How I Stay Motivated Even When Progress Seems Slow: Trust The Process, Find An Anchor Point, Find The Joy

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Aug 11, 2023

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How I Stay Motivated Even When Progress Seems Slow: Trust The Process, Find An Anchor Point, Find The Joy

The hardest thing about incremental progress is that it’s so hard to see. We live in a world of instant gratification, where we expect immediate results for our efforts. But the reality is that most achievements worth pursuing take time and consistent effort. It's easy to get discouraged when progress seems slow, but there are ways to stay motivated and keep pushing forward.

One important mindset to adopt is to trust the process. Understand that success is not linear, and there will be ups and downs along the way. It's natural to experience setbacks and obstacles, but it's important not to let them derail you. Remind yourself that every step forward, no matter how small, is still progress. Just keep going, even when it feels like you're not getting anywhere. Trust that your efforts will eventually pay off.

Finding an anchor point can also help keep you motivated. This means having a long-term goal in mind and sticking to it. When you have something to strive for, it gives you direction and purpose. It becomes your north star, guiding your actions and decisions. Scott Belsky, in his book "The Messy Middle," emphasizes the importance of having an anchor point to stay focused during challenging times. It serves as a reminder of why you started and helps you stay on track when progress seems slow.

In addition to having an anchor point, it's crucial to find joy in the daily activities that lead you to your goal. It's easy to get caught up in the outcome and become fixated on the end result. But if you only focus on the destination, you miss out on the journey. Find joy in the process itself, in the small victories and milestones along the way. Celebrate your progress, no matter how small. By finding joy in what you do, you'll create momentum and make the journey more enjoyable.

Now, let's shift gears and talk about the value of business forecasts, even though they are often wrong. Forecasts are predictions about the future based on the information available at the time. They are exercises of imagination, and studies have shown that they are rarely correct in their particulars. However, this doesn't mean that forecasts are entirely useless. Savvy leaders can still extract strategic value from them.

By looking at multiple forecasts, executives can identify areas of convergence and divergence. This allows them to gain a better understanding of the present and perceive early indicators of the future. It's important to look beyond individual forecasts and consider the underlying variables that drive them. By doing so, leaders can uncover hidden truths and make more informed decisions.

Another valuable approach is to look for white space in forecasts. White space refers to gaps or opportunities that are not yet fully recognized or explored. By identifying these white spaces, businesses can position themselves to capitalize on emerging trends or market shifts. It's about staying ahead of the curve and being proactive rather than reactive.

Additionally, it's crucial to assess your organization's future readiness. Consider how predicted trends may shape the nature of competitive advantage. Look for areas where your organization can leverage its strengths and differentiate itself from competitors. By understanding the potential impact of forecasted trends, you can better prepare your business for the future.

Before concluding, let's summarize three actionable pieces of advice:

  • 1. Look at many forecasts, not just one. By considering multiple perspectives, you gain a more comprehensive understanding of the landscape and can make more informed decisions.
  • 2. Look at underlying variables. Instead of focusing solely on the predictions themselves, examine the factors that drive those predictions. This will help you uncover hidden insights and make better predictions of your own.
  • 3. Look for white space. Identify gaps or opportunities that are not yet fully recognized. By positioning your organization to fill these white spaces, you can gain a competitive advantage and stay ahead of the curve.

In conclusion, staying motivated in the face of slow progress requires trust in the process, finding an anchor point, and finding joy in the journey. Similarly, although business forecasts are often wrong, they can still provide strategic value if approached with the right mindset. By looking at multiple forecasts, considering underlying variables, and identifying white space, leaders can gain a better understanding of the present and shape their organizations for future success. Remember, progress takes time, but with perseverance and a strategic mindset, you can achieve your goals.

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