Before you jump to conclusions, this post is not about violence and bloodbath. But yes, about warfare of a different kind. About the turmoil within ourselves as we get pulled / pushed / prodded by priorities of soul / self and others.
Often, we pause and think about the direction our life is taking. We begin with well-defined goals and progress at a good pace in the beginning. With time, we either lose sight of our goal or we find ourselves being carried away in another direction, away from our goal. After a certain point, we find it difficult to getback on track or we believe that it is too late. The point being, our goals have gone to Timbuktu.
Let me tell you how this happens. At the starting point, our focus is way ahead, at the finish line. Our heads buzz with the urge for reaching the goal. Once, the race begins, we notice that someone is ahead of us while someone is in the process of over-taking us. We get carried away with the happenings around – foreseen and unforeseen, the competitors, the cheering – and we easily miss staying on our planned track. Gradually, we forget that the finish line is what is important.
Let us consider the tale of ‘The Hare and the Tortoise’ for instance. At one glance, we know that the hare would have easily won the race. He gets a great start because he is aware of his skills and is rest assured that the opponent is not a threat in the least. He under-estimates the tortoise and decides to take a nap. The hare’s focus temporarily shifts from winning the race at which point, the tortoise keeps moving.
Here, the hare’s strength is speed while his weakness is procrastination. The tortoise’s strength is consistency. His start wasn’t great, but the journey was. The message is loud and clear. No matter how proficient, quick or talented we are, we cannot get across unless we are consistent. A work that could be finished in two days by an average person will take a week for the procrastinator. The fact that the procrastinator is more efficient doesn’t count. Does it?
Whatever be our goal, be it in business, studies, spirituality or extra activities, consistency is the first Mantra. Irrespective of everything around us, it is always wise to continue our efforts consistently. Consistency sure is the mother of confidence and achievements. Wouldn’t you agree that each of us is a different individual and we can take all the time we sure can take our stipulated time to reach our goal, with consistency by our side? And my take to this is that this is why the tortoise’s efforts are paid well in the long run.
Easier said than done, so here are few smart tips :
There is no formula for consistency. The efforts and the determination should come from within. But some suggestions never go waste:
- You know what your goal is. Now, make a plan to attain that goal. Just like a recipe, jot down the points step after step.
- Break down the entire plan into chewable bits. There is a huge problem when you look at the distant goal as a whole. But if you divide them into pieces, all you have to do is focus on one piece at a time.
- Keep time limits to complete each piece. Hence, you will have an estimate of when you will eventually attain the goal.
- When you find yourself lagging behind, find out what makes you lag. Make a list of things that use up your time and cut them off. For instance, while working, do you spend an awful lot of time in texting and on facebook? Cut them off!
- Now, you will be itching for those extra activities you cut off. Then, promise to reward yourself. If you complete a certain portion of your work within a prescribed time, you can access Facebook or reward yourself with something you love.
- Occasionally ensure that you are on the right track and the plan still takes you to your goal.
Perhaps these tips could be handy while we chase our goals. And the #Rule of Thumb should be to Stay focused and NEVER EVER compare yourself with anyone around.
Have you ever thought Can we imagine what would have happened if the tortoise was simply worried about his opponent’s skills? He would never have started the race in the first place, isn’t it?
Our Puranas have a strange way of depicting things. It encourages conceptualizations, but also mercilessly questions the very existence of a concept, forcing us to come up with a practical analogy that actually proves the concept. Now, read again. Isn’t this exactly “Do and Learn” method ?When we Do, We Learn. In order to be able to ‘DO’, one cannot afford to look away from the end goal (a.k.a THE Finish Line).Isn’t this FOCUS all about?
When everything else blurs, the single minded approach – the one point agenda is your biggest strength against competition. Isn’t this Brahmastra all about??
Image credit : http://quotesgram.com/focus-quotes/
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