“Are we almost there mummy?” I often get asked this question by my first grader, whenever we embark on road trips that last longer than a couple of hours. And every time, my response has always been, “no darling, we are almost there; just a little more patience”. Sometimes when I give this response, we may just be a few minutes away from our destination, and I am able to tell that he probably had been asking that question out of tiredness, impatience, or altogether frustration with the journey. But even when my response has been “we are almost there”, he is able to decipher that “being almost there” is not synonymous with “being there” (given the sometimes disappointed look I see splashed across his face).
What’s the whole essence of this little narrative? It is to draw our attention to the fact that in life, in the midst of all our efforts and attempts to make it up the ladder of success, we may often get to the place where it may seem like we are “almost there”, but in reality, not quite there. We may have gotten so close to reaching out and grabbing success with both hands, but frequently get distracted, frustrated and impatient, and in the process allow all previous endeavors to become futile.
I have heard people make remarks like, “I almost passed that exam”, “I almost got that job”, “I almost crossed paths with someone influential”, etc. Taking a closer look at comments like this, what is the common unifying factor? It is the 6 letter word, “almost”. “We almost did this and that”, but in reality, not quite like it. If you have put in so much effort in trying to pursue your dreams, why on earth would you give up, when you finally get so close to what you have always worked so hard for?The problem we frequently encounter as sojourners in this world is that, we often get easily discouraged and distracted, especially when things do not seem to go the way we originally planned. We easily chicken out of the show, whenever we are faced with challenges, which pose to distract us from our course towards success. And later, all we have to show for our previous hard work, is to recount to others how we almost achieved A,B or C, when we should have been narrating how we broke barriers to get to the summit of success.
We must appreciate that the systems of the world weren’t designed for everyone to dine with success easily. Therefore, a thorough understanding of this principle is meant to reinforce our commitment and passion, to follow our dreams. Remember that, ‘almost, cannot kill a bird’. If you go hunting and aim to hit at a bird but miss the target, would you go home with the spoil in your bag? The answer I believe is No. Likewise, when we have a set goal before us and fail to hit the target, we may not go home with the coveted price, but rather may be narrating fables of how we almost achieved that particular feat.
Please note that there is indeed a stark difference between, “I hit it” and “I almost hit it”. Successful people do not ‘almost hit it’. They actually do hit it. What do you think makes people remain in the “almost” zone, even when they have gone far enough in the execution phase of their projects? I would sum it up with this acronym: DIP–Distraction, Impatience, People.
- Distraction: Sometimes while navigating the journey of success, distractions may show up to derail you from your pursuit. Distractions may be in any form: your career, family, friends, hobbies, indulgence, habits, etc. Instead of focusing on the main goal, people may lend themselves to derailment by one or may of those distraction potentiates, which may completely veer them off their set target.
- Impatience: Even when people are so close to their destinations, they may intentionally or unintentionally give up on their dreams, out of impatience. Here, they begin to take stock of the time expended and the resources spent in pursuing that goal, and may inadvertently give up on it, without knowing that what they had always worked hard for; is just around the corner. Patience is absolutely necessary, if you indeed want to become successful, and exit the ‘almost’ zone of life.
- People: Never underestimate the power and influence of another individual in the pursuit of your goal. Although we may sometimes need the help of otters to ascend that ladder of success, we must also be cognizant of the fact that some people may serve to ultimately push down and break that ladder, so that any further attempted climb becomes impossible. Be careful who you share your life’s dreams and ambitions with. Some people will frustrate every effort of yours, and make hitherto simple processes more difficult, just because they want you to continue to remain in the “almost zone”.
I wish that every one reading this post of mine leaps out of that “almost zone” and advance into the “hit it zone”. You have worked so hard to get here, and you deserve to wine and dine with success, not lounging close to it. I hope that you will conquer the deception of DIP, and keep pushing until you achieve your dreams, especially in the New Year!
To your continued success. Cheers!!!