Forget your goal

“A man on a thousand mile walk has to forget his goal and say to himself every morning, ‘Today I’m going to cover twenty-five miles and then rest up and sleep.”
― Leo Tolstoy, War and Peace

I came across this Tolstoy quote from “War and Peace”. It’s an important insight about the mindset required to complete a long, difficult journey (a startup). Tolstoy explains that when embarking on a thousand mile walk individuals should let go of focusing on their ultimate goal and instead focus on smaller, more manageable milestones.

By breaking down the journey into smaller, achievable parts, the individual (startup founder / employees) can approach each day with a specific target in mind. In the reference, the goal is to cover 25 miles each day. In a startup, it could be an individual talking to 25 potential customers or investors. Reach the daily milestone, then rest and recharge for the next day’s journey.

Whereas focusing too much on the distant end goal can hurt motivation, and be harmful to the cause. By concentrating on the present moment and the immediate tasks at hand, individuals can maintain purpose and make consistent progress. A strategy conducive to success.

This philosophy emphasizes the value in staying committed to the journey itself and finding satisfaction in the daily accomplishments, rather than fixating solely on the distant outcome.

Use this to chunk down the big goal into doable, daily goals with a systemized approach. And in doing so you will be more likely to endure the journey, keep hope, stay strong, and find fulfillment. Even though the end goal is a thousand miles away. Until it isn’t.