According to psychological research, the anticipation of an event is almost always more emotionally powerful than the event itself.
The fear of asking your boss for a raise is paralyzing and can last months. Yet, once you get yourself to finally do it, it’s over before you know it. The excitement of attaining some object or objective can become obsessive. Yet, shortly after you obtain your desire, you’re bored and in search of something else.
“We buy things to make us happy, and we succeed. But only for a while. New things are exciting to us at first, but then we adapt to them,” – Cornell psychologist.
Interestingly, your mind can seduce you so much so that the idea of something becomes more satisfying than the thing itself, so you stop at the idea and never make it real. It’s so easy to dream. It’s easy to tell people about your ambitions. It’s easy to create vision boards and write down your goals. It’s easy to stand in front of a mirror and declare affirmations. And that’s where most people stop and I had stopped too. The very act of dreaming stops us from achieving our dreams. Consequently, when we attempt the activity itself, we immediately hit a stone wall of resistance. More often than not, we quickly distract ourselves from the discomfort with some form of momentary pleasure.
So how can we control it? How can we get out of this blackhole? Should we stop dreaming altogether? No. Instead Do something and don’t stop until it’s complete, no matter how long it takes.
The Power Of Objective-Based Pursuits
Your goal is to learn how to accomplish hard things without continuously distracting yourself. You want to develop what Greene calls “A perverse pleasure” in experiencing internal conflict, and sitting with it.
If it doesn’t suck, we don’t do it.
You can apply this principle to anything and everything. You can do a homework assignment and just do it until it’s complete. You can write an article and stick-to-it until it’s published. You can do 100 pull-ups, or run 5 miles, and go until you’re done. Who cares how long it takes?
Without question, we live in the most distracted time in human history. It is almost impossible to remain focused on a single-task for more than a few minutes at a time. The law of opposites is in affect. With every reaction, there is an equal and opposite reaction. While most of the world is becoming increasingly distracted, a select few are capitalizing on this fact. Hence, Economist Tyler Cowan has said, “Average is over.” The middle-class is gone. Either you’re among the select few who are thriving, or you’re like most people who are distracted, overweight, and struggling.
The choice is yours.
When something sucks, do you quit? Or do you push-through and eventually enjoy the satisfaction of growth and success? Anything worth doing is going to suck at the beginning. Anything worth doing is meant to require pain and sacrifice.
True confidence is earned. It’s earned by succeeding. Not by wishing for success. True confidence emerges when you consistently push-through things that suck. The longer you sit with the boredom, pain, and discomfort — and actually create something meaningful, the more confident and successful you will be.
Doing the work is hard.
Getting into elite physical condition is brutal.
Developing deep spiritual maturity requires giving-up who you want to be for who you really are.
All of these things “suck,” at least initially, and in-the-moment. However, if it doesn’t suck, it’s not worth doing. And all of us absolutely can learn to endure the discomfort of the moment to build a life worth having.Can’t we?