Sparked ambition is not unlike a “Honeymoon” phase- everything is thrilling and perfect in the beginning, but true compatibility shows once things settle down. This is where your most intimate understandings take center stage and put you to the test of the long-term. The same goes for embarking on a new career motivation when ideas are fresh and motive is bulletproof.
Problem is, we know this ambitious mindset will see fluctuation in size and strength before long, hence why it comes in “waves”. So what do you do when you’re sitting on your surfboard awaiting the next break?
Adjust your perspective.
One giant mistake many entrepreneurs and professionals make is identifying the “break” as the new norm. Simply saying “NEVER give up” isn’t clear enough. You have to identify the lows and pivot back into action when your motivation reaches a dead zone. Sound familiar? Probably because it’s actually a discipline many people participate in that follows this exact behavior, though few properly understand it- it’s called Day Trading.
In similar, identifying the low points and having a good foundation to operate on when things throttle down to idle its crucial to staying afloat when motives are low. At this point it’s extremely important to remember that the next wave will come in the form of something slightly different. Anticipate it, stay flexible and remain optimistic. It’s this process of replication and identification that allows you to continue moving forward over time.
Turn off repeat.
Although motivation comes in waves, one of the most emotionally self-destructive habits you can get into is recycling the same mental approach to an idea on a consistent basis. Allowing your needle to get stuck on the same thought process is often the kiss of death to sustaining any long-term endeavor. The goal is not to distract yourself with new problems that present frivolous challenges to keep you sane. Rather, when you feel like you’ve exhausted every reasonable angle of attacking a given problem, step back, disconnect and take a break. This is also a good opportunity to go after something else to help keep your mind from overthinking and stressing about the initial problem at hand. Moving forward with this staggered approach is an art many successful human beings have mastered. This time when you return, do more research and talk to someone new about your hang-up. Between human beings and the Internet, there are far too many resources you’ll never know you have to surrender to the excuse of “I tried everything“. This is one of the few rinse-and-repeat methods that can be used over and over again, because by definition, it is never the same the next time around.
Remember the climb.
You knew unpredictable things would happen, but did you predict the unpredictable would still feel somehow…wrong? Anticipating disappointment is a comfort exercise, because it allows you to identify seemingly impossible circumstances as the granular things in the bigger picture. This is a good place to benchmark your expectations, although it doesn’t prepare you for the emotions you experience when you feel all too often like you’re spinning your tires with no traction in sight.
At the end of the day, you have to remain stubborn and confident in the unknown of your career. Hardening that belief will make you feel more comfortable with pitfalls and getting back to your roots will become a muscle you didn’t know you had.