I read a lot of books and one common theme I’ve noticed with any successful person is that they all have a certain anxiousness or paranoia toward what they’re trying to accomplish.
I think it drives them and helps drive their success. I know it has for me.
The truth is that no matter how well I do, I always feel behind. Behind what? I don’t know. Just behind. Behind where I’m supposed to be or behind goals or targets or the future. I’m always trying to catch up.
It’s frankly an odd feeling but I think it’s one that a lot of successful people have.
It ends up driving me and perhaps making me overshoot my effort needed and so I end up getting ahead.
When I look back on starting the company I have now, I clearly set goals that I felt behind on at the time and was desperately trying to attain. We’ve attained those goals since and I now have new goals that I feel deeply behind. Mind you, we’re doing well and growing fast each year but my mind is rigged so it seems to feel like I’m going slow, lethargic and behind.
I think it’s a powerful motivator. Always hustling to try to get ahead. To get out front. Even if I’, actually ahead, it’s powerful to feel behind because you always feel like you need to make up ground. Make progress and increase your pace.
Does it drive me a little crazy? Sure. But it’s all part of the game I suppose. It keeps it intense and it pours the coals on the necessity of doing more.
For me, I’m naturally rigged this way. Maybe you are too. If you aren’t, I’m not necessarily going to advise that you adopt it but it does seem to help with motivation and work ethic which are two powerful assets for making progress.
If you’re trying to attain a goal. Trying to get ahead. Don’t be complacent. Review your pace and look at where you actually stand. If you’re off pace and the truth is, you should be off pace if your goals are big enough, use that feeling of being behind to fuel your work ethic, focus and motivation and the level of effort you exert. It will help spring you forward.
There’s a great quote in Alice in Wonderland to the effect of “My dear, here we must run as fast as we can, just to stay in place. And if you wish to go anywhere you must run twice as fast as that.” that essentially sums it up for me.