It’s More Difficult the Second Time Around

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Article by Wendy McCance

I love reading the stories of how others find success.  The rougher the path to get there, the larger the impact.  It’s that wow moment.  What an inspiring story.  It amazes me the endurance some people have.  The blind faith that their path will eventually take them to the place that will bring them the happiness they are searching for.

What astounds me is that they fall and hit the dirt and get up and go again.  They can lose their life savings, they can be told it can’t be done, they can be offered an easier road to an acceptable life, but they ignore it all and stay focused on their personal prize.

How do they do it?  Where does their relentless drive come from?  How did they learn to block out the negativity and stay true to their path no matter what adversity came their way?

For some, it was such an overwhelming desire that what they loved was all they could do.  They couldn’t imagine any other life and were convinced that what they loved would work out in one way or another.  For others, it was simple desperation.  They were in a bad place and saw what they enjoyed doing as their only way out of a bad situation.  They stayed focused and worked as hard as possible simply because they saw no other way.

I am a firm believer that the more your back is up against the wall, and the more desperate the situation feels, the more drive you will muster up.  It’s survival mode.  It has to work because there is no plan B.

What I haven’t figured out is if you have seen a glimmer of success and then it all falls apart, how do you find that same level of determination?  Is it that you freeze up out of fear until you feel you have no choice but to move that gets the momentum back?  Is it just sheer delight in working through the tough problems?

The idea of falling down hard and regaining yourself to come back stronger than before fascinates me.  It’s the essence of pure will.  That ability to look past the rough moments and focus in on the future.  What can be and not was and lost.

The second time around is more difficult in my opinion.  Sure you have had a glance at the road map that leads to success.  You have found out what works and what can lead to a dead-end.  But, here’s the thing, the excitement is gone.  The first time around there are many highs and several lows, but the smallest moments of recognition or achievement feel like you won a grand prize.

I remember when I began blogging and I began a gratitude journal.  Every moment felt miraculous and my journal filled up quickly.  I wrote about the days when I got a comment on an article or I saw that there were more than 5 people who had stopped by my site.  The first time an article was shared was unbelievable and when I was mentioned on another bloggers website, well that was simply spectacular.

These days, I feel spoiled by the things that once meant the world to me. Someone comments and I am happy to hear from them, but it doesn’t put me over the moon.  If an article is shared, I think that’s nice.  I miss the grand excitement of being able to appreciate the little things.  It doesn’t thrill me that I take any of it for granted.  I miss the feeling of great highs.  It really is the feeling you get during the journey and not the place you end up that makes the ride so much fun.

After a long period of time where I wasn’t working much because I was ill, I find myself struggling to regain the level of confidence and success I had not so long ago. These days it takes more force to get to a level where I feel I have done enough and see results that satisfy me.  Because of this, the second time around has become more challenging to get through.  It is more difficult to stay focused and work like a madman when those moments of accomplishment seem so much further apart.

I believe you should let go of the past and begin again.  Slow down enough to appreciate any moment that clues you in that you are on the right path.  If there is interaction with those who read my blog, then I need to take a moment to appreciate the interaction for I wrote something relevant enough to receive a response and that is truly a wonderful gift.

There is a small trick that I have been developing to truly start again fresh and get those moments of excitement back.  Think about a road trip.  The fun part is getting there.  What will you see along the way?  What new experiences will you have?  Now envision taking the exact same road trip the following year.  It ends up okay, but you have already filled your mind with expectations.  You know when you get to a particular diner what the food will be like and what you will probably eat.  There are little if any new attractions along the way that you didn’t notice the first time.  You expect to see things at particular moments and know ahead of time how that will feel.  Not only does that take the thrill away, it also sucks out any imagination and sense of adventure.  Things get done the same way simply because what is coming next is already known.

The trick, I believe is to take a different route.  Look for something new, try out things in a different way.  Maybe I will prospect for business by going to events instead of emailing potential clients.  I might just think about expanding the type of writing I do.  Maybe I will write that book already. This might be the year I focus on collaborations.  Who knows?  But, the more I can mix it up and test out things I haven’t tried, the more I will regain the fun and sense of adventure.  The part that at least in my view makes the journey worthwhile. Create a new road to take and get a fresh view of what might work.  Who knows what wonderful things the future hold in store for you if you use some creativity and refuse to give up.

Wendy McCance

Wendy McCance is a Michigan based freelance writer and social media consultant. Wendy has gained attention as the founder of the popular blog Searching for the Happiness which can be viewed in 9 local papers online, including the Oakland Press. The combination of writing skills and social media knowledge is what makes Wendy such a powerhouse to work with. Stay tuned for opportunities to advertise, guest post and as always, have your questions answered.

To contact Wendy McCance about a writing or social media assignment, interview or speaking engagement, please email her at: mccance.wendy@gmail.com

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11 thoughts on “It’s More Difficult the Second Time Around

  1. Hi Wendy! I know this post has been out a while but the title caught my eye and I wanted to hear what you had to say about it. I so agree….things can be more difficult the second time around as long as we try to duplicate what we had before. When we do as you say and reach for something new and expansive, that’s where the creative juice is for sure. I am similar to you in that I have little interest in just running the “rat wheel” over and over no matter how good I am at it. WAY-AY more fun to try new things and challenge myself. And always, “refuse to give up!” ~Kathy

  2. It is definitely those with the internal willpower that can pull them selves up, start over when things have gone wrong. Or even more so, this reminds me of the woman running the marathon recently who wanted so badly to finish (I think she came in third) that she crawled, bleeding and exhausted across the finish line. And I am sure she will be at the next marathon and probably win! Wow!!

  3. I read your articles regularly and i think this might be my favorite. The growth of my freelance business is slower than I like. I feel confident and full of energy some days, then struggle with self doubt other days. Still I forge ahead, throwing things against the wall to see what sticks. I needed this!

  4. I hear you on this, Wendy. I like your ideas for staying refreshed toward your goals. Here’s another thought, though: I had this discussion with an engineer-co-worker years ago. Even “passions” may feel like work over time. You know, we make a big deal about pursuing our passions, with the idea that it never feels like work when you love what you do, but if it is your work, over time it will feel like work. Because it IS work! Does that make sense? So maybe ease up on yourself when you feel the “drudgery” because that is inevitable…but I do get what you are saying about trying to pull yourself up a second time…it is hard. But again, I like your ideas for keeping yourself motivated by changing things up.

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