Waiting for the Breakthrough

I like to call my generation the “microwave” generation. Instantaneous gratification. It’s even more so now. If you’re hungry, you can get food 24 hours a day. Need information? Smart phones allow instant answers. Need a tattoo? You get the point.

This phenomenon has been hard on some of us. In college, I always assumed I would graduate and be a CEO. Okay, maybe not that quickly, but at least two years after graduating with a masters. I never learned dogged determination or delayed gratification at school. (This is, in my opinion, also the #1 killer of our economy…but that’s another blog.) This has made it difficult to stick with something long enough to reap the rewards.

After twenty-six days of pursuing my goals, I haven’t had a major breakthrough. I’m not being targeted for the next VP, mother of the year, or next star on Glee. I think this period of waiting for results from the seeds planted is most likely what separates the successful people with those who hop from one dream to the next. This period of waiting requires discipline to continue doing the steps required to succeed and determination to reach the goal.

If in pursuit of your dreams you find yourself in a quiet spot, keep pushing. Push through; the momentum will eventually build, and all you will be able to do at that point is hold on.

Breakthrough : Initial 
Jana Axline is president and leadership coach at Axline Solutions and author of Becoming You. Through her leadership musings she inspires audiences to grow as leaders and ultimately achieve who they were created to be. For more information visit Axline Solutions.

4 thoughts on “Waiting for the Breakthrough

  1. You probably have read the book, (and if not, you should), but in Good to Great, Jim Collins describes “the flywheel effect” this way: ‘Those who launch revolutions, dramatic change programs, and wrenching restructurings will almost certainly fail to make the leap from good to great. No matter how dramatic the end result, the good-to-great transformations never happened in one fell swoop. There was no single defining action, no great program, no one killer innovation, no solitary luck break, no miracle moment. Rather, the process resembles relentlessly pushing a giant heavy flywheel in one direction, turn upon turn, building momentum until a point of breakthrough, and beyond.’ 4 weeks and not much to show for it? Not feeling like much is happening? Don’t give up. It takes time. The flywheel only moves at all after great force is applied, but if you keep applying consistent force it slowly, eventually moves a little more, and a little more. Maybe the analogy works here,maybe not. I know that instant gratification and the flywheel concept ARE mutually exclusive. You do good work. Keep pushing. Keep searching for just the right outlet for your talents and energy. You’ve got your wheel moving faster than a lot of your contemporaries, and I’ll cheer you on and help push if I can.

  2. I have read it and you summed it up perfectly. As I wrote the final lines of my blog, I was wondering the same thing, does Jim Collins’ concept apply to our personal goals. I’m thinking yes, and hopefully I will have the results to prove it! I was also thinking of Rory Vaden (whom I think you have heard of) and his success. He wasn’t instantly successful, but he eventually gained momentum, and now look at him…he hit #1 on the New York Times Best Seller list!

  3. Jana,I think you hit an interesting observation on the delayed gratification and the impact on the economy. Looking forward to more detail. I believe you may be right.Another good book on the plateau that we all reach is Mastery by George Leonard. Take Good Care,John

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