start-ups

How to be Stubborn Enough to Reach for the Dream

We all desire the reassurance that we are on the right life path, that things will be easy and good, and that all this hard work will “pay off” someday. In the middle of it all, it’s not easy to have the foresight and clarity that we are actually on the path towards this end goal. It’s been a crazy few years – new business, marriage, first child, and purchasing some land – and we’ve thrown aside the traditional job-house-city mantra and instead we have whole-heartedly thrown ourselves at “the dream.”

Stubborn or naive? Confident or spoiled? Whatever it is that got us here, don’t let us fool you, we are shaking in our boots. The dream is in front of us, a couple of pieces we’ve been working so hard at putting into place are there, and now we have the opportunity to build it. In spite of the fear of the unknown, and gasping a little every time I think of it, I am reassured by two pieces of wisdom.

Insight 1: What are you willing to struggle for?
The first is from a Quora post by Mark Manson:

If I ask you, “What do you want out of life?” and you say something like, “I want to be happy and have a great family and a job I like,” it’s so ubiquitous that it doesn’t even mean anything. A more interesting question, a question that perhaps you’ve never considered before, is what pain do you want in your life? What are you willing to struggle for? Because that seems to be a greater determinant of how our lives turn out.

I am willing to work so much harder and longer on this dream than anything else. Owning our own business means we own the good decisions and bad decisions, we own the delays and the awards. We own this struggle, and this struggle feels good.

Insight 2: Keep only what brings us joy
The second piece of wisdom is from Marie Kondo’s book “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up”:

Saving items out of anxiety is not something that I recommend, but rather we should save those items which bring us positive emotions, such as joy, or which we find to be helpful or necessary for our lives, and for which we can be grateful.

I’ve applied this lesson to so many aspects of my life: old books, old schoolwork, old ideas of the perfect life. Instead I am finding how to listen in to what is bringing me joy.

I am totally terrified, but I am so much happier taking the risks I want to take in order to reap the benefits I desire. Thus I am living in the present, enjoying these moments and no longer saving and struggling for some unknown future. Instead, we are building our future. Come with us.

Send words of wisdom or burning questions my way: a.farquhar@weatherborne.com