Is it ever okay to give up?
Yes! As long as you continue to move in the direction of your long-term vision. Getting clarity on what you truly want can take months or even years.
Do you really want to make a living as a writer? Do you really want to be a successful blogger? Do you really want to be rich and famous?
Maybe. But you probably want something more basic. After years of questing and trying new things, I’ve come to realize that all I really want is to be my own boss.
First I wanted to be a writer. Then a t-shirt designer. Then a life coach. Then a blogger. Plus a million other things. And now a digital publisher.
As someone who very much recognizes the value of persistence, it wasn’t easy to muster the courage to abandon the “stepping stone” projects in order to fully embrace the next level.
I had to ask myself (and others): “Am I evolving? Or just spazzing out?”
The difference was obvious once I learned to be suspicious of excitement. If you’re someone with lots of interests, this is especially true for you.
Excitement is the voice of immediate gratification. It’s always geared toward short-term pleasure instead of long-term strategy and persistence.
To anchor yourself against the ever-changing tide of excitement, you need to figure out what it is you truly want and then become absolutely clear on the reasons you want it. Only then will you have the steam to persist in summoning your vision.
Your deepest desire is usually something really basic that centers around financial and/or lifestyle freedom. It has nothing to do with short term goals like, “I wanna sell 1,000 copies this month!”
Each time you pursue something new, or an opportunity comes your way, try to identify the underlying trends and use them to construct and redesign your vision of the future.
To close, I’d like to quote a former mentor of mine, Chris, who gave me the worst piece of advice I had ever heard:
“Screw passion. Keep your eye on the ball.”
Three years later, I finally can see the wisdom: passion (excitement) is fleeting, but the “ball” (your vision) only becomes sharper and more defined.
Use passion to help strengthen your vision, not distract you from it.
The next time you get excited about something, ask yourself: “Am I moving in the direction of my vision?”
In life, you’re either evolving or aimlessly wandering.