It doesn’t always seem like we’re making progress toward our goals, and I think it’s easy to get frustrated sometimes with this apparent lack of progress.
Because of this, I think most of us have days where we don’t want to do what we’re supposed to do. We don’t want to go to the gym and repeatedly lift heavy objects and put them down. We don’t want to make the phone calls we know we need to, or to put in time on that project. We might not want to get out of bed, even.
Maybe easier said than done, but the answer on these days has to be to keep going, to do it anyway. Cue the “Ok, Boomer” response. But that’s ultimately it.
We’ve talked about how and when to re-evaluate your goals, so let’s talk about something else: continuing forward.
It can be tough when it seems like you’re not making any progress.
My answer, though, comes from a speaker I once heard at a convention (and I wish I could remember his name to give him credit). This speaker asked the group, “if you drop a single drop of water on a rock, does that water impact or hurt the rock at all?”
Most people in the room said no. The group agreed across the board that a single drop of water would have no impact on a rock.
This speaker said that we were all wrong. We had to be wrong, because if you poured a consistent stream of water on the rock, over time that stream would wear and cut through the rock, and if that’s true, then a single drop MUST have a non-zero impact on the rock. Afterall, a billion drops cut through the rock, and a billion times zero would have been zero.
The message here is to keep going. When it seems like you’re not making progress in the short-term and your efforts are wasted, keep going. When it seems like your single drop for the day is having no impact on the rock in front of you, keep going. Because even if you can’t see it, you’re making progress.
Adjusting goals or your angle of approach to reach your goals is fine, and even warranted sometimes, but don’t stop, even on the days it seems like you’re not making any progress.
You can get through that rock, you just need to keep at it, consistently, over time.
That’s the hard part, though, right? Consistency.
My team has spent the first part of this year working on consistency. We have a team of great consultants, but we do fall victim to the ebb and flow of the year and the recruiting cycle from time to time.
Maybe we’re doing REALLY well for a little bit and creating a lot of activity for our candidates and clients, so we stop working to generate new clients or new candidate relationships. It’s easy to do, after all, we’re busy with the activity we have! And then the ebb occurs, and we find ourselves in trouble.
But, if we can get ourselves to keep doing those things, even when it would be so easy to stop, we can limit some of those ebbs and get back to the flow faster. If we stop dripping water on the rock, what’s going to cut through it?
We just have to keep going. Not blindly, or without adjustment when needed, but consistently forward.
And it’s the same with any of your goals. Even when it seems like you’re the single water drop on the rock, and it looks like you’re not making any difference, I encourage everyone to keep working hard.
It’ll pay off in the end.
I’m approaching 25 years of owning my own business as proof that consistent hard work pays off over time.