January 16, 2014
What is the end-game really? How does society define “success”?
For any long term goal may take 3-5 years to master and achieve. These are the types of big accomplishements that perhaps we agree are a major form and definition of “success”. Starting a new career, new business, buying a home, etc. Not just starting it, but years later sharing the fact that “I made it! I arrived!” The only problem is that it takes 3-5 years of persistence to get there, on these types of goals.
How do we stay motivated to continue on in spite of all the time, and distractions, and set backs that may happen along the way. How many things like this have you started and now look back and wish to yourself you had stayed the course?
Is it enough to just keep your mind focused on the end game. One of the problems is that the mind tends to value the short term as more important than the long term. The day to day and the problem of tomorrow is more important than the problem 3 years from now. To be sure anticipation of the master achievement can be motivating for someone to continue on and overcome this days barriers. So therefore if you want to loose wieght then all you have to do is imagine how great it will be to have less weight when it is all over. Current situations tend to re-frame our long term abmitions when faced with day to day barriers. An example would be getting a new car because your current car is getting high mileage, and retirement funds can wait another year. Eating just one piece of chocolate cake wont be so bad, because I am at a birthday party and I should participate. Imagining being a millionaire at retirement, just may not help you to overcome a desire for a new car. Just like imagining being skinner 6 months from now may not help you to not eat the cake.
I have been doing some study of this and have discovered something about overcoming barriers on a day to day basis that lead to the big dreams. It is the small successes that are most important. It is the awareness of this and the anticipation of the small successes – that get you throgh the day to day. I did a little digging and what I have discovered is supported by scientific studies. The small wins that are framed in reference to the day to day, along with a few other factors, are enough to keep one motivated. All we have to do is cultivate a mindset and habit to stay aware of these day to day wins.
It is the myraid of hundreds of small wins and barriers overcome that eventually add up to the big game. More specifically it is the habit of cultivating awareness of these patterns and devolping the mindset to pay close attention to the day to day barriers and wins of overcoming the day to day barriers.
Example: If you were playing a video game and the only reward that you could get was the ultimate completion of the game, it is likely that the game would probably be a bore. No levels, no rewards, no novelty. If on the other hand, there are lots of small wins in a video game, and new and novel experiences that lead to more small wins, skills attained, then the game is fun and addictive. The ultimate completion of the game is not as important as just making it to the next level. The video game builds this in, and keeps you alert to the small wins, and gains. Life doesnt have this necessarily. Unless you have a coach who knows your day to day, it’s not likely you will get a bonus for sticking to the long term plan. I am not saying that you need a coach. A notebook at least yes. An app perhaps.
So how do we do this with our major dreams and ambitions? How do we cultivate and addiction to the small wins? How do we stay addicted to making the long term goal happen?
This is the subject matter of the book that I am working on.
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