Milestones and Motivations

It’s easy to lose grip of the purpose of what you’re doing, making it easier to abandon the exact task at hand, eventually leading you to failing to fulfill that precise thing. It’s a complicated matter, I guess, especially when a project starts out really slow and appears to go nowhere. A lot of times, it’s easy to just give up.

I’ve said a lot about advice, and about getting through something even if you’re experiencing difficulty, but I think it’s relevant to drive home the message again. This time, though, with a more general approach.

Whatever one attempts to undertake in life, the rule to be remembered is this (albeit a cliched rule): nothing good comes easy. If something’s worth anything, worth a lot, in fact, you can bet that a hundred people will try to pry it from your grasp. And “it” is a variable thing. It can be excellent academic standing. It can be recognition in the workplace. It can be, in broad strokes, fame, fortune, or variations thereof. And you try to walk down the road leading to your own goal, when halfway down you discover that you’re, somehow, inefficient, incompetent, and completely unworthy of the goal you’re attempting to reach. Which is a common mindset, of course, and something that everyone has to deal with. A little bit of self-deprecation goes a long way when you’re trying to humble yourself, but it will become debilitating in the long run, and you’ll discover that whatever road you’ve set out on, that whatever project you undertake, you’ll eventually cripple yourself and prevent yourself from completing it. “Ifs” and “buts” haunt you. You look at how well others are doing and think to yourself, you’re not really that good, so you can’t really reach their level.

We live in a world where progress is partly – but significantly – defined by how many Facebook likes you get, how many friends talk to you, and how often you update your social media accounts. Seeing people “live” their lives online makes you think that you have nothing good to post and present to a virtual public. Your pursuits are ignored by the people you share them with. Sometimes they don’t have time. Sometimes they just don’t care. And eventually you’ll think you don’t have time, or you don’t care. The project is abandoned. Dead.

That’s troubling and everything, I suppose, but the important thing to remember is this: there will be slumps. Hardships. But there is never only one way to accomplish something. There’s never only one path. What brought a friend to success may not be the road for you, because it lies elsewhere, with your passions.

To get you off the slump, it pays to look at what brought you to setting yourself down the path in the first place. Milestones that have added up in the past may have served as ladders to where you plan to go, and you have to remind yourself again and again that there is a purpose, and that (hopefully), what you’re doing is for yourself. At least, it started out that way. Reminding yourself of what you’ve accomplished so far, and what you want to accomplish, will help to get you to your goals. Like I said before, nothing good ever comes easy.


Jillian is an English Literature graduate who loves reading science fiction and fantasy, and is a big fan of J.G. Ballard. She is obsessed with coffee, video games, and rottweilers, and keeps herself busy by writing and walking around a lot. She's currently reading Jeanette Winterson and a lot of YA literature.

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