We’ve just completed one year and stand at the precipice of another. How has the last year gone for you?
Over the course of the last 52 weeks, you’ve been thrust into certain circumstances. And amidst those circumstances, you made a series of decisions that led you to this point. Are you happy with where you’ve landed? Do you find yourself gratified or disappointed with how it unfolded? What worked? What didn’t? What would you change if you could do it over? What were the most valuable lessons you’ll take into 2022? What will you do differently?
These are all questions I’d like you to ask yourself before you step into the new year. Why? Because most of us, myself included, can get so caught up in just moving from one day to the next without ever stopping to look up and see if we’re moving in the direction we intended. We get fooled into thinking we have all the time in the world, and suddenly, a year has passed us by. Time moves fast and slow. In the day-to-day, it feels like the seconds crawl. The days feel long, and so we waste them. We dillydally. We spend hours on Instagram and Facebook. We squander time like it’s infinite. But suddenly, a month has come and gone. Then a year. Then a decade. And you’re left scratching your head: How did that go so fast? Hopefully, you’re exactly where you want to be. But far too often, we find ourselves regretting how we spent so much time on trivial things.
It reminds me of one of my favorite movie quotes from Confessions of a Dangerous Mind: When you’re young, your potential is infinite. You might do anything really. You might be Einstein. You might be DiMaggio. Then you get to an age when, what you might be, gives way to what you have been. You weren’t Einstein. You weren’t DiMaggio. You weren’t anything. That’s a bad moment.
That line gets me every time. It encapsulates the regret we can experience when we look back on another year (or decade) and find that due to procrastination, distraction, and indecision, we wasted it.
So in the hopes of helping each other make this year count, here is an insight I learned from entrepreneur GaryVee that I’d like you to keep in mind: As you pursue your goals this year, aim to develop two virtues — speed and patience. Speed is understanding the importance of something and taking action on it immediately and consistently. It’s your velocity of execution. Patience is the ability to do said actions without seeing the payoff for long periods of time.
I meet so many people who have been thinking about getting back into their fitness routine for six months. They keep meaning to find the time but haven’t yet. They talk, they ruminate, they mull it over into oblivion. They’re sitting on the fence yet somehow never miss an episode of Yellowstone. They delay as if they have all the time in the world. And it’s often these same people who will do something for two weeks and complain that results aren’t happening fast enough. Why? Because they lack urgency and patience.
Honestly, it’s not completely their fault. It’s how society/culture/technology is training your lizard brain to be. It’s literally the business model of social media; harvest your attention for ad dollars by keeping your eyeballs glued to a screen. I read the other day that the goal of one popular social platform is to get teenagers to use the app for four hours a day. FOUR HOURS. So when we drink from a river of dance videos and half-naked influencers, our expectations get all out of whack.
Here’s a very uncomfortable truth I’d like you to embrace this year: Everything worthwhile will take longer than you think. Whatever goal you have, understand that it might take two to three times longer than you planned for. This is normal. Expect it. Make peace with it. But at the same time, stop farting around. Just because the process takes a while doesn’t mean you should.
Focus your effort. Have a plan. Start now. Do that, and this time next year, you’ll be amazed at what you can accomplish. spt