You Don’t Need To Know What You’re Doing, Just Keep Doing It.
The path of unshakeable stubbornness.
Some days everything feels totally under control and others it feels like you’re in free-fall. Some days you create something that everybody loves and others it feels everything you do is shit. It’s tempting to give up during those free-fall days, because in the beginning there are more bad days than there are good days. The thing is, this never stops being true, it’s just that the bad days become better.
That might sound overly cynical, but let’s take a look at the reality of our experience. Think of the happiest day you’ve had in the past month. How many of the other days lived up to that? If you’re at the beginning of a project right now, there’s a pretty strong chance that it was a significant outlier. Either that or your best day was only very marginally better than the other days.
But this isn’t surprising. Right now you’re standing at the bottom of a hill with a boulder the exact size and weight of your ambitions. You’re miles from a place where you might even get to have a rest, never mind getting to a point where the slope levels out and you don’t have to push so goddamn hard anymore. And if you’re smart, you realise that even when you get to the top you’ll still need to keep pushing if you don’t want that boulder to roll back down. I mean, if you aren’t having a hard time you’re probably a sociopath.
So if you’re going to stay sane, the only way forward is to forget about the pushing and just push. Automate it. Make it feel normal. Make pushing this boulder such an accepted, ordinary part of your life that you don’t even feel the blisters forming on your hands. Make it feel like breathing; something you don’t give yourself a day off from because you’re tired, or you’re sad, or because you’re feeling lazy.
Don’t check your progress, at least not every day. Don’t worry about the inevitable detours that you’ll take, don’t try to reach the top of the mountain straight away. Just move. Just make some progress. On those extra hard days just take one step, just one, and then rest for as long as you need. But take the step. Don’t let anything stop you.
There’s no way for me to tell you where you’ll end up if you do all this. Nobody knows, not even you, but that’s not the point. The whole point is just to continue to take steps. You can’t know where you’re going, so go forward. The one thing you can be sure about is that your dreams aren’t meant to stay where they are right now. So keep pushing.