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Photo by Mike Wilson on Unsplash

How To Become An Unstoppable Force Of Forward Motion

The one who keeps pushing forward, wins.

Tim Rettig
May 16, 2018 · 6 min read

It is easy to get distracted. It is easy to be paralysed and overwhelmed with all the things to do. It is easy to give up too quickly, and choose another path. It is easy to get caught up in regret and fear. It is easy to postpone things to tomorrow.

The harsh path, is the one of action.

The harsh path, is the one of continuous forward motion.

The harsh path, is the one of sweat and suffering.

Unfortunately, the world is a harsh place. Going the easy route might work for a life of stability and security. But it certainly won’t be enough for the person who is following his dreams. The ambitious person. The person, who wants to make an impact on this world.

The world can be separated into three kinds of people:

  1. Dreamers: those who want to achieve things, but who are unwilling to make the necessary sacrifices. They want to go for their dreams, but are not taking any real action.
  2. Comfort-seekers: those who have buried their dreams deep within their soul. They have given up the things they really want to achieve, for the sake of a comfortable and stable life.
  3. Strugglers: those, who are constantly on the journey of pushing towards their dreams. Who embrace the fact that struggle is a large part of the journey, and who always work on taking the next step forward.

Achieving ones dreams, without going through struggle first, is an unrealistic aim. Therefore, the goal of this article, is to help you be comfortable to be in the third category.

It is there, that true fulfillment and happiness lies. And, it is there, that one stands of a chance at making a real difference in the world.

Vague goals, concrete action.

Nobody has figured it all out. Nobody has a true idea, of where they are heading. Nobody has complete control, over what is going to happen next. Nobody, can see their goals in all clarity.

Things change, over time.

Wanting to have it all figured out — is only a sign of analysis paralysis. All we can do is to have a vague sense of where we are heading. And then take the next possible step of getting there.

The goal is to constantly live in the present, while continuing to move forward into the direction of the destination, we are trying to reach.

To do that, we need to constantly remain in action mode.

All that needs to be on our mind, is the single next step, that will take us closer towards our goals. Why? Because everything that lies beyond that, is shrouded in a big black cloud.

We simply can not know what will happen to us next.

As a result, we need to focus on the present. We need to focus on the single most effective thing we can do right now, to get closer to our goals. And we need to put everything we’ve got into that one single thing.

Outcome-focused thinking.

All of our actions need to be grounded in potential impact. We need to constantly ask ourselves what single thing we can do right now, that will have the biggest impact.

In short, we can’t just be busy.

We need to be intentionally busy.

Being in constant forward motion, doesn’t mean to constantly occupy yourself with whatever kind of random activity, that comes to your. It means that you need to deliberately choose what you are doing right now, to take you into the right direction.

Often, simply making yourself busy with all sorts of stuff, is a sign of fear. You keep telling yourself a story, that you are working towards your dreams, while you really aren’t.

The solution is to bring your attention back to the outcomes, which you are trying to achieve through your actions.

Always ask yourself:

If it isn’t, then what are you doing it for? Either quit it right now (if there is no good reason for it), or try to move on from it, as soon as possible.

Return to the things that truly matter.

The habit of NOT quitting.

This might seem like a contradiction with my previous point, about quitting whatever kind of ‘busy-work’ you are doing right now. But it is really not a contradiction.

Let me explain why.

You should never quit a project, which is working in line with your long-term goals. EVER. No matter how impossible it seems to achieve, you need to keep pushing forward.

This ingrains the habit of persevering through seemingly impossible challenges, into your body and mind.

One the most basic principles of achieving anything, is to focus on one thing at a time. Once you are tackling many different projects at the same time, the only possible outcome will be many unfinished projects.

You carefully make the decision to work on one specific project (the one that has the most potential to lead you into the right direction). And then you stick with that one single project, until it’s completed.

The problems start, when you choose the wrong project.

When you get so excited by whatever ‘amazing’ opportunity comes up, that you get distracted by something, you should’ve never worked on, in the first place.

You know, you are about to get yourself into this kind of situation, if you act kinda like this:

Source: Giphy

Only when you can honestly say that you have gotten yourself into this kind of situation and are deeply stuck in a big waste of time— then it makes sense to quit.

This is why outcome-based thinking is so important.

It is only after you have asked yourself whether or not a project has real potential to contribute to your long-term goals and after you’ve made the necessary experiments to validate your idea, that you should you commit to any given project.

But once you are sure that you are working on a meaningful project, you never quit. Regardless of what happens, you keep pushing forward.

There is always a way of making it happen.

All you need to do is to keep pushing through all the hardship and struggle, while experimenting with different solutions. Eventually, you will turn it into reality.


“I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot … and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. That is why I succeed.”
~ Michael Jordan

In the end, the ones who win, are always the one’s who keep pushing forward, regardless of the circumstances.

They are people who embrace the struggle. They regard failure as temporary setbacks. They are always in action mode. They always focus on the things that are in their control. They never quit any of their projects that truly matter. They are constantly fighting for their dreams.

Can you be that kind of person?

Can you turn from a dreamer, into a struggler?

I hope that you do. Because I really want to see you fulfill your dreams. I want to see you build something, that will have a real impact on the world. I want to see you become an unstoppable force of forward motion.

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Tim Rettig

Written by

Author of Struggling Forward: Embrace the Struggle. Achieve Your Dreams / Subscribe: / Email:

The Startup

Medium's largest active publication, followed by +667K people. Follow to join our community.

Tim Rettig

Written by

Author of Struggling Forward: Embrace the Struggle. Achieve Your Dreams / Subscribe: / Email:

The Startup

Medium's largest active publication, followed by +667K people. Follow to join our community.

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