Free Yourself from Discouragement
- Robert Louis Stevenson
What is the source of frustration and discouragement? In my humble opinion, I believe we experience discouragement when reality doesn't meet our expectations - when we're just not getting the results we want.
Results are good. All our work is for results. But if you're planting apple seeds one day and waking up the next morning expecting to pick fruit from the tree, you're in for nothing but frustration and discouragement.
What if, for one year, you forget about the results? What if you just focused on planting as many seeds as you could every day? Imagine how that would that change your whole attitude. Feelings of discouragement would just melt away because you're not stressed out over whether or not reality is matching your expectations. You're focused on the one thing that you have control over: planting seeds. No seed is too small and sometimes even the seed that you thought fell where it couldn't grow can surprise you by sprouting up when you're not looking. In fact, this is something that happens all the time.
Yes, there is a time to focus on results in order to evaluate and measure our activity. The problem is we want to judge the results far too early. Time must always be factored into the equation...and plenty of it! That is why I suggested staying focused on planting seeds for a solid year - you accept the passing of time right off the bat. Or better still, give it 18 months. This is what's called the "J Curve" - the principle that it takes 18 months from the point in time that you set a significant goal to the point in time when your goal comes into full fruition.
This may seem like quite a challenge, but think about it. 18 months are going to pass anyway and wouldn't it be nice to let go of what's causing you so much discouragement? We cannot always control our results, but we can control how many seeds we plant today. Focus on the seeds and keep faith in the harvest that is coming to you.