I’m going running tomorrow to start training for a marathon.
Today is Friday.
The marathon is on Saturday.
Like, tomorrow, Saturday.
If I told you this in person you would likely have (1) lost any doubt in your mind that I’m an idiot and, (2) cautioned me to, maybe, you know, think about going ahead with my plan to start training on Friday, but hold off on running the marathon until next year.
And you’d be right to remind me of my stupidity and my haste. Because if I decided to go and run the 26.3 marathon after having “trained” for it by running three miles (that’s about the distance I can run without falling over dead), I would both be wrought with humiliation and—likely—over the idea of ever running a marathon again.
How often does this happen though, huh?
You get a brilliant idea. You’re going to be the next Bill Gates, the next Thomas Keller, the next Zuckerberg, or Obama. You buy a few books, you take a class or two, you get some kind of an audience and, because you’re educated about the arena your favorite leaders play in, you assume you’re playing that game too.
News flash: You’re not. You can’t run this marathon yet. Just because you bought running shoes, doesn’t mean you’re not still sitting on your couch eating Cheetos.
Getting to that level takes work. It takes a certain amount of hustle and humility. A lot of it. Consistently.
And just because you’re not playing there now—two weeks after you decided you wanted to be a world-renowned [fill-in-the-blank]—doesn’t mean you won’t someday.
But right now your expectations of yourself, and those around you are what’s killing you.
Not your skill level.
Not your ability to accomplish or not accomplish the task.
You’ve simply imposed too many expectations upon yourself. Expectations that, someday, if you work hard enough, will be second nature to you. But not right now. Not today.
Today you have to work.