The Lifecycle of Achievement is found in one never ending process;
Aspire → Endure → Achieve → Repeat
Anyone can achieve their greatest aspiration.
The most successful individuals work this cycle over and over again
These steps do not work out of order and they must be followed one at a time.
Step 1: Aspire:
The goal setting stage. The one we all get excited about. Aspirations look great on paper and we love proclaiming them on social media to our friends or following.
This stage is the visionaries dream.
But, don’t get things confused… This stage isn’t just putting something down on paper.
Writing something down is not an aspiration, it’s a desire, and to desire is not to aspire.
To desire is to wish, hope or want something - desire doesn't implement action. To aspire is to actually attempt to achieve a specific goal. There is no hope in putting in the work… just effort. Hoping doesn’t get outcomes, aspiration and effort does.
The time you’ll stay at this step is determined by the grandiosity of the goal. The bigger the goal the longer the time you will remain in a mode of aspiration.
You cannot get discouraged. This is the step where the level of your belief in yourself will determine the outcome.
Winners aspire, and withstand the pressure that comes in step two… and winning doesn’t care how much you want it. Winning cares how much you work for it. To win is not to desire, it’s to consistently aspire.
If you can stay pure in your aspiration you’ll reach step two. But this is where the pressure picks up and where most people quit. Remember this is the life cycle of achievement - you have to work the steps, don’t stop… keep moving.
Step 2: Endure:
If you made it this far, I’m stoked for you. You’ve reframed your desires and you’ve put the effort in to truly make aspirations reality. Pat yourself on the back for a minute… but not too long. You’ve still got plenty of work to do.
I’ve thought about the definition of endurance for quite some time. Endurance isn’t just limited to physical growth and abilities, but just as much if not more for your mental capacity and ability.
If you compare this to a workout, it’s the last 400m of a timed mile, where you want to quit, but you drive your feet forward, lengthen your stride and dig in. However, the last leg of a workout is more temporary than endurance in life. Endurance in life can last months or even years. Buckle up, this is where the work starts.
Endurance is Patience + Suffering.
Endurance in life isn’t kind, and as I said, it’s not short lasting. In this stage, you’ll have streams of thoughts run through your mind.
Thought 1: “I Deserve This”
There’s no deserving, no matter how hard you work, part of this process is realizing that outcomes aren’t deserved.
Thought 2: “I’m not made for this.”
Dig deep here -You cannot delay obedience to working through this current challenge, eventually you’ll face it again in another way or form, if you quit now it’s inevitable you’ll face a similar situation in the future.
If it’s truly not the right path… something may need to change.
But a word of caution to you: be 100% certain it’s time to divert. Stopping this pursuit now because of fear will just put you right back to the starting line. If it’s actually time to stop, make certain it’s the right time and you’re not letting fear get in the way.
Thought 3: “I’ve worked long enough.”
Trust me, I’ve been here. It’s been almost 6 years since I started my business… and I’ve worked almost every day since starting. Time is relative and remember the time of the outcome is determined by the grandiosity of the goal.
If you want it badly enough, you’ll keep working. Time isn’t your friend and it’s on its own schedule… you can’t rely on time to be the determinant of your achievement or when you’ll arrive at the goal.
Your mind will trick you into believing the outcome should be now and that you’ve waited long enough. But, endurance is patience.
The outcome will come and you won’t know when - just keep working.
Thought 4: “When I reach the goal I’ll be satisfied.”
Achievement is a life cycle. You’ll always want more. Don’t trick yourself here. Achieving an aspiration is GREAT, but it is not something to get your identity wrapped up into. It will never be the end, you’ll just keep going.
“But when you win, the pursuit of the goal is removed. There is no one left to defeat. There is no obstacle left to overcome. Your team has reached the pinnacle of its sport. But it doesn’t change your life in any way. In fact, work begins again in the morning."
- Joshua Becker
Always remember these four things:
- You’re not entitled to an outcome.
- At some points you’ll believe you weren’t made for “this”
- You’ll convince yourself you’ve worked long enough
- You’ll tell yourself achievement is the finish line.
Step 3: Achieve
Achievement is the reward for aspiring and suffering. But it’s not the end destination, in fact. There is no end destination on this side of heaven.. this is the greatest part about life. It’s a never ending process of growth, pursuit and outcomes. The good news is, you never stop getting better.
When you get to this moment, accept the reward, embrace the hits of dopamine and rest for a minute. But when you get “here…”wherever “here” is… remember this — today is no different than yesterday and you are likely not too much different either. The sun still came up and it will still go down tonight.
Be careful not to let this get to your head… because tomorrow you’ll be right back where you started. In this phase, you must enjoy the outcome of the work you’ve put in, but be ready to set aside your ego and pride and start again.
Step 4: Repeat
It’s time to start over.
Starting over takes humility and realizing you’ll never be as good as you are tomorrow.
Most people have a hard time moving forward from this step, they love how good it feels to be good enough, but they’re afraid of being GREAT.
But, it’s time to set aside your ego and become a beginner again.
Starting over takes courage - be courageous and repeat the process.
Give yourself permission to dream again, get the next aspiration down on paper and start working the cycle from step one.
The Microcycle of Achievement:
Every goal or aspiration is just made up of mini cycles of achievement.
The microcycle of achievement are the benchmarks you must win to achieve the grander outcome. These small victories will build momentum for the bigger tasks ahead.
Your ability to stack these small victories, one after another will produce the outcomes in the grander aspirations you wish to achieve.
Break down the cycle of achievement in small and easy to accomplish tasks, this will give you the confidence you need to produce the outcomes you’ve dreamed of.
Endurance in ALL stages
While endurance has its own individual stage within the cycle of achievement, endurance is the key attribute to success. Remember, endurance is simply patience + suffering…
You’ll face suffering in every step and you’ll have to be patient with yourself for the outcome.
When you're aspiring and setting goals you’ll have people tell you your aspirations aren’t possible — you’ll have to endure critics.
When you reach the goal you’ll have to be willing to face the cycle again, and you’ll be tempted to stop when you’re hot –- this takes endurance.
Get good at enduring obstacles, opportunities and moments in life and you’ll get good at working through the cycle.
Remember, you were made for this, you were made to never stop growing and you were made to endure. Place endurance as the key objective in any tasks you take on, and you’ll reap a reward.
Endurance is your friend, embrace him.
Listen to Podcast 8 of the Prescription Podcast