Trying to succeed is hard. For some, it may even seem unbearable. Sometimes, it just feels like for every little effort you put in trying to take your life or career to the next level, there are mountains of obstacles determined to stop you from making progress. So why is it such a challenge trying to get ahead in your pursuit?

As long as you have been pursuing a goal for a while, you most likely have been in this situation several times. And you probably asked yourself that question a lot.

Why do we struggle so hard? Why do we have to endure it? Aren’t we just asking for a simple life, with reasonable demands on our time and efforts? I mean, all I want is a fairly decent home, bank account and normal society to be a part of. Is it really fair that we go through this sometimes brutal and seemingly endless path to success… just so that we can live a modest life?

I don’t know about you but this is how I feel sometimes when trying to overcome obstacles that persist for far too long.

Or maybe some don’t see it that way. Maybe not everyone experiences these kinds of setbacks. Maybe they are fortunate not to get caught up in the frustration that make me, or you, want to pull our hair out?

Experiencing setbacks time after time can feel demotivating, frustrating and can just make you want to give up entirely. Deciding to live one day at a time and letting life boss you around can often feel like the best course of action for many worn-out dreamers.

But this is not an option. As long as you made the choice to pursue your goal, you also made the choice to never stop figuring out the best way to achieve it.

This is why self development is necessary. If you feel stuck because your situation wont change, then it’s time for you to become that change… and affect that situation.

I mean, I don’t know about you but feeling frustrated about success this isn’t something I want with me for the rest of my life.

Nope. I don’t want to complain or feel angry at life’s challenges… for the rest of my life.

After all, in the life I’m trying to build, complaining doesn’t exist. In my other accomplished life… the one I want to end up in… I’m happier, more relaxed and definitely not frustrated.

In my other life, I interact with only the people that make me happy or give me positive influence.

In my other life, I do the work that makes me happy. Work that gives me a sense of fulfilment. Work that helps me build a better tomorrow for the people I hold dear.

In my other life, I’m financially stable. I’m not struggling just to make ends meet. I’m working on projects that allow me to travel and not just sit in one spot.

In my other life… I am more alive than I am now.

How about you? How does YOUR other life look like? Who are you in that life? What do you do? Why do you do what you do?

Let’s start there.

Let’s begin with the end in mind, as Dr Steve Covey would say in his book The 7 Habits Of Highly Effective People.

We must first clearly describe what we are already (but probably not very effectively) working so hard to achieve.

If you are able to clearly, and I mean down to the smallest detail, define the life you want… then you will realize a truth that many often take for granted.

The truth is this: By defining the life you want to end up in, the way to get to that life is revealed to you. The means, the process, the actions you need to take… become clearer and clearer.

Let me ask you this, if in your other life, you are interacting more with people that are a positive influence in your life… why are you interacting with people that are NOT a positive influence in your life now?

More importantly, could it be possible to START seeking the company of more positive and influential people as your next most obvious course of action? Maybe on social media? Maybe from another country? Maybe on a forum website? Maybe in your school? Maybe in your club? Maybe in your community? Maybe in your workplace?

“Hi! How are you?”… if saying those 4 words was all it took to get you STARTED… would you do it? You may think that this is silly or pointless, but aren’t you willing to do anything (including start a conversation) that could take you closer to the life you seek?

Let me ask you another question: If in your other life, you were doing work that gave you a sense of fulfilment… why are you NOT doing that kind of work now?

I’m sure you will have 10 reasons why. I’m even sure you can build a case around why you can’t just quickly jump into doing work that fulfills you right now. Am I right? It’s not that simple.

But it often surprises me how we more readily build cases for WHY WE CAN’T as opposed to WHY WE SHOULD. Think about it, we are smart amigos. If we can find reasons to NOT DO, we can just as easily find reason TO DO. But I guess we chose not to see things from that angle.

More importantly, even if the kind of work you would like start doing isn’t within your current skill set… could it be possible to START asking about the requirements needed to begin learning those skill sets? Maybe FIND OUT if you need schooling or just experience to get started? Maybe RESEARCH for just 30 minutes on the internet on how others got started?

“Chapter 1: The difference between a photo and a picture”… if a 30 page book on Photography had all the fundamentals in place needed to HELP YOU GET STARTED… would you read it?

I don’t care what challenge you maybe facing right now, but you need to train your mind to constantly seek solutions. Riding a bicycle isn’t hard for those who ride regularly. The first day, sure, but never for the rest of their lives if they consistently practice riding bikes.

This principle of getting better as you practice applies to every single activity I can think of. Trying to become a successful business person? Trying to have a better relationship with your cousins? Trying to have a better relationship with your significant other?

Begin with the end in mind – What does a successful business person look like? What does one do? What does a better relationship with your cousins look like. How do you interact with them?

And just like that, the way to that life is revealed. Maybe not entirely, but you will definitely know what to do or what not to do next. This is real progress, wouldn’t you say?

I mean, some think progress starts when you achieve an important milestone or even accomplish a goal.

But I think that’s a painful way to pursue success. Progress is when you are in one undesirable situation that you begin moving out of. Whether it’s an action or decision, just that small shift, is progress. Eventually, small “progresses” over time, become success.

So don’t think, “First I will need to get settled before I write my first blog post. When I publish that, then I would have made progress.”

No. Instead, think “I am settled now. This is progress.”.

Progress is an enabler. The fact that you are settled, is allowing you to proceed making even more progress.

Just never forget that the path to success begins with figuring out what you want. Defining it clearly. Seeing it as if you were almost living in a successful life. Then, through one action at a time, working towards transitioning to that life.

The fact is that, if you are ready to start making progress, all you need to do is decide what to FOCUS ON FIRST. And you won’t know what to focus on first, if you don’t have a clear vision of who you want to be in the near future.

That’s it.

So stop focusing on the whole for now. Focus only on the little, doable, actionable tasks that you can begin doing now. These little actions contribute to the whole. These little actions are progress.

Here’s a challenge for you:

Stop exercising every day just because it’s part of a healthy person’s routine. Exercise because at the end of the week, you want to cut weight by 1 kg.

Creating these weekly weight loss goals will amount to how much weight loss by the end of the month?

How about in 6 months?

I think that trying to ask yourself why pursuing your goals is so tough is not an empowering state of mind.

Thinking and acting on what you can do to get out of that frustrating situation is a more promising course of action.

Whenever you feel stuck, always remember to begin with the end in mind.