Getting your dream to take flight is hard work. Whether its leading a business, or writing a book, launching a new career, or developing a new competence, it takes time to cultivate the momentum that makes you feel like you’re making progress.
Until then, it’s tempting to call it quits. After all, you reckon, you should be much farther ahead. You can see where you should be and you don’t find yourself anywhere near it.
But don’t hit the abort button just yet. The anxiety you feel may simply be that you’re looking in the wrong place for success.
In a software engineering class in college, I learned about a missile test conducted by the government years ago. They had just completed development on a new radar tracking system to ensure silo based missiles launched successfully. The purpose of this ground-based radar system was to track the missile launch and terminate the missile if, for some reason, it strayed off its intended course. The tracking software was designed to direct the radar dish to sweep in rather narrow arcs just above the underground silo at the time of the launch until it detected the missile and could lock on and track the remainder of its journey. If the radar could not locate the missile, the software was written to anticipate its arc and successively widen the sweep in an effort to find the errant missile. As a safety precaution, a failure to locate the missile automatically triggered its detonation.
What they failed to take into account in programming the missile tracking system, however, was that top of the missile was eight feet below ground level. When the missile was launched, the tracking system roared to life, searching for the missile. But eight feet created just enough of a delay in the missile’s trajectory that the radar tracking system had already given up looking for the missile at the launch site and was now on search and destroy mode, frantically sweeping the sky miles away from its target. The automatic safety feature detonated the missile just as it was clearing the surface.
So it is with our dreams. We nearly always underestimate what it takes to achieve them. That’s our eight feet gap and it takes time for our dreams to clear it. Until it does, there’s little to show. So cool your antenna anxiety and don’t let your expectations run amok. You’ll only discourage yourself into quitting just when your dream’s ready to take off.
Is your dream taking longer than you expect? How do you keep motivated to continue?