Note: This was originally a short letter to a young struggling friend who was feeling down about not being where he wanted to be in life.
You told me that you felt really unhappy about not being where you want to be in life.
You said that you want more out of your life, want to be stronger and bigger, look better, want to be richer and wealthier, want to have more influence, and want more respect from people.
You say you feel unhappy that you’re nowhere close to your long term ideals. In fact, it seems like the person you are and the person you want to be are entirely different people.
I want to tell you that this feeling is normal when you’re young. Anyone who says otherwise is not an ambitious person.
I want to isolate your problem from your emotions so that you know what you’re dealing with:
You are unhappy because there’s a lot of work yet to be done and you don’t know if you have it in you to do it. In other words, self-doubt.
The person you are today and the person you want to become are so far apart that you doubt your ability to ever close the distance. The self-doubt is natural, but it saps your conviction and weakens your resolve.
You compare yourself today to who you want to be ten to fifteen years down the line. This is not a very good idea because you will always fall short … because 10 years is an incredibly long time.
Stop comparing your day one to your ideal day 10000. You are just starting.
The only fair comparisons you can make are with who you were last year. See to it that you’re moving in the right direction and moving at a decent pace.
Once you have that figured out, you don’t have much to worry about. You need to give it time.
The only thing you can do is never stray from the way and give it time. As long as you are in the right direction and make progress (to the best of your ability) every day, you will get there.
(And even if you don’t, you tried your best, and that’s all you can ever do. So there’s no point feeling down about it.)
Remember, my friend, consistency is key. Rome was not built in a day, and neither will your life be built in a day.
Your journey of a thousand miles starts from the first step, and as long as you consistently show up every day and put in the work, the distance will get smaller and smaller.
Whether you want to lose weight, build a business, gain muscle, build a network, master a skill – consistency is the key to success.
Do not look at how many miles you are yet to go (because they are too many), and keep walking.
I don’t wish to drag this letter out too much (because you’re smart enough to get the point), so I’ll leave you with this:
1) Make a plan, and 2) See it through.
Remember, consistency is key.
Over the long run, you alone are responsible for where you want to be.
Further reading: Life Advice for 18-Year-Olds
P.S. If you’re looking for a 90 Day Structured Self-Improvement Program to help you fix your lifestyle, check out Live Intentionally.