ost great things take at least five years of work. Here are some thoughts on that and the art of slow progress:
The author of Atomic Habits, James Clear, said in his newsletter last week:
Most big, deeply satisfying accomplishments in life take at least five years to achieve. This can include building a business, cultivating and loving relationship, writing a book, getting in the best shape of your life, or raising a family.
Five years is a long time. It's much slower than most of us would like. If you accept the reality of slow progress, you have every reason to take action today. If you resist the reality of slow progress five years from now, you'll simply be five years older and still looking for a shortcut.
I love this. And it got me to thinking: What are some of the “successful”companies and organizations, and when were they built?
I looked up a couple to see how long ago they were founded. A teenage favorite in my house In-N-Out burger founded in 1938, REI 1948, apple 1976, Starbucks 1971, Netflix 1997.
The truth is if you want to do something you've got to do the work and you've got to do it today and then you've got to do it tomorrow and you've got to do it the day after.
It takes a tremendous amount of focus and discipline to keep going. It also takes a level of humility because it's not going to work at first. You're going to put it out there and the world is going to criticize you. You're going to face doubt both from inside your own head and from those around you.
You're going to have the same people telling you why you can't do something, whether that is getting in the best shape of your life, building a business, starting a nonprofit, or building a very deeply loving relationship with someone very important to you.
What we want to make sure as we don't look back and have lots of shoulda, woulda couldas. You have to take action today, but be prepared for it to take a long time to be what you want it to be.
So, if you want it to work, you have to do the work. The real question is what are you going to do today that makes the life you want five years from now?