Something I find myself doing from time to time is looking back on my life and wondering where I’d be right now if I hadn’t given up on things. I don’t think it’s very useful to dwell on the past too much, but it is interesting to think about how things could’ve gone.
For instance, I could’ve pursued a number of professional sports if I wanted to. I started playing baseball when I was 5 years old and played until I was 15. I started doing gymnastics when I was about 8. I also could have pursued professional skateboarding had I kept doing it from the age of 10. I probably avoided a lot of broken bones by giving up that hobby though.
I could’ve been a professional athlete in three different sports. The only reason I’m not is that I stopped. I gave up, threw in the towel and moved on to something else.
Don’t give up
I don’t regret giving up on professional sports, it never was a true goal of mine. I really believe I could’ve made it had I not quit though. That’s the problem with giving up on things, you leave yourself wondering what could’ve been for the rest of your life.
If you want to become successful at something, you can’t stop doing it. I know it seems like common sense, but I see people give up all the time. I think we have a tendency to think about how great things are going to be when we start doing them, but we don’t think about the work we’re going to have to put in. Almost nothing good in life comes easy.
It’s the little things that propel you forward
You don’t have to tackle huge tasks each day to end up a success. If you just continue to do little things every day to improve yourself, over time you will have accomplished a lot. With money, if you can just get in the habit of saving $5 every single day you will see a lot of progress over time. You’ll get used to saving the money and want to do more, then the snowball effect will take place and you’ll be saving a ton of money each year.
It’s important to optimize your habits. Since most of your success will come from the little things you do each day, you should look over your daily habits and see if you're wasting any time. It’s hard, or nearly impossible, to have a completely optimized life. So, we’ll have something to work on forever just with this task.
It takes time
I’m making over $300 each month from selling things on eBay. I didn’t start out making this much though. Over time, as I listed more and more items, I built up my inventory and now I have a small store that continues to bring in a profit each month. I’d like to be bringing in $3,000 a month, but I know I’ll eventually get there if I continue my small habits and keep listing.
People who are successful usually don’t get there overnight. It’ like the story with the tortoise and the hare – slow and steady wins the race. It may look like people blow up overnight, but most of the time, they have been working at whatever it is they’re successful at for quite a while.
You’re going to go through phases of burnout
It doesn’t matter how much you love something, if you do it long enough, you’re going to get burned out. It’s best to try to avoid burnout by not obsessing over what you’re doing too much. We all face burnout at some point in our lives though.
If you gey burned out, it’s important to start with asking yourself why you’re burned out. If you don’t know why, it will be nearly impossible to fix. Once you’ve got that figured out, you can take steps to refresh your work. You could take a break and reflect on what you’re doing. Then you can reassess your goals and see if anything needs tweaking.
It’s important to have a plan for burnout because this is the second most common time when people give up. The first is when someone jumps into something and realizes it’s going to take a lot more work than they expected. If they’ve got enough passion for it, they’ll put in the work but then comes burnout. This is the time where you decide if you’re going to be successful or not.
Don’t let yourself make excuses
You’re going to have road blocks in your journey and if you give up, it’s your fault. The difference in successful people and quitters is the successful people don’t make excuses. It’s a harsh reality, but you always have the opportunity to press forward through adversity. Anyone who has ever quit anything made an excuse to quit. Plain and simple.
Obviously, if you’re pursuing professional surfing and you get your leg amputated for some reason, you get a pass. The majority of quitters don’t have an excuse like this though.
Find out if your goal is unrealistic
There are some cases where you just aren’t going to make it no matter how long or hard you try. You see it all the time on tv shows. People think they have the voice of an angel when in reality they make your ears bleed when they sing.
This is the toughest thing to face when you’re trying to be persistent. Having to ask yourself if you truly have the potential to be successful at your goal.
It’s good to get the opinion of someone who will be honest with you. I’ve asked people to look over this blog and tell me what they thought. They didn’t say I was a terrible writer and that I should give it up, I did get several tips that I’ve implemented and it’s helped me improve the website though. Having someone give you their honest opinion about what you’re doing could be one of the best things to propel your success forward quickly. We’re often blind to the things that we need to change.
The message I want to get across with this post and ultimately this blog, is that you can achieve your goals if you’re persistent. A millionaire is made a dollar at a time. With small steps, we will get to our goals if we just keep at it. I hope this post has inspired you to stick with it, whatever your goals may be.
Nathan has been a personal finance writer since early 2018. He and his wife reached a net worth of one hundred thousand at the age of 25 and are on their way to financial independence. His favorite way to make money is selling things on eBay and has grown his eBay business to earn five figures selling part-time. He loves sharing what he learns about finance and any eBay tips he comes across. If you’re interested in becoming an eBay seller, check out his reseller Facebook group.