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Achieving long term goals has a lot to do with one question: What work are you willing to before you see any light at the end of the tunnel?

After all, if you’re setting goals where the “light” is already visible, maybe you need to dream bigger. Goals like this are typically just upgraded versions of your current reality: an A- instead of a B+. A raise, a promotion, a bigger venue, more clients. In those goals, you’re already at step 3 and you’re looking to move to step 4.

What does it take to chip away at a goal from step 0? No light at the end of the tunnel. To make your way in the dark by occasionally bumping into the walls and getting turned around. That work takes grit, a practice, and a certain amount of crazy (or faith).

After releasing Saving Daylight, it took 2.5 years for Lake Isabel to earn a spot on an editorial Spotify playlist. Looking back, that basically feels like nothing and obviously we’d do it all again in a heartbeat — because we had a feeling we were onto something. But looking ahead 2.5 years feels like a long way off to reap the rewards of a new project (a blog, for instance…).

What do you want to start building towards today that’s more than just an upgrade of your current reality? The opposite of a quick paycheck.

Maybe that’s why successful people stagnate. Once you’ve powered through, you’d rather stay on the other side of the tunnel rather than muster up the energy to bore a new one (to torture the metaphor).

2.5 years are going to pass regardless of the goals we choose. Hell, 2.5 years are going to pass whether we choose anything at all. So we may as well make a choice.

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