How to Work on Your Goals From a Place of Power: Friction vs. Validation
Photo by Cassidy Kelley
I’ve heard that that keys to success are counterintuitive.
Have you ever shifted positions, ideas that you think your success should be based on, so quickly that you get vertigo?
It’s success nausea; going back and forth between what actions to take and the how, when, and for how long — the method to achieve it.
It’s tough to keep your energy up, feeling pumped, if you’re not making money, let alone enough to cover your basic expenses.
You know your work is good; it matches your vision for your life and the legacy you want to leave, but your bank account isn’t any less abysmal than before. Something is broken…
Ideas, no matter how great they are, will only keep you going for so long. The cheddar is what seals the deal.
You can only run off of fumes for so long — it can be intense and you can get really high off of it, but they are the last reserve, the tiny substance at the bottom of the barrel. It’s next to nothing. Closer to zero than anything else.
What happens when the fumes run out? I can tell you, it’s not pretty. You doubt everything about yourself, your beliefs, your friends, family, and what is possible.
I’ve been there…
These friction points, when everything you care about rubs together in a negative way, can erupt in your face.
You hear a lot of ways to avoid this like, get out of your comfort zone to make your dreams a reality.
I took that to mean quit your boring job, which has been my method for a while, but now the message is different — getting out of my comfort zone is staying with the job!
I’m uncomfortable with a normal job because it drains my time, focus, and energy (so I thought), but I’m starting to believe that thinking that I have to jump ship to “make it” is flawed.
It’s actually the opposite of that belief that will create the success I want.
I’ve jumped ship before, and don’t get me wrong, I love the freedom I have over my day to work on my the projects, but I’ll be honest, they are not as fulfilling as I hoped.
Because validation is important….
Apply it to any idea, business, relationship, or struggling parent — if you don’t get validation in the work that you do, you don’t want to do it anymore!
I’m a musical artist and I can tell you that art for art’s sake is a cute idea, but you need validation to feel good about your art. It’s not just the money, it’s the validation of your work, that it’s valuable to people, that drives you to continue.
The original seed of the idea, fumes that drive you on with excitement, are not enough to sustain you.
You’ll work through the night with bursts of energy when the idea is fresh, but what happens after a week, a month, a year without any validation? Most people give up or find something new to do.
Surges are great in the context of a large-scale commitment, but outside of that, they fall apart.
Think about working out as hard as you can for a week, then taking the rest of the year off. Will that week matter then? No. It. Will. Not.
To flip things around, having a stable income from a job you don’t like or that you feel takes a lot of your time still gives you room to pursue your goals.
You need to create an environment of validation to be successful.
The quickest and best way is to have a job that pays you money. It sucks most of the time, but deep down, you feel pride that someone thinks you’re good enough to pay you, that you can take care of your bills, and buy your kids applesauce.
The validation is what will give you the confidence to grind out your real work when you make time for it, to pursue that side business or dream project from a place of power, rather than from a well that’s about to dry up.
If you just jump ship without a validation point, you’ll have nothing to draw from that will sustain you, and then the worst thing will happen, you’ll give up on your goal: your book, the song, movie, exercise, investment. Etc…
Do what you need to create an environment of validation.
Keep your bank account happy, let that spur you on to great things, not in a sprint, but a steady advance — strategic decision making and deadly when the times comes to strike.
Think of steady advancement, not surges of activity.
Some of you might think that you’ll be more validated if you can caste of the chains of your job and spend all your times on your passion, but you’re dead wrong if:
You don’t have an equal or great validation point waiting for you on the other side.
How do I know this?
Because I’ve tried it and almost gave up. When that happened, nothing seemed important anymore because I wasn’t getting validation fast enough and the quantities that I needed to survive.
When you’re pursuing your life’s work, you still need to eat and make time for friends. That costs money…
Don’t jump from one friction point to another. Moving from a paying job to a non-paying hobby is the quickest way to make you feel like a homeless loser.
Instead, move from one validation point to a stronger validation point. Sorry if you don’t like this, but validation points, 99.9% of the time means making money.
Trust me, your talent and ideas, no matter how hard you’re working on them, will not be enough to sustain you when you can’t pay your rent. It’s not a good place to be.
Operate from a place of power, a validation point, and move to the next one in a steady advance.