Monday, August 7, 2017

Progress Is Messy

                                                        All change is hard at first.
                                                           Messy in the middle.
                                                        And gorgeous in the end.

I remember back in the early nineties when I was in the process of building my very first house together with my now ex-husband.
We had picked the perfect lot in a small subdivision outside Houston. The lot was almost one acre and it had a lot of trees on it.
We had also decided on what the house was going to look like. It was going to be a two-story Country-Victorian house. Three bedrooms, 2 1/2 bath, nice size kitchen and a three car garage.

We were very excited about the house and our plans..... but then the construction started.
Excited days got replaced with days filled with frustration, worry, anger and disappointments.
Progress is messy.

Some days some of the workers didn't show up and the whole project got delayed because you can't start putting the roof on if the framing isn't done. A lot of things has to be done in a specific order.
Some days the material didn't get delivered and we had to wait on it. And those days we had to be flexible and work on some other things that needed to be done. Maybe just a clean up day.

Talking about cleaning up. Many of those days. It could be perfect and cleaned up one day and then the next evening we had to do it all over again.

The project took a lot longer that we expected and it also cost more money than we had planned for in the beginning, because we added and changed some things as we went along. Things that we were not aware of when we started the building of the house.

Can anyone relate to what I am talking about?

Don't get me wrong there were a lot of absolutely fantastic day. Being able to be part of the construction of my own home was a great experience. I learned so much during this time. Things that have been very useful for me during my life.
The house turned out beautifully. We loved living there. I have a lot of fun and wonderful memories from my nine years of living in that house.

I guess by now you are wondering where I am going with this story?

Isn't it true in life that it doesn't matter what we are trying to do, especially if it involves making some kind of progress..... it is going to be a little messy, talking a lot longer that we first figured and also it will cost us a little more than we first intended. A lot of days will be filled with doubt, fear, frustration, worry and anger but in the end it will always be worth it because the experience will benefit us for the rest of our lives.

Anything you do in life is a lot like building the house I was talking about.

Have you have ever started a business of your own?  (It's a lot like building a house)
First you have to decide on what kind of business you want. Then you must also create a game-plan or a blueprint of what you want your business to look like and how to go about creating it. You create an action plan and then you make a decision what you first step is going to be. And then the next step and then the next.
In the beginning everything is great. Especially during the planning days. But it does get a little harder when you must start taking daily action steps and then all of a sudden your plan falls apart due to things you could not have anticipated and planned for.
Maybe you ran out of money half-way through the project? A friend had promised to help you, and she/he didn't show up. The person you hired stole from you and you had to fire them. Everything took a lot longer because you had to learn to do a lot of new things that you had no idea that you had to learn when you decided to start the business.
Does this sound familiar to someone?

I can absolutely relate to all of the above in my own business. Many days can be very frustrating and many days..... I don't know what to do. I don't have all the answers. I have had to learn a lot about being patient. Patient when people don't do what they promised you, that they would do. Patient when other people that you are depending on are delaying your project(s). I have had to learn things that I never thought I could do. I have had learn to do things that I really didn't want and still don't want to do.....but who is going to do them when you can't afford to pay anyone and the "free help" suddenly decided that they didn't want to help anymore? I have had to ask a lot of people to help me and to show me how to do things. I have read a lot of books, articles and listened to YouTube.

How about personal development?
We want to better ourselves and our lives. We want to drop a few bad habits and add a couple of new ones that are better for us in the long run. It is very exciting and we feel extremely motivated when we are planning to get in better shape, both mentally and physically.
But what happens when the alarm goes off at 4.30 in the morning and you are suppose to either hit the gym or go jogging before going to work? Well, then we need a new kind of excitement.

The planning phase is always more exciting than actually taking action on our plans. And I guess that is why a lot of people will have great plans but no execution.
How about those days and you have been working very hard for a very long time and nothing happens? Those days are very difficult and during those days it is easy to get discouraged and feeling like you want to quit.

But if you go back to building the can't quit halfway through the project. You can't live in a house without a roof.
Same thing with a business. It will take a while before you will see some results and you might have to alter you game-plan many times because it just didn't work. You might have to do a few things that feels very uncomfortable to you. But no one else will do it, or you can't afford to pay anyone else.

Same thing with the house. You will realize after a while that you rather have a bigger window in the kitchen or a larger/smaller garage.
Maybe jogging at 5 am in the morning isn't your thing and you have to try something new that will better fit you and your lifestyle. Maybe jogging in the evening with a group of people will better fit you. Or maybe playing tennis or going swimming.

In the end we must all realize that progress is messy. It doesn't matter what we are trying to do.

First we have to learn to be patient with ourselves. Usually it will take a longer that we think it is going to do and most of the time it will require a lot more work that we thought in the beginning. Growth is not that easy..... but it is always possible, and at any time of our lives.
We are never too old or too young to start.

It doesn't matter what you are trying to do. Building a house, building a business, building a healthier body/mind, building better relationships or a better financial future. It will take time. It will require a game-plan, action on your part and it will include a lot of messy days filled with confusion, fear, doubt and worry.

But in the end it will all be worth it. Just think about all you have learned in the process and also think about the person that you now have become due to these experiences. A New You.


                                          Karin Glannstam - Personal Success Coach

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