Archive | Goals RSS for this section

When Patience Is Not a Virtue


We’ve all heard the common sentiment: “Patience is a virtue.”

It may have been from our parents when we were younger — maybe while we wanted to eat our Mac & Cheese before it had cooled.

It may have been from a teacher or professor — most likely while awaiting the grading of an all-too-important test or project.

It may have been from a boss — probably after we asked said boss for a raise or promotion.

And while patience is an amazing quality — a quality that allows room in our lives for other amazing qualities (like kindness, compassion, and forgiveness) — would you believe me if I told you that patience is not always a virtue? That there are scenarios in which patience is not helpful, and even worse, scenarios in which patience can be counterproductive, foolish, or flat-out detrimental to your success?

This isn’t a war on patience. I believe patience produces a calm in our lives rarely seen in our world today. I believe this calm allows us to remain ourselves in the midst of stress or anxiety. I believe our ability to remain ourselves helps us live intentionally with purpose and build lives based in happiness, understanding, and hope.

However, I’ve noticed moments in the world of over-glorified patience. I’ve seen examples of moments when being patient was producing no results, yet individuals have remained resolutely patient for the tides to change.

Herein lies my issue with patience:

Waiting for things that aren’t going to happen is not patience — it is foolish.

Patience is a virtue when there is an end to the means.

When we were younger waiting for our Mac & Cheese, our patience meant we’d be able to eat it without burning our mouths.

When we were waiting for a teacher or professor to post a grade, our patience allowed us to stress less about something we had no control over.

When we asked our boss for a raise or promotion, our patience was paired with our actively seeking that which we desired.

However, I’ve seen plenty of examples of patience simply for the sake of patience.

The problem with patience for the sake of patience is that it is not paired with any ambition to seek that in which we desire. We are waiting for things to happen that we have not actively worked for — and then we are disappointed when our results don’t meet our expectations.

Patience needs to be paired with action. Sometimes the proper action is to do nothing and wait…and sometimes it’s not.

For example:

This is my fourth draft of this blog. When I first wrote it, I had an idea for the blog, but my idea wasn’t fully complete. If I would have said, “Well, I should probably be patient and not write this blog until I’ve fully formed my idea,” I can almost guarantee you it would never have been published.

It was important for me to start taking action towards my desired outcome. Patience is more about being okay with my first three blogs not sounding how I wanted them to sound — it is less about waiting for the right thoughts to be fully present in my mind before starting.

Another example: 

A girl who wishes a certain boy would pursue her will say, “When is he going to ask me out?” Or worse, “When is he going to notice me?”

Now, I am all for chivalry, but a question seems to arise in my mind when I hear this: “Have you done anything to be noticed?”

It is great to be patient in this scenario (she doesn’t want to come on too strong) — but maybe sending a subtle hint, or at least saying hello, could get his attention. Otherwise, she may be waiting patiently for a boy who is oblivious to her intentions.

 


 

At the end of the day, I am all for being patient. Things may not always work out the way we envision, and it is a good idea to keep a level head.

But patience for the sake of patience is simply waiting. And waiting for something that isn’t going to happen is just foolish.

Be sure to pair your patience with action and intention — it is the yin and the yang of this conundrum. Physical action matched with mental resilience will deliver positive results both in the tangible and intangible sense.

Take action towards your goals. Be patient with the results. When working within this framework, patience becomes a virtue once again.

Advertisements

Why Self-Motivation Falls Short

…What can you do to stay motivated?

No one can be self-motivated all the time. Life gets in the way. People get in the way. Sometimes we get in our own way.

We need outside influences to pick us up and help us out.

But for some reason, there is this thought floating around that we need to do it ourselves. That waking up to work out is our personal responsibility. That a lack of motivation is solely our issue. That we are lone wolves.

PLEASE DON’T THINK LIKE THIS!

You are not a wolf. You are a human. And humans need help.

I post motivational tid-bits on Snapchat every day (feel free to add me if you’d like. My username is KyleWillkom), but some days, the motivation works in the other direction. Some days, I’m the one who needs the motivation.

When I come across those days, I do something a lot of people have closed themselves off to doing — I ask for help.

I put my needs into the world, and let people know that I’m tired or feeling lazy or riding the struggle bus.

Rocky Balboa is a great example of this. The guy was a nobody until he was chosen (randomly) to fight against Apollo Creed.

Did he all-of-a-sudden, out-of-nowhere, become great on his own? No way!

He worked his butt off with his trainer, Mick. He had a supportive wife (YO ADRIAN, I DID IT!!!). He even partnered with Apollo after the initial fight to be better later on.

He allowed the people around him to build him up and motivate him when he couldn’t do it on his own, and you should too.

I’m not saying crazy amounts of motivation will all of a sudden flow in from every angle once you ask for help, but when I’ve asked, typically I get some words of encouragement from unexpected places.

I’ve had people I haven’t talked to in years send me motivational quotes and videos. Most of them tell me that they have been following my journey for a while and have been meaning to reach out.

This type of interaction pumps me up!

And at the core of this is the realization that I cannot stay motivated on my own, and neither can you.

When you need a pick-me-up or some extra words of encouragement (or even if you need something totally unrelated to motivation), put it into the world. Tell people what you need. Ask for help.

You may just get the unexpected positive response you were needing all along.

And just like Rocky, you may become the stallion you always knew you could be.

The Opposite of Excuses

 

We, as humans, make excuses every day – and they have the capacity to cripple us.

But if excuses can cripple us, there must be a way to bring us back.

 

What is the opposite of an excuse?

 

I’ve found I make a lot of excuses – I find ways to justify skipping workouts or eating poorly.

The excuses I make are rarely based in facts – they are small lies I tell myself to feel better about not doing what I know I should.

An excuse, by definition, is pretty negative – it is “an explanation put forward to defend or justify a fault or offense.”

So in plain terms – you’ve done (or will do) something wrong, and you decide to convince yourself it was (or will be) right.

 

Why do we do this to ourselves?

 

Our excuses can cripple us because: we typically believe whatever we tell ourselves.

Henry Ford said, “Whether you think you can or think you can’t, you’re right.”

We are all living, breathing examples of self-fulfilling prophecies. We build our lives based on the vision we’ve set for ourselves.

When I tell myself I am too tired to get up early to work out, I am establishing this is a perfectly acceptable action in my life (and it is not).

When nothing earth-shattering happens when I’ve skipped one workout, I start to believe it is okay to skip workouts regularly (and it is not).

Every excuse we make tells us our unproductive actions are acceptable – this puts us into a negative spiral making it easier and easier to make excuses moving forward.

We need to break out of this spiral.

 

Which brings me to the opposite of excuses.

 

We are most apt to make excuses when we don’t have firm convictions for what we’re pursuing.

We need to establish why our actions matter.

We need REASONS – reasons are the opposite of excuses, but only if taken in the positive sense of the word.

If excuses justify not doing a task, reasons need to be our justification for doing said task.

The more reasons we have to do the right things, the less persuaded we’ll be to justify the wrong ones.

When our reasons to act outweigh our excuses, we control the narrative. We shape our story based on what we know is right, and we overpower the voice in our head telling us we can’t, or shouldn’t, or don’t need to.

There are a million reasons to do great things – we need to feed our mind with these reasons. If we don’t, we’ll be stuck listening to the excuses our brain comes up with and acting accordingly.

 

Why do you want to stay motivated?

 

What reasons do you have to do great things?

 

Make a list – even if it’s just in your head.
When your reasons for doing outweigh your excuses, you will have no problem finding the motivation necessary to accomplish your goals.

Don’t Be Fooled – Your Resolutions Do Matter

I change my mind about New Years Resolutions all the time.

I’m human. I think I’m allowed.

new-year-resolution

So I don’t know if I’ll look back on this post favorably or wish my former self would not have released it.

Either way, all I can do is tell you how I feel about New Years Resolutions today, at this time.

I feel as though people are pretty down on New Years Resolutions. They roll their eyes or tell you how you’re not setting goals properly. They’ll laugh about your diet changes or tell you your gym membership is going to go to waste.

And I used to be one of those people.

A year ago, I published an article telling you how your New Years Resolutions were broken.

Two years ago, I said that resolutions aren’t working because they are too short-term.

I think the underlying message of both of these blogs was –

“Write better resolutions, or don’t write resolutions at all.” 

Today, I’m going to tell you why I think your New Years Resolutions actually matter more than you think – whether they are structured properly and well thought out or just a passing thought in your mind – They MATTER.

I’m going to tell you why I think you should make New Years Resolutions even if you fail in the first week of the New Year – why even the thought of making a change can have lasting effects on your life.

The reason is a message straight from my book, The Thinking Dilemma – your thoughts direct your actions, and your actions direct your outcomes.

Your thoughts are SO powerful.

Have you heard the term “Self-Fulfilling Prophecy?”

What this means is simply the more you think about something, the more likely it is to come true in your life.

So our thoughts literally come to life.

If our thoughts can lead to physical changes in our world, what’s wrong with using this New Year as a moment to direct our thoughts properly?

Given, we probably should be directing our thoughts at all times (or working on it) – but since most of us don’t, it sure seems like a good idea to me to do so in the form of New Years Resolutions.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I still think people need help writing better resolutions (feel free to refer to my tips from last year).

But the overarching theme is this:

Any action taken toward living a purpose-filled, intentional life is an action I can get behind. 

When people take responsibility and begin to make changes, great things can happen.

I think New Years Resolutions matter. They show we’re trying. They show intentionality. Maybe we’ll succeed. Maybe we’ll fail. Either way, I believe humanity improves when we take responsibility and we try.

If New Years needs to be the designated time to take control of my life and make a positive change, I’ll take it.

So go ahead, set short-term New Years Resolutions. Join a gym. Buy a couple books. Learn a new language. Whatever it is you’ve been thinking of doing, do it.

Because this blog isn’t about doing it right. This post is just about doing it – trying.

I’m not going to tell you that your resolutions are broken. I’m not going to coach you on setting better goals. I’m not even going to recommend you be more intentional throughout the year.

I’m going to stand behind you in full support of your resolutions. I’m going to encourage you to succeed. I’m going to help you any way I can.

Your resolutions matter – even if they’re only thoughts.

Because I believe your thoughts matter.

Let’s do it together.

Kyle

Oh, and if you do come up short, don’t be too hard on yourself either. It happens.

%d bloggers like this: