By John Sonmez May 21, 2015

Why Can’t I Get Going With My Dream

In this episode, I answer an email about following through with a plan and getting the ideal results.

 

Full transcript:

John:               Hey, this is John Sonmez from simpleprogrammer.com and I’ve got another question for you. This question comes from Michael and Michael says, “Hi John, I was wondering if you had time to help me with something. I’d like to do independent software testing, have wanted to for about a year and a half and things seem to be lining up to make that possible. I'm capable of each aspect of the task from finding clients to providing the service, no part of the process seemed spooky. In fact, every part seems fun. I get excited talking to people about my plans, but for the past few months I haven’t had much progress in getting going. I'm not sure what’s stopping me so I was wondering if you had any advice on what might be causing this inertia.” I'm assuming he means—oh yeah, I guess it is inertia, right? “Is this something common? Looking forward to hearing back. Thanks. Michael.”

So Michael, this is definitely common, right? There’s a struggle. I have this chart that I often talk about where what ends up happening, like any time you pursue anything new is that when you start off your motivation level is really, really high and it sort of starts to peak and then it goes way, way, way down and there’s this wall here, right? So you hit this wall and then you’ve got the results. The result when you first started out something you get really big results right away, and then again, just like the motivation it drops down pretty soon.

As a beginner you learn something really rapidly but then you start to realize how much you actually suck at it and you hit this wall where you’re not getting results. This wall really gets in your way, it stops you. That’s where a lot of people are at and that’s where you’re probably hitting, right?

If you wanted to learn to play guitar what would happen is you’d be really excited, “Oh, I’m going to learn how to play guitar.” You’d be pumped about it. You’d start to learn. Pretty soon you’d realize that your fingers are hurting and at first you’d get good like you learn a few chords and you’d be like, “Oh look, I can play a couple of songs” and that would happen really rapidly and then pretty soon you’d stagnate and you’d start to not be as motivated anymore and you’re not making as much progress. You realize that it’s going to be a lot of work before you become Jimi Hendrix. It’s going to take time. Then you’re going to hit this wall and this is the wall that separates the champions from the losers if I’m going to be blunt here, right? This wall exists for a good reason. It’s because not everyone can be the best, not everyone can be great. This wall holds it back, holds them back and makes it so only a few people pass through.

So anyone who has become good at anything, the best guitarist in the world, the best musicians, they hit this wall and what they do is they keep going. They don’t have the motivation. They’re not seeing the results, but they keep on practicing, they keep on pushing, pushing through and they’re able to do that because they realize that once they get through this wall on the other side is the gold. It’s the place where other people aren’t willing to go. The question is are you willing to go there.

Now, again, I don’t know a whole lot about your situation, just what you’ve said in this email, but I would say that you’re probably at this point. You said that you were really motivated and really gung-ho about this thing, but it’s probably waned a little bit, right, your motivation, the results that you are seeing. So you’re probably at this point where you’re just not feeling it.

You have to push through this if you want to become great, if you want to succeed at this. I’ve hit this so many times in my life with so many of the different things that I’ve done in business where I’m super excited about this project or this thing but finishing it is really, really hard. That’s where the going gets tough, the tough have to get going. You have to be able to push through and get through this wall and then there’s huge, huge rewards on the other side.

Again, I can’t say for sure that this is what’s going on with you, but it sure sounds like it. It sounds like you probably are at this point where you’re not seeing the results and it’s going to take time. Again, you think about all the different areas where there’s greats, right? Think about Olympics, Olympic level athletes. They’re the ones who are willing to practice everyday when it stops being fun. A lot of people don’t have the guts to do this. When something stops being fun or they lose their motivation they stop and they give up. They don’t ever have the gumption to see something through to become a great.

If you’re going to start a business especially this is a critical aspect, right? Most businesses fail really not because it couldn’t succeed but because the person running the business gave up. They couldn’t make it through the hard times. They couldn’t get to the end.

I want to give you a glimmer of hope here. If you’re able to push through that’s where this becomes a good thing, this wall becomes a really, really good thing because what it means is that the competition at the top near the summit of the mountain, there’s not very many people up there so you don’t have much competition. When you start off a marathon there’s a lot of people at the starting line but there’s less people at the finish line.

Are you going to be the kind of person that’s going to make it to the finish line? In order to do that you need to process and a routine. You need to understand why you’re doing a thing. If you’re constantly waking up every morning and you only do things when you feel motivated to do them, you’re never going to succeed. You won’t be good. You won’t ever build this business. If you wake up every morning and you have this vision of something distant in the future of what you want to accomplish and what you want to become and you know that the path to get there is going to be a lot of pain and a lot of drudgery but it will be worth it and it will be worth the reward then you’ll get there because you’ll force yourself to do it. You won’t feel like doing things but you’ll do them anyway. That’s the key that really separates someone who’s a champion versus someone who ends up being a loser.

Your choice. Hopefully you choose the right choice. Hopefully it’s the right path for you. That’s the other thing is maybe you’re not on the right path. If you pick a path, stick to the path and make it through to the end and then only then will you really see the rewards.

All right, well, hopefully this video is helpful to you and hopefully it’s helpful to any of you that are watching it. If you would me to answer a question for you, just email me at john@simpleprogrammer.com and I will try to get a video out to you. Take care and don’t forget to subscribe to the channel.

About the author

John Sonmez

John Sonmez is the founder of Simple Programmer and a life coach for software developers. He is the best selling author of the book "Soft Skills: The Software Developer's Life Manual."