When anyone starts learning a new discipline,be it learning to pick up women, training at the gym, dieting, trading, they usually have highly unrealistic expectations of how it’s going to go.
When beginning from a position of being a total novice, initial improvements over the baseline are massive. This creates the false impression that the entire journey is going to be one smooth, linear progression from “shit” to “awesome”, as shown in my highly professional image below.
In the history of anyone learning anything, in the entire world, I am pretty confident in saying not a single person has ever mastered a discipline in one smooth, straight-line trajectory.
What if I told you it was actually going to take 10 times longer than you thought? That the graph actually looks more like this?
Still keen on trying to master that new discipline? Have you got the mental fortitude to stick with it, through the seemingly endless cycles of progression and regression?
Most have not. After the initial surge of progress stagnates, and even begins to regress back close to the starting point, 95% will give up. After convincing themselves they were godlike in a very short space of time, they then suffer the corresponding crash down to feeling worthless. Remember, high highs invariably lead to low lows.
Even if you stick it out past the first progress/regress cycle, will you keep going past the 2nd? 3rd? How many times can you handle thinking “Surely this time, I’ve made it, I’m just going to keep going now to the finish line”, only to then find yourself almost back where you were 3 months prior?
You can make it easier on yourself, by trying to rein yourself in when you start making a surge of progress, and by keeping a sense of perspective when you are on a downturn. In truth though, the ability to do this only comes after experiencing multiple cycles of progress/regress, and understanding it’s simply part of the process.
The willingness to persevere in the face of such an emotional roller coaster is what separates winners from losers in life. Have you got what it takes to stay the course, and reach the pinnacle of excellence?