One important observation I have made over the years concerning why many people don't make significant progress towards some personal goal... is that many people aren't ready to fully commit to the "relationship".
The moment you begin to put in effort towards a goal is the moment you enter into a relationship with that goal. It is never before that. It is when you put action on an idea. Or when you stop just thinking about it, and when you actually start setting + completing tasks.
Which I'm comparing to actual people relationships where you can't just initiate and grow a relationship in your imagination. You actually have to take action and make decisions that end up affecting the progress you make in a relationship.
This means that there is a lot of work involved. Developing a healthy relationship is not easy at all. Especially developing the kind where there is so much trust, collaboration, and coordination between the people involved that they form something so much more effective for surviving life... than whatever you could have if you were just doing things on your own.
Very few understand this level of intimacy and even fewer have actually experienced it.
It is often the default goal of most healthy relationships.
And not just intimate relationships. This also applies to relationships you form with friends, business partners... etc.
But to get to such a place, there is an incredible amount of effort that needs to be put into developing such a relationship. There are skills you will need to learn. There are sacrifices you will need to make. There are things outside your worldview or perspective... that you will need to invite.
Pursuing a significant goal is very similar.
You cannot expect to make significant progress towards a meaningful goal if you don't want to put in the work necessary to make it happen.
People often point to the wrong reasons when they do a self-analysis of why it is they didn't get too far in the goal pursuit attempts.
Let me give you a simple example... based on a true story.
I know an aspiring artist that once convinced me that they wanted to live a life all about their craft. They were determined to create for themselves a life that centered around the thing they loved to do best. Which was to create... art.
And they convinced me that they were willing to do all that it would take to create a life entirely financed by their craft.
Unfortunately... at the time, it was clear to me, that they had no real idea what that really meant.
But, as I always do, I wholeheartedly supported the decision and encouraged them to double down on that determination.
And I also warned them that the types of obstacles that we often face when pursuing meaningful goals... are usually the kind that we never could have anticipated.
Obstacles that challenge us to re-write our understanding of what it takes to make progress towards goals we pursue. That force us to admit that we were wrong initially and may have to take an approach we never in a million years... thought we would need to take.
Of course, this is often something most beginners aren't very comfortable hearing. They often can't wait for me to quickly end the ominous conversation and fly away like a crow from a horror film.
If all goes well, I end up meeting with these people years down the line to catch up on how things are going.
And without fail, I often meet tired, weary, defeated-looking but still-in-the-fight pursuers who couldn't imagine just how challenging things would become.
I often let them describe their experiences and paint a picture of the kinds of challenges they faced.
More often than not, they would describe having to deal with things that don't always involve the craft itself.
Often people and business-related challenges. To the point where some of them even confess to not spending as much time as they would have liked to... on the craft.
Now... as you can probably tell, this is very specific. So I won't dive too deep into the world of art. But my point is that eventually, you come to a situation in your pursuit where you realize that there is a lot more to pursuing your modest goal... than you initially imagined.
You couldn't continue because you had no idea how to do some graphic design task and no one was willing to help you get the exact output you wanted.
You couldn't continue because you didn't know how to edit videos and audio and it is way too expensive to hire others to do so.
You couldn't continue because you weren't able to pick up a programming language that would help you develop an app by yourself.
You couldn't continue because you had no idea how to create a proper proposal or business plan that would interest potential investors.
You couldn't continue because you had no idea that building an online brand was going to be your number 1 strategy to make sure that your art was discovered and had an audience base that could be converted into potential customers.
So... what do you do when you come across challenges you didn't anticipate? Especially when you realize that the deeper you go down your path... the more such obstacles keep emerging.
A majority turn back.
They go home.
They think about how the struggle is already painful right now. They think about the living conditions they have had to subject themselves to for several years. They look at how their other friends are living more peacefully because they didn't have the same dumb idea you did to pursue goals in what they loved doing when they were a kid.
The tired, weary and frustrated dreamer abandons the pursuit.
To pursue something that allows you to live life under your own terms is extremely difficult.
Most people can't handle just how much the target moves when it comes to making progress.
You simply wanted to be an artist, food critic, or music reviewer... but all of a sudden you also have to learn how to edit videos, edit audio, set up a stream, host a podcast, and properly light a scene before filming or taking a photograph, edit photos, create graphics, do motion design, design a website, set up a blog, learn business finance, create marketing campaigns, learn to code, invest in virtual assistants...
It can be too much for some.
But thankfully, not for all.
Because those who go on to continue making progress realize that it is the price you MUST pay sometimes. That there are no shortcuts. You can't always rely on other people. It is YOUR goal after all. No one can want it as badly as you.
This became very clear to me years ago.
I simply wanted to create a video game.
A small, little game that came from my imagination.
I had no idea just how much work went into making a simple game. All the concepts from different industries that come together to make a single piece of art/media.
But I was determined to slowly teach myself.
Because the alternative was to admit defeat and not have a game created by me. To say that it is impossible for ME specifically to make a game.
But after powering through the learning I had to do... I realized that it wasn't impossible. It was necessary.
It may not be necessary for everyone... but it was necessary for me at least.
The idea of having a complete game was more important and more dominating in my mind than the challenges and obstacles I kept running into.
"If one person has already done it... then someone else can do it too. I can do it too."
You lose nothing when you allow yourself to learn new skills. Instead, you gain a tool that allows you to make progress not just on your current goal... but this also opens up possibilities for you to explore industries you once convinced yourself... were not for you.
And you can step into those industries with what you bring from your own industry and things can get very interesting very quickly.
You can take relationships to very interesting heights when going into them with the intent to work on them and yourself at the same time. Where you will not just use your limited understanding and experience to have high expectations for what you want to get out of them.
But that you will also pay attention to what new things you will learn and obstacles that challenge you to change.
I am no relationship expert or counselor. All that I'm saying is that nothing great comes without sacrifice, struggle, and change.
And once you have managed to change for the sake of the goal you are determined to accomplish... over time, it becomes easier. You build muscle memory and you can do things without too much effort.
Learning is hard. But unlearning is even harder. Impossible for some.
What is my definition of self-development?
The process of turning yourself into the type of person that gets what they want.
The assumption is that by default... or when you start... you are not that person. You want to accomplish a specific goal but you aren't the person that can accomplish it at that moment. Because if you could, then you would.
So what do you do?
You begin to turn yourself into the type of person that can accomplish that goal by making choices and performing actions that make progress towards making you that person.
How badly do you want to get what you want?
Are you willing to learn?
Are you willing to shed the person you are... and embrace the person you need to be?
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