Since moving away from the Gold Coast a few years ago I have been missing my daily beach walks. So at the start of this year (actually, at the very end of last year) I decided that I would start driving to the beach for walks much more often.
New Year’s Day was going to be my first day doing this. I planned a 10km beach walk and was looking forward to some solitude and nothing but the sound of the ocean and its natural surrounds, with the occasional passing beach-walker along the way.
So I drove to the beach.
What was I thinking?
A glorious summer’s day in Queensland – a public holiday at that – and I expected the beach to be quiet? Yeah, right!
Okay, so perhaps I had been blinded to logic by the visions of my great dream.
But I was determined. I was going to walk 5kms along the beach then another 5kms back again.
I set out, through the crowds, dodging fishing lines, footballs, dogs, frisbees and children dragging their boogie boards with parents chasing after them with bottles of sunscreen.
Because I had wanted solitude and was getting annoyed by having to zig-zag through all these people and all the noise.
When could I zone out and get lost in my thoughts? This isn’t what I came here for and now I just wanted to turn around and go home.
But no … I had committed to walking along the beach more, beginning with a 10km walk TODAY. If I couldn’t keep that commitment for 1 day, how was I going to make this a long-term habit again?
So on I walked, 1km, 2km … I lost count of how many times it wasn’t fun and I wanted to go home. But I stuck with it. I was so close to turning around so many times!
All of a sudden, the people began thinning out. This was a part of the beach that wasn’t near any carparks, so the only way to get to it was a long, hot trudge through the crowds. For the majority of people, this walk was too hard so they didn’t venture this far. They were happy to stay with the main crowd.
I kept walking and after a total of 3.2kms finally … solitude. The image below is what I could see from this point.
Yes, I continued to walk for 5kms (and then some) then sat to enjoy the peacefulness for a while, reflecting on this beach journey.
I couldn’t believe I had almost given up and gone home, without being able to enjoy this experience and was so grateful I stuck it out.
It occurred to me that this was just what “life” gets like at times. All too often we set our goals, but then want to give up when it gets too hard.
This is especially true in business. I have seen so many people start out with bold dreams, but give up when it gets tough.
Yet for those who stick with it and make it through the challenges, the rewards are there and are so worthwhile. It’s such a shame so many give up, often when they’re oh so close!
I’ve been running my business for nearly two decades and I am so happy with how it’s turned out. Believe me, there were plenty of struggles along the way and times when I considered getting a “normal” job. But all in all, I couldn’t imagine having to work a “normal” job ever again.
Whenever you’re doing something worthwhile, chances are there will be times when it gets too hard and you’ll be wondering if it’s worth it. If you truly want to outcome, those struggles may definitely be worthwhile. Only you will know.
Personally, I have printed a copy of my beach photo above and look at it daily. This is my reminder that when things get tough and I want to give up, I need to decide how much I want to achieve the end goal and to do what it takes to keep going.
Donna-Marie is an award-winning Entrepreneur, Author and Content Marketing Specialist. Through her business, Jacaranda Business Support Services, she has been helping other small businesses to grow since 1998, with a knack for teaching systems that allow business owners to increase profits while working less.