What do the perfect relationship, losing 100 pounds, making a million dollars and building your dream career all have in common?
Before I tell you, consider this.
We all want something great for ourselves. We have dreams, desires, expectations and plans. I’m assuming you do, too.
If you do, but you feel like you are…
a) In a pinball machine, bouncing around like crazy but getting nowhere, or
b) Waiting anxiously for something better while you slowly lose all hope…
…then you may need to adjust your approach, because you’re wasting your potential.
So what do all of those things have in common? None of them happen suddenly.
The way-too-obvious lesson you already know is this: almost everything in life is a process.
You can’t find love, lose weight, get rich or build an amazing career overnight, despite what the late night pitchman or annoying popup ads try to tell you. It takes time, effort and resources to achieve anything of value.
Obvious, yes. And yet we often don’t live like we believe it. Rather than press on with an intelligent plan, we secretly depend on a “suddenly” experience to come and deliver the life of our dreams.
What does that mean? Consider these two common strategies.
Strategy #1: Chasing Suddenly (the pinball machine)
I once knew a man who had a daily ritual of going to every convenience store in town to buy lottery tickets. It was his way of improving his odds and making sure he didn’t miss out on “the one”. After all, what if the big ticket was sold at a store he didn’t buy from? The horror!
As irrational as this may sound, I have made far worse financial decisions. I’ve tried home-based businesses that went nowhere fast (not once, but 3 agonizing times). And I have handed large sums of money over to great pitchmen with big ideas, a lot of confidence and not nearly enough follow-through.
Have I learned my lesson? I sure hope so.
Chasing suddenly has burned us all, and yet the struggle remains. Despite our losses, we still feel the pull of new opportunities. We can’t help but want to jump onboard a big promise of quick results.
Why does this keep happening? It feels good to chase after the quick win. Think about the thrill and promise of a brand new crash diet, get rich quick plan, business idea or romantic relationship. It’s nearly impossible to resist.
We all want breakthrough success—RIGHT NOW!
There are two things (among many) our brains love: novelty and convenience. When you stumble across a new idea that promises to deliver results in no time (and without much effort), you feel intensely motivated. You promise yourself, “This is going to be the one!”
But it’s not.
You may also think to yourself, “What if this works for everyone else and I get left behind?”
Uh oh. You just asked the scariest and most dangerous question of all. None of us want to be left in the dust of life. This powerful fear of missing out pushes us to take irrational leaps in judgment.
But then what happens when the novelty wears off and it ends up being much harder than we expected? We quit and move on to the next cool thing that offers the feel-good brain candy we love so much.
It’s a never-ending cycle that turns us into suckers. We drop some weight and then gain back more. We invest our savings and lose it all. It’s painful, and sometimes embarrassing, and yet we do it over and over again.
But that’s not all! Chasing suddenly not only pushes us to make BAD decisions. It also urges us to give up on GOOD decisions too early. What if that idea you quit last year was your opportunity for something groundbreaking, world-changing and super amazing?
The excitement of the new plans wore off and the daily grind of getting it done became all too real. (I, unfortunately, am speaking from far too much experience in this.)
And so we quit too soon and jump to the next thing, when a bit of perseverance could have altered the course of our lives forever.
Strategy #2: Waiting for Suddenly (the starvation game)
Sandra dreamed of writing a book and speaking all over the world. She felt that her dream was a matter of destiny, given to her by God Himself. And so she awaited her big break.
It’s not like she didn’t do anything. Sandra…
√ Created a vision board—awesome.
√ Made daily declarations—a great practice.
√ Spent 15 minutes a day visualizing her success—something world-class speakers do all the time.
However, Sandra DIDN’T…
X Spend time developing her writing skills.
X Work on the book on a consistent, daily basis.
X Find a way to learn and practice her public speaking skills.
Sandra started well, but she was suffering from a common problem—a lack of action.
Why? Because she felt entitled to the dream, Sandra was waiting for a “suddenly” event to make it happen.
Do you know anyone who is waiting for life to get better, but never seems to do anything about it? They might be struggling like Sandra.
I’ve been there, done that. (And I’ll probably do it again.)
When we get stuck in the waiting game, we’re looking for the stars to align and for miracles to usher us all the way to our destiny. Our dreams and desires feel so good that they must be inevitable, right? Wrong.
And so we wait…and wait…and wait some more. Until we finally realize that we need to get up and start doing something differently.
The Suddenly Solution
I’m not trying to say that miracles never happen.
In fact, I DO believe in amazing “suddenly” moments that change everything. There really are big breaks out there—great and unexpected opportunities that propel us light years ahead—but they are exceptions to the general rule. They are not the rule itself.
Here’s another simple truth that you already know: big success takes hard work and we can’t expect a miracle unless we’re en route; actively and consistently moving towards something.
Unless we are going in a direction, we can’t expect life or God to make everything come together in a pretty little package.
So let’s agree to something. Together, we will stop chasing and waiting. We will find our place in the middle, where hard work meets miracles.
We will no longer allow the seductive lies of suddenly to rob us of our potential. Because—let me assure you—it will if we let it.
If you have a dream…fight for it.
If you put the textbooks down…pick them up again.
If you stopped writing that book…start writing again.
If you quit that business without giving it a fair shake…get back to it.
If you gave up on that brilliant idea for no good reason…start believing again.
Because “Suddenly” is not your friend.
Do we have a deal?
Here’s Free Help!
Creating the right habits takes work. If you’re struggling to start and stick with a plan, then it’s time to stop relying on willpower. Instead, you need to pave a path of least resistance all the way to your success.
How? Learn to ease the pain for change and make success a no-brainer with my ebook: The Inevitable Win.