Late at night you stay up, imagining what life will be like when one day, you finally hit your goal.
You can’t sleep because it gets you so freaking excited. The thought of finally graduating. Walking down that red aisle wearing that silky, black toga. You think,
“Finally, I’ll be done. I’ll be done with 7:30AM classes where I have to wake up 5:00AM every day just to get to school on time. I’ll be done with those teachers that don’t give one shit about me or my classmates. I’ll be done with conforming to the system. I’ll be done with school.”
It’s going to feel so good.
You can already breathe the air of victory. You can taste it. You can hear it. The cheers. The congratulations. The high-fives. The screams of “YOU FUCKING DID IT!” from your closest friends. You can see yourself, finally, getting a start in the real world. Doing things in your own terms. Manning the ship. Guiding it to where you want it to go.
You see it, and you want it so badly. You want it right now.
Then, the alarm wakes you up.
“Fuck. Another day of school,” you think.
You get your lazy ass off your bed after 10 minutes of lying down and hating your life, then you get up and get in the shower. Or you don’t. I don’t judge.
You stand in the cold water thinking, “Can it just end right now?” You remember your thoughts late last night, the taste of finally getting there. Wherever “there” is for you. Graduation. Landing your first big client. Being a New York Times Bestseller. Starting a business that supports your mom, dad, and your siblings. You remember how it feels so good to already be there.
But you absolutely hate that you’re still here.
You loath the fact that you need to write 10,000 more words to finish your requirements. That your class is 30 minutes away but you know traffic is going to screw you and get you there in 45. You’re discouraged because the last 7 companies you pitched rejected your proposal. You feel like quitting because only 10 people bought your product.
“I’m tired. I’m done.”
Ever felt that way? You’re not alone.
It sucks, and I want to get over it as much as you do. I want to stop losing sleep over imagined success. Feeling how good it would be to be “there”, only to know that when I wake up, I dread the steps I need to take.
Fall in love with the fucking process.
Fall in love with the 3:23 AM bedtimes every single day, one week before the deadline of your final paper. Cherish it, every single damn word you type into that Word Document that’s slow as hell because of the 10,000 words you already wrote before it.
Fall in love with failure. Make rejection your best friend. Love the fact that the 27-slide sponsorship deck that took your team 3 sleepless nights to create for this single company was rejected, only 5 slides into your presentation.
Fall in love with bad feedback. Read them out loud, scream it into the world. Appreciate the person who spent 20 minutes of their life to absolutely destroy and criticize the 5 years of experience you talked about in that article you published last week.
You will be crushed. You will be trampled on. Torn apart. Made fun of. Rejected. Criticized. There’s no magic bullet to avoiding all that shit.
The answer? Love every single piece of it. The sleepless nights? Fuck it, love having the biggest eye bags in the room. The rejection? Find another company to throw that presentation at. The bad feedback? Doesn’t matter. You’re going to take it, show it to the world, and make it drive you to write more.
There’s nothing wrong with imagining where you want to be. There’s no problem with having a goal. You need that to keep you going. You need that to know where you want to be.
But if you don’t learn to fall in love with the steps along the way, you will hate your life. You will hate the 5:00 AM mornings. The 3:23 AM bedtimes. You’ll be stuck dreaming every single night of that silky, black toga. That big client you want to win. That business you want to build.
You will hate every step you need to get there. It will slow you down.
Don’t fall into that trap.
Fall in love with the process.