As someone with high aspirations, I love to envision what will happen each time I reach a big goal. Whether that goal be graduating debt-free from college, speaking at a TED Conference, or writing a book, I know I won’t get there without envisioning the realization of those dreams. We know visualization is crucial to success, and it’s important that we remember to do it.

We must, however, also keep our feet on the ground. An untethered balloon quickly sails out of sight. In the same way, a dream we aren’t working towards seemingly gets further and further away. If we do not fully focus on today, we will never realize our dreams for tomorrow.

But focusing on today can be really tough. Some days are fun, but others are miserable. No matter what you do or how much you love it, there will always be moments you don’t enjoy. Confucius was lying when he said, “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” No matter what career you choose or what purpose you devote yourself to, there will be some, if not many, difficult days that are tough to get through. After all, success only feels so good because of all the work put in to get there.

Despite how difficult those moments are to face, we can overcome them. But it requires a long-term perspective. Whenever we are in an intense struggle, we need to look beyond it. When running fitness for soccer, I envision walking on the field for my debut. When laboriously working through my scholarship book, I visualize winning those scholarships and graduating debt-free. Even when hitting writer’s block, I imagine the lives impacted by my works.

This practice actually helps much more than even I originally imagined. Not only does the longer perspective give me the momentary perseverance needed to move forward, but seeing the ultimate goal also helps me know how to get there. The ability to see the destination allows you to breakdown the steps in reverse, ultimately leading to a better understanding of what is needed to reach your goal. 
No matter what your goal is—from professional to personal—try using the long perspective to increase motivation and better understand how to reach your destination. It is only through day-by-day perseverance that we look back and are awed by how far we’ve come.