On your journey to independence, you are going to be figuratively rocked back on your heels from time to time. People will let you down. The funding for your project will fall through. You may be betrayed by a friend or a family member. A resource you counted on may not be available. It’s times like these when I think of my grandmother.
She was a child of the Great Depression, and through her, I learned resourcefulness, creativity and persistence. When I would get to a point in a problem or challenge where I had reached the end of my reasoning, I would ask her for help. Her answer? “Pretend you’re alone.”Â Forced to adopt this perspective, my brain widenedÂ to include options I hadn’t fully explored previously. Giving up was not an option.
When faced with abandoning my problem or continuing on in the hopes of finding a solution, I had to ask myself “why? why are you intent upon completing this task? to what end? for what purpose?” For me, the kernel of the why was my seed of hope.
Hope is linked to promise ~ the promise of what can be, the promise of our dreams. Without the underpinnings of a reason (the seed of hope), none of us have the driver for improving our behavior.
“When the world says, ‘give up,’ Hope whispers, ‘Try it one more time.'” ~ Unknown
When you reach the figurative end of your rope, you must have a reason for continuing if you are to reach your goal. Therefore, your first responsibility to yourself is to distill/link your goals into the “Whys.”Â
Â I want to be financially independent.Â (why?)
Â I want to pay off my debts. (why?)
Â I want to own my own company.Â (why?)
Â I want to…
Without linking a concrete why to each of your goals, reaching them will remain a series of nebulous, moving targets. You’ll make sporadic progress in fits and starts, frustrating yourself. You may eventually get where you are going, but it will be through some sort of “Woodstockian“Â random flight pattern trajectory. It is much more satisfying and productive to determine what you want and devise a plan to get there.
If you find yourself with an unsettling, gnawing frustration about your lot in life, you owe it to yourself to discern your goals, motivations and processes. It is impossible to get what you want when you don’t know what you want. Period.
We’ve talked about the power of journaling in previous blogposts. If you have been keeping one, review the past month and see what themes emerge. What are recurring topics? These subjects reveal clues to your focus and opportunities in your life to change.
From those topics, pick three that really speak to you. This is your Gut talking – your internal compass. Pick the three that jump from the page. Then translate the theme into a goal statement. For example, let’s assume that money is a theme. Your goal statement could be as simple as, “I want to become more aware of how I spend my money (goal) so that I can manage it more effectively (why).”Â
“He conquers who endures.” ~ Persius
This is the part where you have to decide if you’re serious. Is your WhyÂ strong enough to sustain you when life throws its curve balls at you? If not, either abandon your goal or tweak your statement to something more meaningful for you. Sometimes, for me, the best enduranceÂ exercise is to repeat my goal statement – to remind myself why I’m doing whatever it is that I’m doing.
“People are always blaming their circumstances for what they are. I don’t believe in circumstances. The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want, and, if they can’t find them, make them.” ~ G.B. Shaw
When you can read this quote and hear it from a dispassionate, non-judgmental voice, you will have internalized your own power. You will have tapped your own wellspring of endurance, because you will have realized that you are capable of transforming your life. Through hope; through endurance, you will reach your goals.
When did you experience a turning point in your life? When did you achieve a goal through hope?
Molly Cantrell-Kraig is a woman with drive. Possessing an innate sense of purpose and a pragmatic, solution-based approach to empowering people, she fused these two traits in order to establish Women With Drive Foundation. Based upon its founder’s personal history, Women With Drive Foundation is a means through which Cantrell-Kraig may effect change on both a micro and macro level. By providing women with something as essential as personal transportation in order to transition them from poverty to prosperity, she, through Women With Drive Foundation, seeks to empower women to help them help themselves. Through this action, the individual applicant benefits, as does society as a whole. Follow Molly on twitter as @mckra1g or @WWDr1ve (Women With Drive)