Some guy named Tony Robbins said, “most people overestimate what they can accomplish in a year – and underestimate what they can achieve in a decade!” A quick search showed he’s a popular self-help book author and motivational speaker. I’ve never read any of his work, so that probably explains why I hadn’t heard of him before.
Anyway, the prompt from BlogHer asks us if we agree or disagree with the quote.
As someone who pushes herself on a daily basis by loading up on to-do list items, I think I can agree with the quote. I’m pretty sure I’m not alone in doing that, either. Why is that?
Well, I can only speak for myself, but I have a hard time estimating how long something will take to do. Especially when it comes to writing or reading, I underestimate the amount of time it takes to complete a project or read a book.
Because I’ve dealt with it so long, I seldom notice how much my dyslexia impacts my reading and writing speed.
I know I read slowly. Speed-wise, I read at 100-150 words per minute, according to this test. That’s faster than some, but slower than most of my peers. This doesn’t really impact my recreational reading, but if I need to research and write articles on a deadline, it can hamper my progress. The thing is, I do so much reading on a daily basis that I tend to think I read faster than I really do.
It’s similar with writing. The last typing test I’d taken said I type between 80 and 100 words per minute, but that was based on copying text. Writing is different, as I need to come up with the words, keep grammar and punctuation decent and address spelling issues. Typing out concepts is relatively easy, depending on what I’m writing, but word selection and edits take forever. I usually need to leave a piece for a little while in order to catch all of my errors. Yet, I still think I should be able to write faster than I do.
This translates nicely into the question, because the period of a year is relatively short, but when you hit January, it seems very long. So, people are notorious for making plans, sticking with them for a while, but then giving up when the monotony sets in.
To stick with the writing thing, I’ve been building my personal writing career for just under two years, now. In that time, I’ve launched three blogs which have been steadily growing since, was accepted to and completed an apprenticeship program, have won a few awards from HubPages, written content for numerous companies, have been commissioned for fiction by a few people and am now working on getting my original fiction published.
Has this happened as quickly as I thought it would? Not really. Have I dealt with anxiety over that fact? Absolutely. I’m not giving up, though. If I keep at it, hopefully the next decade will see me as a published author, making a comfortable living off of my fiction.
I think that discouragement might be where the underestimation of how much is accomplished in a decade comes in.
Weird thing is, those goals never fully go away. I think they hang out in the backs of our minds while we go about our every day lives. We work on them here and there, and eventually, we may accomplish them. It just might take us a little longer than we think it will.
Learning and social issues in the neurodiversity community are heavily impacted by this idea. There’s a huge amount of pressure to keep up with the rest of the population, but because our brains work differently, we have to work harder to survive in the same environment. As a result, too many people give up on us, or write us off as being lazy, stupid, or some other embodiment of stigma.
The vast majority of children do eventually gain independence, but they still need love and support as they’re figuring it all out. It’s easy to become impatient and give up on those of us who need some extra time or specialized attention, but by doing that, you’re robbing us of the opportunity to reach our full potential.