Lately I’ve been realizing that I need to do more. In pretty much every area of my life. More cardio. More planning. More thoughtful gestures.
The thing is, in each of the areas of my life I’m sitting at at an OK level. My body doesn’t look terrible, and I can pull off a tight dress if I want to. My teaching meets acceptable standards, and I am confident that my students are learning things in my classroom. My relationships are all fairly solid, and I know that there are few, if any people who would have bad things to say about me.
But come on—this is a scenario that is easily applied to SO many other people, and dammit, I want to be at the TOP.
This is something that I’ve written about before, and sometimes it’s frustrating because I have the personality where if I feel that something needs to get done, than dang it, I’m going to try to get it done NOW.
But I’m slowly starting to realize that transformations like this cannot be accomplished NOW. They are not a one time thing. Rather, they are achieved through DAILY dedication and eventual mastery of the habits and mindsets that only the great people have.
Which means that you have to do the dirty work.
Every single day.
It’s one thing to set your alarm for 6am on a Saturday morning and go for a long run and feel accomplished about it all week. It’s another to consistently get up at 5am and get your cardio in and go to the gym after work for weights and watch what you eat every day not just weekends and do that day in and day out and never. ever. falter.
That shit is HARD.
It isn’t fun AT ALL.
Yet the people who have enviable physiques, lives, and results all do the unenviable on a daily basis.
It all comes down to a decision. It’s really that simple. When the moment comes, you can either decide to do the thing that is hard or do the thing that is easy. And so, so, so many people choose easy. Hell, I choose easy a lot of the time. It’s easy to pop in a couple chocolate covered raisins rather than resist. It’s easy to “forget” to go on the stairmaster. It’s easy to throw together a plan last minute and call it “good enough”.
But every single person that I read about who is winning chooses hard. Not because they are a masochist or because they think that the more pain they put themselves in the more noble they are, but because they know that that is what it takes.
Most people can’t see past the immediate. They see the sweat and sacrifice and do an about-face. But nothing great was every accomplished by retreat, and we need to forge our own warriors mentality with everything that we do. Battles are not won only on the battlefield, but during every day that leads up to the final epic clash.
So how do you ensure that you will, in fact, be victorious on the battlefield?
Become a leader. I was listening to a podcast by Andy Frisella on how leadership isn’t about bossing people around but being willing to do the smallest of things every single day. Essentially, if you are a true leader, you may have someone assigned to do the dirty work but if you see it needs to be done, YOU do it. Practicing doing what needs to be done on a daily basis, regardless of who is ‘supposed’ to do or when it ‘should’ have been done is a surefire way to ensure self-respect. And people who have massive amounts of self-respect are unstoppable.
Stop the excuses. There are so many times I have told myself “It’s Friday…one treat won’t hurt” or “I did a really hard workout today, I don’t need that extra cardio.” If you want better than normal results, you have to put in more than normal effort. This is a hard and fast rule that really can’t be bent, broken, or manipulated. Our excuses are like fast food-convenient in the moment but over time they add up to a shitty lifestyle and a fat ass, neither of which are appealing.
Educate yourself. If my goal is to be the next female body builder, I could dedicate myself to running and eating low calorie all day long, but I will never achieve the results I want. I have to be willing to spend money on the best trainers, dedicate time to researching my nutrition and exercise, and constantly be prowling for the best and newest information. Learning does not stop after we graduate high school or college. If you want to truly succeed, you must constantly try to learn new things.
Do the dirty work. I cannot stress this point enough (especially to myself). I cannot expect to accomplish any of my grand ideals if I don’t grab a shovel and start clearing the hole for a solid foundation. And once that foundation is made, I need to grab a hammer and nails and start building. And once the structure is made, the drywall needs to be hung. And so on and so forth. The point is, you can image the most beautiful house in the world, but if you don’t actually break a sweat to get it done, it will remain naught but a fantasy.
Everyone in this world has a vision of what they would ideally like their life to be, but there are only a few who actually roll up their sleeves and dig in enough to make it happen. We have one life. Why wouldn’t you brave a few cobwebs and dust bunnies to uncover the potential treasure trove that lies beneath?
Grab a shovel, friends. It’s time to get dirty.