Why do so many give up? Many, maybe most, start the race of living life purposefully, but never make it to the finish line. They never reach their goals, their dreams or their destiny. It’s hard enough working out what our Life Purpose or True North is, but achieving it is another thing altogether.
I hate seeing people give up but the reality is, it is very common. Most of our dreams die somewhere in the wastelands of life.
So what’s the problem? I think that some of the problem is that we don’t know what it takes to succeed. So many of us think that the effort reward relationship looks like the graph below:
I believed this oversimplification of the effort-success relationship for years – and was constantly disappointed and disillusioned as the rewards just didn’t seem to come as I expected. The reason I was disappointed is that in reality the relationship between effort and success is far more complicated.
Several years ago I came across a very simple book by Seth Godin. He introduced me to the concept of “The Dip”. In reality the effort reward relationship is far more accurately represented by the graph below:
Anything that is worth achieving seems to go through The Dip. We seem to have initial success, initial reward….and then The Dip. In the dip it is hard – very hard. We work and put in effort and very little seems to change. We feel stuck! Let’s look at some examples:
Anyone who has done a degree or trade will know the hard slog of the middle years. Once the initial hype of enrolling and the buzz of doing something new wears off, we find ourselves in The Dip. Day after day, week after week, month after month, of hard slog. If you quit before your final exam you have…NOTHING. Getting fit goes through the same pattern.
Step one of success, or at least of not giving up, is knowing that “the dip” is coming.
That way we are not surprised, we can prepare for it and hopefully push through until success is achieved.
Check in next week to learn “What Happens in the Dip”.