I am sure you are familiar with the fact that anything worth having takes some work. Things that are given to you never have the same feel or meaning as something earned. But no one ever seems to talk about just how hard some of this can be. Allow me to expand on that thought…
If you are trying to get in shape, there is a lot of resistance to fight through. The first couple of weeks are gonna suck, to put it mildly. If you are someone who have never really worked out or played any sports, you are in for a world of pain and soreness, the likes of which you have yet to experience sans a car accident or something like that. Your body will hurt during the process, and then for a few days after as well. And that’s only for the first workout, it will continue and maybe escalate from there. Each new workout and body part will bring its own set of discomfort as part of the process.
If you are looking to quit drinking, smoking, using drugs, or any other vice, it will be a different kind of pain. I am not well versed in this particular area, as I have never gone down this path myself. I am not much fun when it comes to this kind of stuff; I don’t drink, never smoked, and have never done any recreational drugs in my life. I was around it a fair amount when I was in my late teens and early twenties, but managed to avoid any partaking of this stuff. But, I have had several friends struggle with parts ways with some of their less than desirable habits. It doesn’t look like fun…
I would also add higher education or doing more training to elevate your skills and your profession. It is tough navigating unfamiliar waters, and it can be disheartening to look at a mountain of textbooks and realize just how much new information you are going to be responsible for to graduate. It’s a daunting task, but that shouldn’t deter you; others have done it, you can too.
Okay, I covered the pain points, now let’s get into the payoff side of the equation. Obviously no one does things without some sort of payoff in the end, it is human nature. But if you can endure the pain, whatever the form, and come out on the other side, the rewards are well worth anything you are going to suffer through in the short term. Let’s start with the fitness example.
If you have never been a gym rat but have been given a reason to get in shape, it’s gonna suck at first. But think of the payoff, whether it is improving your health, averting a serious medical issue like becoming diabetic, or maybe you are getting married soon and want to look good in the wedding and honeymoon photos. If you can muster the self discipline to forge ahead, and most importantly keep showing up, you can achieve what you want. It is that Simple…It’s just not Easy. The plan on paper is a piece of cake, but it is not easy to execute, especially when you feel like you are suffering in the process. This pain, this resistance, is what separate those who want something from those who are willing to pay the price to get it. We ALL want stuff, but very few people are willing to truly endure what it takes to achieve. I’ll give you an example, to become a Pro Racquetball Player I probably hit literally a million forehands and a million backhands for own that skill well enough to play at the highest level. And to be clear, so did everyone else I competed against.
Doing so didn’t guarantee I would be number 1 in the world, and in fact there were no guarantees at all. I could have gotten injured along the way and never made halfway to the top. There are a lot of other factors that do into competing at the highest level, and forehands and backhands are only two on a list of many things necessary to give yourself a shot. But that “pain” was worth it. The journey that I was on, the life I led then as well as now, are BECAUSE of the fact that I was willing to endure. I made to #18 in the world; that was a far as the work I put in would take me. But it was well worth it.
If you have a health scare and need to get in shape, you have a great motivation for doing the work. But that may not be enough; far too many people still cannot muster the will to do the right things for themselves. Lots of people will end up having a foot amputated due to diabetes complications instead of making life changes. Sad but true. If you have ever seen some of the TV shows that share the stories of people who have become extremely obese, you know what I mean. Many will get lap band surgery and lose a huge amount of weight, only to gain it all back. Despite enduring some of the pain necessary to make changes, they didn’t do enough to the underlying issues resolved. The behavior patterns are what is needed to be addressed, and for many, the psychological pain of this deep work proves to be too much to bear. The resistance is too much to defeat.
If you are dealing with an addiction of some kind, you need to approach that battle in the same manner. Quitting smoking or drug use is physically difficult, but there are other factors that must be battled as well. If you hang out with people who frequently smoke or indulge in drug use, you may have to break ties and move on. The odds of you staying in that environment and successfully breaking those behavior patterns in yourself is too small to expect anything but struggle and failure. This can be a major reason that quitting isn’t achieved, the fact that you need to leave that circle of friends to do it. Now you are struggling AND you are alone. That’s a tough combo.
Everyone has a different reason and motivation for making changes; some it is health reasons, some of it is self esteem, and a myriad of other reasons.
Here is the thing to remember:
It Has Been Done Before.
I firmly believe that if there is someone walking the planet now or before my time, that has similar circumstances and still had success, I can do it too. You are highly unlikely to be reinventing the wheel so to speak, therefore, there is a blueprint out there for you to follow. In most cases, there are people who had things much worse than you do and they still made it to their goal(s). YOU CAN TOO. If you weigh 500 pounds and want to get healthy, you can do it. If you want a new career, you can do it. If you want to play a sport or perform in any skill at a high level, it just takes work. LOTS and LOTS of work, but it is possible. What you will learn along the way of that journey could have even more meaning for you in the long run than the actual results of the endeavor itself.
I don’t walk around with a number 18 tattooed on my arm to let the world know I made it. The way I live my life reflects that. Get started, and if I can be of assistance, please let me know.
I wish you luck in whatever your chosen endeavor shall be.