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Reasons not to give up #9: remember why you’re doing this

by Amanda Collins

Time will pass whether or not you are working toward your goal. It is up to you to make that time count towards your dream.

Keeping your eye firmly on what you are hoping to get out of your course will help remind you of what is waiting for you at the end of your studies, and will help pull you along when you find the day-to-day struggle of study is getting a bit too much.

So, knowing that big picture thinking can help push you through your course, the question becomes: How can we focus on the big picture?

Big picture thinking is about asking yourself questions, getting very specific with the answers, and then keeping those answers in the forefront of your mind at all times.

Paint your big picture

The first question you need ask yourself is, what it is you want to achieve through your course? Be very clear with your answer, and then write it out in a couple of lines.

Next, ask yourself why you want to achieve this goal? Is it because you want financial freedom? Personal growth? A meaningful career that will give you life satisfaction? Write this motivation down underneath your goal.

Knowing what drives you is important because it shows you exactly what is at stake.

What will your legacy be?

It is easy to stay sitting in the same spot. It’s familiar and comfortable. Change is hard. There is no fairy godmother that will wave a wand and grant you your wish. You are your own fairy godmother, and in doing the work to change your own future, you will discover just how strong and capable you really are.

With this in mind, the next question you need to ask is: what is the legacy you want to leave in this world? Consider what you would want your friends, family, workmates and community to say about your impact.

In a few phrases, on the same page you have written your motivation statements, write down what you want your legacy to be, what you want to be remembered for.

Clarifying this on a piece of paper, will put things into perspective. We are only granted so many days in our lives, so using them wisely is important.

What will happen if you don’t finish your studies?

Ask yourself what will happen if you quit, if you just give it all up? Will you get what you want for your life, or will you stay in the position you are?

Underneath your legacy statements, write down the consequences that quitting would have on your life in the short and long term. What do you have to lose?

What will happen if you finish your studies?

Lastly, ask yourself what will happen in your life if you finish your studies? Will you move forward, or stay where you are?

On the same page you have written your other answers, write down what the short and long term consequences will be for your life if you continue your studies. What do you have to gain?

Put the list of your answered questions somewhere where you will see it every day. Perhaps on the fridge, or on your bedroom wall. Look at it once a week and remind yourself of the big picture.

Final thoughts

Big picture thinking is important to keep you motivated. We often lose sight of the forest for the trees, and in doing so we can forget what it is we actually want out of life, and we never move towards the life that we really want.

If you don’t follow your dream now, when will you? You don’t need to start next Monday, you can start today, this hour, this minute. So what are you waiting for? Make your future happen.

Are you feeling motivated?

Use that energy to log into OpenSpace and start studying. Don’t forget to contact the Learning Support team if you need some help.

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