So… You’re starting a new something – you’re excited, and you can’t wait to sink all your teeth into it. It’s your new quest, and what’s probably most exciting about it is that… it’s yours! You’re confident that you got everything under control, and that nothing can go wrong… at least at this point. Well, the truth of the matter is that we all have the expectation of that smooth sailing journey whenever we start a new project or work towards a target – but unfortunately, it’s not always the case, if any at all. I mean; for as long as you’re starting your own path, it means you can’t expect to tread on an already made one – you have to make it: clear the grass, thorns, and thistles first!
What I’m trying to explain is a critical and essential path we go through with our life quest, personal targets, and every big or small project we execute. From my experience at my startup, DesignWorks Studios (will talk more about Designworks in a future post), I realize how I have embarked on a quest to push my limits and “do what has not been done before”. And My Journey of a 1000 Designs thus far has let me in on a little secret: that the real secret behind getting something done is starting it and finishing it. Simply that.
This blog post seeks to enlighten you on what you’re in for if you’re on your roller coaster ride to change the world, or speak to you if you’ve been through the frenzy of quest-chasing and the dilemma of whether to give up or step up. If we look around, we can notice that all the great natural wonders, precious minerals and big accomplishments and feats of our making didn’t just come easy. For starters, all these things did not come to be overnight – it was all through a process. I’m still learning from my Journey, but I have come to understand this process through what I call the Four Phases of a Quest Pursuit.
Phase 1: The excitement phase – I still remember my first (graphic) designing days: the fun of making friends with Photoshop and all the related software and tools that came with her. The experience is similar to that feeling you get when you fall in love, except that in this case you’re excited that you’re either starting something new or you have stumbled upon your newfound passion. Referred to some as the Phase of Naïve Enthusiasm, this phase carries with it a lot of enthusiasm and energy, and it can get you going for hours and days on end during the early phases of your quest. At times (if not most times), it may be difficult to really find your focus and vision at this stage as you will be “head over heels in love” (pun intended), but you will realize that by the time phase two kicks in you would wish you had used all that excitement energy to gain reasonable mileage – I guess this is what they meant when they named it naïve enthusiasm.
Phase 2: The reality realization phase – I can’t really find the perfect choice of words to describe this one, but I can explain it as one of the feelings I had when I was composing this post and was quizzing myself whether it was really exciting enough to write and share as I initially thought it was. Let me say, this is that point when the excitement begins to wane and you’re not too sure anymore if that Eureka moment you had earlier was really Eureka. It’s like a trip back to earth from Cloud 9: disillusionment, criticism, perceived lack of viability, stumbling blocks, etc, etc… *sigh* We all wish we didn’t have to feel this way. But if we didn’t have to feel this way, would we get to learn the valuable lesson of standing the test of time? At this point we do either of the following: proceed to phase three, or park your quest for later… or dump it altogether.
Phase 3: The endurance phase – Okay, so this is where we separate the passion from the enthusiasm. Not disregarding several other factors (such as realizing the value of your quest and other external motivations); unless you have a passion for your quest, your enthusiasm will only take you only as far as you feed it. This is the point where how you react to the challenges you face in your pursuit make all the difference. This is the Go big or go home phase – it’s like the fire that gold has to go through in order to be refined and purified. The endurance phase teaches you to keep running with or without your enthusiasm or excitement energy; so If you’re going through your deal of endurance as you read this, remember that it is not every day that an unfinished work of art makes it to the Hall of Fame. The world awaits your move to change the world – give it all you got; it will be worth it. Go back to the drawing board, plan, pray, strategize, re-plan, endure… till you see that light at the end of the tunnel.
Phase 4: The triumph/emergence phase – So, after weeks, months or years of perseverance and toiling, you finally see the light and emerge from the tunnel of endurance. You’ve made it to the promised land without going extinct! It’s time to tell your story and inspire – no victory, big or small, isn’t worth it; actually, the completion of this post is in itself an example of my little accomplishment. 🙂 Serve your purpose and glorify God with your testimony (for from a Test comes a Test-imony). But it doesn’t end there – the same caveat exists: complacency remains the enemy. Who said you can’t change the world more than once? 😉
So, what do you think of the sentiments shared in this post? What’s been your experience in pursuing your quest or life goals? Feel free to share and discuss.
‘Til the next post…
I will not fail.