might be long or short, you never know, so you had better save your strength.
You are invited to share your challenges with us. What are you finding hard to manage? What are your biggest obstacles? By sharing your experience you may help others, you may find things in common, or you may get a piece of good advice to help shape your ongoing journey.