We often think to ourselves: “I am not as good, as that other person, because I don’t really like the thing I need to do, to achieve my goal.” or “I am just not as talented.” We allow those excuses to hold us back. And while I do think that everyone has at least one passion, and I also think that we all should pursue that passion, there is one thing, we tend to overlook. Even with talent and passion no road is going to be entirely easy. We always try to make ourselves believe that for people other than us, achieving greatness is so easy and effortless. That is probably because they make it look easy and effortless, as well as the fact that in this social media world we only share our personal highlights, rather than the tough journey. But really the truth is: When we want to excel at anything. And even if we only want to be good at it, we will need to put a lot of hard work into it.
Talent may have an impact on how big or small the hurdles are and passion impacts, how easily we can overcome those, but there always comes a point, where things turn hard. Even if you are a talented runner and you love running, after a few kilometers, you will start to feel tired, you will feel like giving up. That is normal. And it applies to anything. No good habit will always be easy to execute. Regardless of whether we study or work or are in training, there will come a point, where it feels hard and we will have to make the choice of either pushing through or give up. But when we make that choice, we can not let our current levels of passion and talent decide for us. Because when things get hard, our passion often drops.
We should always remember that anyone who achieved anything did so by working hard. Yes, the result can be incredibly inspiring, when we see it on social media. But we need to realize that we can do it as well, we don’t have to be on the side-lines. We put ourselves there, by making excuses for not going out and working on getting, what we really want.
This especially applies to our own happiness. We see countless happy people online. And we get jealous, because they are so happy and we even struggle with getting out of bed in the morning. But how did these people become happy? Well first of all: they might not be, since social media only contains this perfectly curated picture of them. But if they truly are happy, then it is because they put in the work. Because they payed attention and figured out, what activities make them happy. The figured out, what the version of themselves they would like to be and figured out what habits will help them get there.
But they did not stop there. Once they knew all the steps they need to take, they started taking control of their life. Their time, their bodies and their minds as well as their priorities and their physical world. By adjusting their surroundings, their mindsets and the way they spend their time. In short they curated both their physical and mental world to be closer to the ideal that they are trying to achieve.
Anyone who has ever tried to implement a new habit knows how tough this is. We all have asked ourselves who we are and struggled to find an answer. That is what I mean, when I say that being happy requires a lot of work, just like anything else that is above average. We find out who we are by raising our awareness. For how we feel. But it does not stop there, since we can control who we are by setting priorities and habits. But of course, these things have to be implemented and adjusted. Which takes time. A lot of time. And it takes a lot of self-compassion. Because we are not going to get it right right away. Maybe that is the toughest part of them all.
There are two key take-aways: Respect and honor those who made it, because no one is born great and it took them a lot of work to get there. As well as: We can all make it, we just have to put in the work. Let’s stop making excuses. Let’s stop comparing ourselves. Let’s start being inspired by the success of others and start changing the way how we behave (and think) such that we become a little more successful ourselves, today.