Stop Fantasizing About the Results, Instead Focus on the Real Work

Whatever definition we have about success, one thing is always certain: Success is a byproduct of putting in the work.

In my case, whatever success I have in my music journey, it is the result of hours practicing the guitar, rehearsing with the band, writing music and doing anything to promote it, and on and on. That’s a lot of work if you know what I mean.

Of course, success is subjective or relative.

Let’s say your version is different: You want to be a successful entrepreneur.

And just like other pursuits, in order to succeed, you have to work hard — really really hard.

But then you realize you hate working insane amount of hours on something uncertain. You hate the risk of building a brand. You hate marketing your product. You hate working with a team, researching and planning, and finding customers who will give a shit.

In this case, as Mark Manson said, you only wanted the reward not the struggle. You only wanted the result not the process.

But life doesn’t work that way.

Often, we are so focused on the final picture — the victory — without realizing that there’s a lot of hard work, pain, failures, mess, discomfort, and a barrage of emotions behind the scenes.

This, I also learned from Mark Manson, is to ask ourselves about the things we’re ready to suffer. This forces us to contemplate about the process and the struggles and the real work, instead of just fantasizing the results.

He wrote:

“Who you are is defined by the values you are willing to struggle for. People who enjoy the struggles of a gym are the ones who get in good shape. People who enjoy long workweeks and the politics of the corporate ladder are the ones who move up it. People who enjoy the stresses and uncertainty of the starving artist lifestyle are ultimately the ones who live it and make it.

This is not a call for willpower or “grit.” This is not another admonishment of “no pain, no gain.”

This is the most simple and basic component of life: our struggles determine our successes. So choose your struggles wisely, my friend.”

If we’re not ready to suffer, if we hate the process, and if we don’t learn to endure the struggle, then we don’t deserve the success we really want — whatever version of success is that.

So what are the things you’re willing to struggle for?