When Dedication Meets Failure: How Long Can You Last?

The world is full of dreamers. I count myself as one. Unfortunately, dreaming is much more exciting than the hard work required to accomplish even the tiniest fraction of that dream.

I’m learning that many people (including myself) are addicted to that first part of a dream: goal setting. They try something new, like chess or painting or running, and instead of taking it easy and simply enjoying the experience of being a beginner, they set professional-level goals, like winning the Olympics or the World Championship or rising to the top of the field.

This is indeed what the best people do when they first start out. To reach the top you have to dream it. You have to dream BIG. You have to become obsessed with that goal.

However, you also have to have the kind of determination and character that will force you to continue working your ass off when inevitably you get your first big dose of reality, and then your second dose, and your third, etc.

In my experience, most dreamers cannot withstand that barrage of reality-checks. So many people will dedicate their complete focus and effort on a goal for a few months, and as the discouragement sets in, they switch to some new exciting pursuit.

My advice here is to be very selective about your dreams, and to be exceptionally honest about times when you failed by switching to another pursuit. Also, be humble about the amount of work required to achieve success.

That’s why I have immense respect for the rank of black belt in jiu jitsu. It shows to me that this person stuck around through all the times when he/she was being submitted in training, beaten in competition, expectations shattered. They lasted through all the stress, injuries, big and small. They refused to accept the cynical wake up calls from the “real world”.

0 thoughts on “When Dedication Meets Failure: How Long Can You Last?

  1. Dominique

    I am a big dreamer to, and after each and every wrestling class those dreams come slamming down like yet another take-down that i didn’t defend properly.

    For a English guy trying to learn take-downs wrestling is hard.

  2. Harry @ GoalsOnTrack

    Great post. Indeed, goal setting is just the start, it requires much more to fully achieve a worthwhile goal. But setting goals in certain ways can help ensure that you don’t lose momentum or demotivated before you see any progress. Check out my site for a program that help with that.


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