2016 has been an incredible year for me. I reached so many milestones and accomplished a lot of things that I am proud of. However, the road hasn’t been easy (and still isn’t). There are many things that have happened to me throughout my life that, at one point, caused me to doubt myself and almost give up. I feel like this year was a critical turning point for me because the stakes in my personal life are higher now. I’m getting older and I’m married with children. Every decision that I make effects them and sacrifices that don’t pay off can take a toll on everyone. I’m steering a bigger ship and it’s not always possible to turn on a dime or at a moments notice. And sometimes, I’m not as consistent as I would like to be both in my career and in my family. I probably spend half of my day strategizing and calculating my next move for this very reason. There just isn’t enough time to do everything I’m passionate about!
I’ve lived and learned the concept of incremental progress. Incremental progress is making a resolution to do at least one thing a day (or week, month, etc.) that brings you closer to a goal. It may sound like a very minuscule thing, but it’s an unbelievably difficult practice to keep up (especially when you don’t see the payoff immediately). But this is where perseverance comes in. Perseverance is finding a way to keep going when you feel like you can’t. It takes a strong will to continue to move forward when you’re tired, life isn’t working how you want it to, and you are limited on resources. The benefit of persevering is that when you stay active (that is, keep going), you discover new ways to get closer to what you want. You begin to see what you are made of and will discover how bad you want what you want. I like how Eric Thomas puts it, “When you want to succeed as bad as you want to breathe, then you’ll be successful.” Along the way, several people have come along and helped me in my pursuits without me even asking. I feel like this has happened because I prayed really hard for help and also because I refuse to quit. Some people just respected my grind and willingness to keep going. I’m stubborn as a mule when it comes to going after something I really want. It’s my gift and my curse.
Perhaps you haven’t arrived to the place in life that you feel you should be at. Life is a marathon and has a way or rewarding people that stick it out until the end of the race. I both challenge and encourage you to just put your head down and continue to stride forward. Sometimes, you just have to focus on the journey and not the destination. When you do this, I truly believe that you will land where you want, but you will also get some nice surprises along the way. My hope and prayer for you is that you will find material, mental, spiritual, and relational prosperity in 2017.