Okay, so change happens over time.
“Give it time” and “if you just work hard enough” have become common mantras.
But how long do we have to suffer through “no pain, no gain” before we see results?
If you’re talking about exercise it’s around 6-8 weeks. This is why everyone is in the gym in January and no one makes it through February.
It takes too long to see results.
If its a musical instrument, it’s about 2 years.
And for 2 years your fingers hurt, you’re clumsy, and it’s hard to know if you’re going to get the hang of it.
If its a yo-yo, it’s about 45 minutes.
But remember that for 45 minutes you’re swinging it around your head, whacking your elbow, and breaking stuff in your living room.
It hurts a lot for 45 minutes–but then it starts to work. And now you’re going ‘around the world’ and ‘walking the dog’ with no problem.
But how could you know it would only be 45 minutes of pain? How could you know if it would take a year or 3 years to learn the clarinet?
Sure, you can guess how long it might take–but if you can’t know, its smart to know if and when you should quit.
Quitting before you start is possible only if you know that the path ahead will NOT help you achieve your mission and if you know that the task is not responsive to blood, sweat, and tears.
If the outcome is not going to give you immense validation or check off some major life goal, it might not be worth years of your life.
If the outcome is not possible with harder work or longer hours, it might not be worth your time either.
So the question isn’t “how long should I stick it out?”
The question is: “Is the outcome of success worth whatever it takes?”
Just remember that you have a lot of say in defining “outcome,” “success” and “whatever it takes.”
2 Minute Action
Answer these questions and let me know where they take you:
What’s something you’ve failed at?
Do you believe it’s because you have no talent or have some other shortcoming?
Would hard work and time make success possible?
Is this definition of success actually achievable?