Most of us want good things in life; whether that’s a high-paying job, a position of power, a nice house, luxury cars, financial freedom, your own company, etc. Members of the Millennial and GenZ generations especially envision extraordinary lives, in part due to the many examples we see on tv and social media. However, the reality is that most people won’t achieve those great heights and will end up being pretty ordinary, because it requires a certain level of grit, resilience, confidence, and MOTIVATION to make it to the top. As of 2021, only 10.90% of the United States population has a household income of over $200,000 a year. So why is it that most hover around ordinary?
Systemic inequalities, nepotism advantages, and factors out of our control aside, most people don’t reach extraordinary levels in life because either a) they are content living simple lives and they don’t want more, or b) they don’t possess the natural characteristics of people who are most successful. If you do not naturally possess characteristics of successful people (determination, resilience, confidence, vision, patience, creativity, etc.) fret not! In my opinion, the most important characteristic to possess is motivation, and that is something you CAN work on.
Life is EXHAUSTING. Even if you’re simply doing the bare minimum, it is honestly an achievement just to be getting by day-to-day. Paying bills, taking nonsensical orders from your boss, and keeping yourself alive by feeding and nurturing yourself (and a family if you have one) is a task enough. So it’s no wonder that when it comes to extracurricular endeavors, there isn’t much left in the pot of energy to devote. In the little spare time you have left, it’s easy to fill it with naps and binge-watching Netflix. And that right there is why most people end up hanging in the mediocre balance. I also like indulging on those things. YouTube and tv streaming are my favorite pastimes; but every time I find myself feeling too comfortable, I snap back to reality, because in the pursuit of greatness, you have to find balance.
Reality for me is realizing that I’m still uncomfortable with where I am in life. Although I’ve done amazingly well for myself having just turned 27, I know that I’m nowhere close to where I want to be in life. I have so many huge dreams that won’t happen unless I work for them CONSISTENTLY. This year, after largely spending most of my time in isolation due to COVID-19, I decided I wanted to take a chance and celebrate my birthday with my two sisters in Tulum, Mexico. Upon returning from my whirlwind vacation a week ago, the last thing I wanted to do was get back to work…that goes for my day job as well as my side hustles.
The day after I got back, although I refused to take additional PTO (paid time off) from my job, I felt tempted to curl up on the couch after work and binge on tv and snacks rather than continue working on my businesses. But instead, I allowed myself an hour of rest, and then I forced myself up to review the draft of my utility patent my lawyer had sent me while I was vacationing in Mexico. Why? Because I realized that the sooner I did that, the closer I’d be to successfully launching my business and having financial freedom. That realization gave me the push I needed to complete a task that would move me towards my goals. And because of me taking that initiative when I didn’t feel like it, my lawyer was able to officially file my patent with the USPTO yesterday! That was 1.5 years in the making and I couldn’t be more proud of myself.
When it comes to motivation, that’s all you need: the ability to visualize your dreams (with the assumption that you have good mental health). It’s easy to get discouraged when you’re not an overnight success or you see other people excelling and you feel stagnant. But keep your head down and focus. By the time you look up, you’ll be at an entirely new destination. Remember: the culmination of small actions create a huge change, and eventually, the small tasks you check off from your to-do list will bring you to exactly where you want to be. Use that as your motivation to be one of the few who live an extraordinary life!