Probably one of the biggest things that I struggled with and that held me back from discovering my full potential was my lack of ability to stick with a task or goal for long enough to achieve it. As I sit and think about my life and about the world in general, I begin to realize that we are quickly becoming a culture ridden with ADHD. I don’t mean that literally and in the medical sense, but I mean that because of our inability to stick with one thing for a long time. Whether it’s with relationships, school, jobs or friendships, we lack the ability to stick with things for any significant period of time.
I found this to be extremely true of me about 4 to 5 years ago. I had always envisioned myself going to college, getting my degree and landing a really great job. Growing up, I saw myself as a CEO of a company, wearing a fancy suit and driving a nice car. Everything seemed as though it was going to work out well for me. Then it came time to go to college. I got about halfway through the first semester when things changed. I had an unfortunate family circumstance arise and I was forced to leave school. However, about 6 months later, I was back in the class room. Things were going great until about the second month. I started to get bored of class and started to skip a class here and there. Before I knew it, I was in the admissions office withdrawing from college for a second time. I literally did this two more times! By that point, I had gone to three different colleges, four different times and I had never finished a semester at any one of them. I quickly saw my dream of being a successful CEO fading away and I lost hope that I would ever even finish a semester at college.
Fortunately for me, the fifth time at college was a charm. While attending my fourth college, I got involved in Student Activities and began to form a personal bond between myself and school.
I started to make friends and get involved with projects that kept me coming back to school day after day. Soon, I was loving school and before I knew it I had finished my first full semester, then another one and another one after that. I was inadvertently discovering the power of dedication and focus. Almost unknowingly I was showing up to every class and taking all of the tests and doing all of the homework. The most amazing part is that the longer that I stuck with coming to school, the easier it became to get up and go. The thoughts of dropping out and giving up began to go away. It was like I was born again!
I see people all of the time who have so much potential to achieve success but they just can’t stick with their goals long enough to get there. If you are one of those people, I want you to know that it’s not over for you! One of the greatest things about life is that who you are today, does not have to be who you become tomorrow! If there is something that you really want to do but you have been struggling to stick with it, I would urge you to do these three things.
Number one… clearly establish the goal. I want you to write down on an index card whatever the end goal is that you are going after.
Number two… I want you to put this index card somewhere where you will see it every day. It can be in the bathroom, the ceiling above your bed or in your car.
Finally, Number Three… I want you to look at this card every day before you start your day. I want you to constantly be reminded of what you are chasing and why you are going after it. The reason that I was not finishing semesters and why I was not successful in college was not because I was incapable of doing so. But rather that I would always loose motivation about halfway through and I would completely lose touch with why I was doing it in the first place. If we can constantly remind ourselves of the goal and everyday rediscover our motivation, then we can surely stay the course and get to where we are hoping.
I’d like to leave you with something that Dr. Eric Thomas said at one of his seminars. He said, “Don’t let the distractions distract you.” You are going to be tempted to cheat on your goal. You’re going to want to eat a doughnut while you’re on that diet. You’re going to want to go out with your friends on the night before a big exam. Don’t let that stuff distract you from reaching your goal! You are full of potential, greatness is all inside you! Its time you give yourself a real shot to see what you can do! Keep grinding! Keep pushing! And don’t let the distractions distract you!