Commitment is doing something even when you don’t want to. No matter what. Loyalty is wanting to do something even when you shouldn’t. No matter what. Both can get you into trouble – or pay off in spades. Either way, commitment and loyalty are worth the risk.
Even when no one notices or cares, keep fighting the good fight. When someone finally notices, he or she will come to appreciate your persistence and dedication. A series of wins makes a winner, not just one win. The longer and harder you try, the more reputable and respected you will become when you’re finally acknowledged.
We wouldn’t get anywhere in life if we didn’t think “getting there” was possible. Pessimism, naysaying and caution may protect people from risky business, but they do nothing to help meaningful change or make the world a better place. Progress depends on setting a goal and the confidence to see it through. More important than confidence, I think, is faith. Blind and unrestrained optimism for doing great things, supporting great people and believing in the impossible. If it hasn’t been done before, surely it’s impossible – right? Wrong. There are no boundaries we cannot cross, no puzzles we cannot solve or no messes we cannot clean up if we truly believe. Perhaps ignorantly, if we need to. Whatever it takes to get the job done. While I refuse to identify with myopia or traditionalist thought, I do respect people who can believe in their mission so wholeheartedly that nothing can stand in their way. That’s bigger than persistence or stubbornness – that’s faith.
To antithesize yesterday’s post a bit, you must not be too quick to surrender failed projects. Give obstacles their due perspective and time before you put your hands up and walk away. If you’re stringing a project along because you’re no longer interested in it, then mark it a failure and leave it be. But if you’re stringing a project along because of obstacles you cannot overcome, take an extra minute to consider the whole thing. What will it take to overcome this problem? Can you do it alone? Do you care enough to inspire the resources of others to help you? If you do not care enough to try and inspire the world with your work, walk away. If you do care, don’t give up and figure it out.
Quitters give up because they don’t care enough. Do not be a quitter. Pick projects you believe in and believe in them until the deeds are done. The second you stop believing, you lose.
You do not achieve goals by taking breaks here and there, chipping away when you feel like it. You achieve goals by consistently persisting forward and never taking a day off. Thirty minutes per day yields better results than three hours once per week. If you take a break, you will lose momentum. Lose momentum, and your passion project may fade to the back of your mind. You will lose.
If your mission is tied to your very core, then maybe you can survive output droughts. To intertwine your mission to your core in the first place, you need to consistently believe in it. There are feature films I have wanted to produce since I was eleven years old. I have no polished screenplays or financing to show for them, no plans to produce anytime soon. I touch these projects once every few months at best. But I wake up at night after dreaming about them every so often. They will not leave me alone. To make the films, however, I need to commit. I will need to start making daily progress to finish them. They will never get made otherwise.
You are only as strong and resilient as your dreams. You only have one life; don’t take “no” for an answer.