From Stagnation to Success

In a world that’s always changing, we often feel like we’re not good enough to reach our goals, achieve success, and turn our lives around. I can’t hide that despite my Ph.D. and 15+ years as a researcher, I felt “not enough” for a long time. Then one day, I asked myself, “What’s holding me back?

Let me tell you about Susan, someone close to me and full of talents. Let’s call her Susan. She’s an incredible dancer, fluent in five languages, amazing at creative work, and a talented makeup artist. But she hasn’t fully embraced any of these talents. Why? It’s not her fault. Many talented people like her jump between different skills without focusing on one.

How often do distractions and daily events derail you?

What we miss is focusing on what we want, visualizing how it feels to achieve our goals, and making a step-by-step plan to get there. Whatever your talent is, use it as a tool to get what you want and improve your life.

You’ve got talents – what will you do with them?

After talking to Susan many times, it was clear she wanted big changes. She wanted financial independence and to support her family without stressing about money. But she didn’t know where to start. The problem is, the more we try to make a perfect plan, the more we get stuck thinking and not doing. It’s like building a house and obsessing about the ceiling while ignoring the foundation.

Even I lost focus despite my talents. I made a big mistake – not believing in what I could achieve and focusing on the unknown. The idea of leaving my job and losing a steady income scared me. The worry of not being able to support my family froze me for years. Money was the biggest hurdle – would I make enough to keep up my lifestyle?

Doubts are normal, but thinking you can’t do something without trying is the real mistake.

Someone once said, “Action breeds motivation.” Starting gets you moving and keeps you going. I’ve learned that unless we use our talents, they’ll go to waste.

Back to Susan – we had this talk:

  • Me: Do you know what you want to do or focus on?
  • Susan: Not really, I’m thinking.
  • Me: Thinking is good, but standing still isn’t. What’s changed since we last talked (a few months ago)?
  • Susan: Honestly, not much. I’m still looking.

Sound familiar? It does to me – I had this talk with myself for years. Whenever I asked, “Where am I now compared to a year ago?” The answer was disappointing: pretty much the same.

We fall into the trap of waiting. But waiting for what? The perfect plan? A lucky break? Waiting leads to failure. Replace mindless scrolling with something educational. Swap TV for inspiring books. Instead of complaining, remind yourself you can make a change. Don’t blame the world – stand up with pride because “what you do today shapes who you’ll be tomorrow.

You’ve got hidden talents. Where do you want to be in a year? Make a plan and stick to it. Focus on actions, not feelings. If you plan to study for an hour a day, do it no matter what. If you plan to exercise, don’t let a tough day hold you back. Every time you use tiredness as an excuse, feelings are in control. Every time you choose junk food because you had a bad day, feelings are in control. Whenever you delay your plans, feelings take over. Tomorrow becomes next week, next week becomes next month… you get the idea.

Separate feelings from the action. The more feelings control you, the longer it takes to reach your goal.

Nurture your talents until they blossom. Every tree starts as a seed in the ground. When life gets tough, see it as a chance to grow, not as a defeat.