Updated: May 20
One day you look at yourself in the mirror and say, 'Hmm, I am getting fat. I should start running.' From then on, you start running. A month of running every day passes by, and you think, 'Hey, I have been running every day for a long time now, but I see no results. I think it makes no difference.’ And you get back to your cozy couch to enjoy Netflix.
Has this happened to you? Not precisely in terms of running but anything. Like doing something for weeks/months straight but seeing no results? Then this blog is for you.
I see two reasons for that:
Lack of guidance:
The way you are doing things to achieve your goal is probably not correct. Take my case. I was never able to do push ups properly up until recently. I tried multiple times for days, but it left my arms sore and my esteem under the earth. And I remember I got a cramp in my leg while giving the physical test at +2 level. I was not able to do even two pushups!
At the age of 20, I decided to give pushups one more shot. This time a friend of mine joined me and helped me figure out that I was doing push ups the wrong way all along. I was not coming into the proper posture for doing them.
Similar can be the case for you. You might be working on a startup, but you do not see the results. You might be preparing for some examination but are disappointed with your performance. However hard you may try, you do not make progress.
In this case, a qualified person giving you the right directions could mean the difference between you achieving or not achieving the goal. Get yourself a mentor!
You are riding on x^2:
Most probably, you are riding on the x^2 curve. Perplexed? Let me tell you how.
We, humans, tend to think linearly, but things don't work out that way. You run every day for a month. You should see progress, right? Let me ask you this: Does ice melt when you raise the temperature from -4°C to -3°C. No, right? It melts at 0°C. Think that way. Maybe when you ran for a month, you went from -4°C to -3°C and not 0°C.
Now see this graph:
You are on the x^2 curve. 'y' represents progress. You anticipate the function of progress to be y=x, but it is y=x^2. The progress you expect is higher than what happens up to x=1. After x=1, you see explosive growth.
James Clear, the author of Atomic Habits, calls the phase from x=0 to x=1 'The Valley of Disappointment'. Most of the people leave their journey towards their goal just before x=1. Maybe you left your running streak at x=0.99 - aargh!
That's it for the learning part. Now it's time for action. Nine months of 2021 have gone by, but you still have three. Take one goal or revisit the new year resolution you took. Look for a mentor and start persevering. I'm sure that even if you may not see the results on 31st December 2021, you will indeed see them on 31st January 2022.
Resting my words with a quote that fits perfectly in the context of what we discussed:
"Today is difficult, tomorrow is much more difficult, but the day after tomorrow is beautiful. Most people die tomorrow evening." - Jack Ma, Co-Founder Alibaba Group.