If you want to get a six pack, start altering your diet and get consistent exercise today. The process for getting there would be the same today as it is 6 months from now. Yes, you will not be lifting as much weight or start with a super optimized diet, but the process is basically the same thing.
If you want to become a writer, you can start writing today. The same process of working through your ideas and putting them to paper or a word doc can begin today like Stephen King or Seth Godin. Your writing may not be very good, but the meat of the process is basically the same.
But odds are you did not come for the process. You came for the end of the rainbow.
When are my six pack abs going to come! When is my book deal, money, and fame going to come!
That mindset assumes “If I do X, I’ll feel Y.” “I’m betting that the years of suffering through X, will be worth it once I reach Y”. But if you don’t like the work now, what makes you think you’re going to enjoy it a year from now?
Many things can be fun for a few weeks, before it becomes unfun. “I have to do this thing again. Ugh. It used to be so fun, but now it feels like a chore.”
Inherent in that mindset is the expectation that you are supposed to be constantly stimulated, rather than anticipating you will hit a boredom dip, and have to renew your sense of enthusiasm.
It’s why you hear the common relationship complaint that the relationship was so great in the beginning, but soon their partner stopped trying (or perhaps you stopped trying) and got stale. “Ugh, I have to keep planning dates, finding new ways I can be romantic, keep being vulnerable, forever?! Best to just give up and be single again.”
For almost every endeavor, this will be how it goes (credit Seth Godin):
The work today will basically be the same (just more optimized) as a year from now. The hard part then is bringing enthusiasm to the party again and again and again.
Or you can keep trying to chase another hit of the cocaine, think another notch on the bedpost is the solution, or switch jobs, again.
Yes, commitment takes work. But the great thing is, you have a large say in how fun that work can be. It’s a lot easier blaming the career or boss, rather than taking responsibility for bringing the party.
Yes, there will be traps along the way (bad jobs, bad relationships, etc) that you will have to escape, but largely the joy in your life can be self-generated. So from now on if you hit a wall, you can shift your mindset from “This thing sucks, it used to be so fun,” to “How I can I bring joy to it? How can I make it fun.”
Two people can go on a vacation to the Bahamas, with sunny weather and beautiful white sand beaches. One person can make it seem like it’s the equivalent of doing their taxes, while the other has the time of their life.
It’s an attitude. Yep, that thing.