The Helen Keller quote, “There are no shortcuts to any place worth going,” is forefront in my mind today as I remember that diligent, motivated, and consistent work is the only way to reach a goal you can be proud of. And any goal worth having is worth every minute of work you invest. But what you do when no one is looking, what self-talk you are believing, and how you handle your business really can make or break you…
Case in Point
If every time I got half way up a set of stairs, I decided my legs were too tired or it’s too far of a climb, what am I choosing? To remain stuck on that staircase? To turn around and go back the way I came from? Even if no one is watching I know I have given up or looked for a way around making the effort.
If I want or even need to get to the next level, I simply must put in the work and take the next step, and then the next. There are no shortcuts.
A Worthy Example
A client recently told me a story about a contractor they worked with who actually told him their business was a means to an end. They wanted to travel and explore, have freedom and work from all corners of the globe.
While that’s all good, fine, and fun (and I love to do all those things, too!) the message that was conveyed to the client was that they weren’t “all in” or as dedicated to or passionate about the work they were doing. It left a distrustful taste in the client’s mouth and caused them to question their commitment to their work. Not only that, the client didn’t want to ask the contractor to do something they hated doing.
People love working with people who are excited about the work they do. This is actually one of the reasons I often say ‘business ownership isn’t right for everyone‘. It takes a lot to wear all the hats and run a successful business, but being excited and responsible and passionate is one easy confirmation you’re in the right profession. AND, it’s magnetic! People will be drawn to your enthusiasm.
Now, there might be a more suitable type of work for the contractor in that story, but the work and business they have chosen to be in deserves the respect of their full attention. When someone implements the highest level of standards, their work and business will serve them. Not the other way around.
Ultimately, the contractor’s lack of real interest in their work was causing them to treat it as a ‘shortcut’ to their ‘bigger vision’. And the shortcut wasn’t working. The client ended up parting ways to find someone else.
Focus & Fortify Your Mind
Keeping your ‘why’s‘ in front of you can make the different when you’re disciplining your will and your mind to do your very best and give it everything you’ve got. Instead of doing something half-baked, or giving up when the going gets tough, a mentality of excellence will serve you well – no matter what you’re working on or toward.
We can find excuses that stick around and change our mind about something, or we can remain dedicated to our mission. Only you have the power to keep your eyes on the prize and focus and apply yourself.
Have you ever started a New Year’s resolution only to find all the wind left your sails after a few weeks, or even a few days after that momentary determination took hold? Did you start finding less motivation, come into agreement and partner with all the reasons you didn’t want to continue, or try cutting corners until you finally gave up?
When we decide to deviate from a plan and not put in the hard work it might take to have the results we really want, we only hurt ourselves. I’m here to encourage you to keep focusing on why you’re investing in each activity and be tenacious about the quality of your output.
Whether it is a business, landing a new client, putting effort into a relationship, making plans for a dream vacation, starting a workout plan, committing to a sober life, or training for a marathon – you already have everything in you to succeed. And choosing to do the hard thing and keep taking the challenging steps will not only reinforce your resolve and yield positive results, it will reward you for not taking the shortcut.
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