Vera Countess von Lehndorff continues in her letter to James Harmon for his book, Take My Advice, to write about self confidence, striving towards our goals, and persevering through the difficult moments. She writes, “Believe in yourself and be determined in all activities as you strive for your accomplishments. Do not give in to despair in your weak moments or when you feel discouraged.” In my mind I can combine this viewpoint with Richard Wiseman’s discussion about visualizing success and journalism. Wiseman in 59 Seconds: Think a Little, Change a Lot, wrote about the scientific backing to the advice in many self help books. When it came to moving forwards towards our goals, the research shows that those who journal are more likely to reach their dreams.
Wiseman offers us a way to actualize the advice from von Lehndorff. Believing we can accomplish something is a huge first step, and it requires creativity and imagination to put us in a place where we see possibilities and a future that we want to pursue. We are able to look past the challenges that will hinder us as we journey towards our goals, and this can help us build more motivation for chasing those goals. What Wiseman advises, is that we pause at the outset of our journey to examine and understand not just what goals we want to pursue, but what difficulties will arise in chasing those goals. We will all struggle and hit obstacles, but if we have a plan for how we will overcome obstacles, then the challenges become less daunting when we actually face them.
Von Lehndorff encourages us to fight through despair, but does not offer any insight in preparing for or overcoming that despair. She is aware of the fact that we will have moments when we are weak and unable to perform at our maximum level and seems to encourage us to push through the doubt with increasing action. Following the science and journaling about not just the positive points of the journey, but how we will face the challenges will prepare us to fight through the difficult moments we may or may not be aware of.