“The darkest hour is just before dawn”
When is the hardest time to continue pursuing your dreams? How to get ready for that? And most significantly – what to do when everything seems to be against us? Today we will look into the answers to all those questions.
On the road to our vision
They say it’s darkest just before dawn when in the cold of the night when it all looks like is lost the first rays of light break through.
This could be one very good metaphor in the context of goal-setting since we all have had such moments. Every person has to go through difficult times while going after an objective. We are doing our best and yet we can’t register any progress. We feel like we are dealing with obstacles that are so great that we wonder if it’s even possible to overcome.
The question is not if but when we will have to prove ourselves
It’s just a part of life, and you can safely bet it will happen – we will have to fight controversy in anything, including fulfilling our dreams.
The important thing is how we react to these – as a challenge or as a showstopper. This reminds us of something quite interesting.
In his book Seth Godin presents the idea that every single project goes through such a period. After a while, when everything goes well, there is the inevitable decline in the results, in the motivation, in the energy. We have to endure and find the way up regardless of how difficult it might look.
We get to witness this time and again in our workshops. Usually, during the first couple of weeks, people are pumped up with enthusiasm. But then the real work begins, and the whole experience is transformed into a series of tasks and the related problems. This is precisely the moment when most people get discouraged and start giving up.
Why we give up just before the sunrise
It’s only natural to become frustrated by a lack of visible results and then decide that it’s a lost cause. That’s when we are tempted to throw in the towel instead of trying to make one more effort to crawl a little bit further up where the light of the day is.
Well, the truth is that things rarely break out our way all of a sudden.
All of those successful people talk about how they struggled and have almost given up. And yet, they soldiered on to get their first results.
How we’ve managed to get out of the “dip”
Not so long ago, we’ve found ourselves in big trouble with something which has been a central piece in the vision for the “GoalBuddy” system.
It was the publication of our book ”The 4 Keys to Achieve Goals”.
At that time it seemed like everything was against us and nothing was going as it was supposed to.
Some people failed to deliver, deadlines were missed plus the unexpected issues revealed how little we were prepared to deal with the grueling process of publishing a book.
It was tough – we were short on time as well as good options. We simply didn’t know what to do.
We could say that there would simply be no book today if we weren’t as stubbornly committed.
A very deceptive illusion
It’s simply a myth that only a sudden and liberating breakthrough is possible.
Success is very much like an iceberg with its tip being what we see while the rest, the hidden underwater part, is the work, the commitment, all of the sacrifice and stress.
We are not saying that it’s impossible to “strike gold” all of a sudden. But there is nothing that would get done if we don’t put in the required effort.
A matter of attitude
Once we have accepted the simple truth that nothing is easy and life will drag us through many trials we will be better prepared to meet any of these in stride.
Our instinctive but counterproductive tendency to avoid the “hard way” will be checked and we will be able to mobilize and endure. This is what we call the Mother of all goal-setting skills.
How to make the future bigger than the past
We like very much the kind of thinking the successful entrepreneur Dan Sullivan has. At the age of 76, he continues making his future greater than the past.
Most people are trapped in the past. They view their previous achievements as the best that could have happened to them. And that’s not helping if you are to look with optimism to the future. However, if we start believing that the best is still ahead of us then we will be psychologically inclined to overcome any setbacks and move forward.
Our ability to persevere in the face of inevitable hardship is what gets us across the finish line in the journey to our dreams.
How the system can help
In the end, the good news for you is likely just around the corner. And what you do – you’ve just given up.
But if we can suggest something that is proven to be effective time and time again. It’s an integrated approach combining the 4 keys – vision, 90-day goals, weekly steps, and the Buddy. Here’s how these function at every level.
# 1 If you get stuck with no way out
When someone has lost their motivation it’s the vision that comes to the rescue.
Having a well-defined long-term objective and reviewing it every day will stop you from losing interest or feeling lost. Whenever you got in a tight spot like that you can go back and read again why you are in the game. In doing so you will recover the mental state you were in when you wrote it.
# 2 If the lack of results demotivates you
In this case, it is the 90-day goals that save the day for you.
First, they are defined correctly, i.e. they are action-oriented and include the desired result.
And secondly, they have an optimal timeframe – big enough to find out if the actions would have any positive effect, but at the same time not too big so that you get completely spent and quit.
The best thing about it is that turning the corner is not just about immediate success but also learning and experimenting. It’s always good to know, especially when the whole experience shows you a better and easier way forward.
With each 90-day goal completed, you end up having learned something new and gained more confidence. That gives you the freedom as well as the flexibility to change course and outline new objectives.
# 3 If you lack the required will power
Well, we can offer you the best tactic: the weekly steps.
Each week you do one action that might look insignificant and yet it will keep your wheels spinning and thus not losing momentum. It is precisely how not to give up but enjoy the process which is based on the effect of accumulating small steps forward.
# 4 If you are about to give up
There is this one person who will not let you down. And this is the Goal Buddy.
What that means is that you will be able to team up the other 3 keys – your vision, the 90-day goals as well as the weekly steps. With the help of the meetings with the Buddy, you will be able to stay focused and finish up everything that was planned. And especially when the going gets tough you will get the support and encouragement that will carry you through the darkest hours.
If you feel trapped, i.e. you did everything you could but to no avail or there was an emergency which completely threw you off track, then don’t forget that this “darkness” is as transient as anything. Or to put it bluntly – you will not be in the dark and cold all your life.
The solution is to accept it and wait for the dawn without giving up your dreams. You do so but you never stop working and moving forward in the chosen direction. Sooner or later you will see the sun rising. As it always does.
 “The Dip – A Little Book That Teaches You When to Quit (And When to Stick)” – Seth Godin