For years I exercised consistently yet my body didn’t appear to make any significant changes. For years I attempted to create businesses and the ones that weren’t short lived still ended in an ugly demise.
This pattern is true since as far back as I can remember. When I was kid I always thought I’d be a good actor. I’d participate in a talent show here or there but that was pretty much it. I didn’t act in the plays in high school because I couldn’t sing, so I focused on sports.
As an athlete I was serious about basketball and football. I had it in my head that I was better than most athletes, however, I never seemed to be on teams that were undeniably successful. Moreover, I was never the “star athlete” to the external world that I thought I was.
In fact, I didn’t realize I wasn’t as great as I thought until my adult life when I was able to accurately reflect on my athletic career. In reality, I was a mediocre athlete due in large part because of my speed. I was not particularly skilled.
At no point in my athletic career did I practice developing my skills before or after practice. I simply attended practice then went home. I wasn’t lazy but I did not go beyond in anyway.
I share this because I believe it sums up who I have been for the majority of my life.
A person, unafraid of hard work, but quick to accept my limitations. Unaware that if I chose to challenge myself further then I maybe I could rise above those limitations.
For years I was content with complacency, not even realizing I had another option.
What changed this?
When I invested a large sum of money in a business.
I stopped playing it safe and invested an amount of money that was not going to cause bankruptcy but would have really hurt if I lost.
I positioned myself in way that required success. In my mind, failure was not an option. Not with that much on the line.
What did I learn?
That when failure is not an option, excuses go out the door. You do anything and everything you can to make it work.
I had a very simple metric for success. Earn my investment back. Anything beyond that was a bonus.
What I didn’t realize was by giving myself a metric I hyper focused my efforts. My success was based on one thing and one thing only, earning my money back.
There were days where I felt overwhelmed with panic because things were not working the way I anticipated.
There were days where I felt like a rockstar because I was earning more way more than I thought possible.
Where am I going with this?
If you want to truly grow in any area of your life you must set measureable metrics and continue to increase it each and every time you achieve your measureable goal.
This can be done in business, writing, exercise, you name it.
For writing, how many words do you want to write this week? 2000? Sounds good, when you succeed, push for 2100 the next week. Keep raising the bar.
You’ll reach a point where you are close to driving yourself crazy because you feel so stretched already. What should you do when this happens? Raise the bar further.
The key is to find the balance of constant growth without burning out.
A great exercise for this to get yourself into this mindset, is the push up challenge.
Identify a number of push-ups that you can easily do.
Let’s say it is 7.
Each day increase that number by one until you get to 100.
The key is don’t over do it.
Just increase once per day every day until you hit your goal.
Who cares how long it takes. Just increase one push up per day every day until you get to a 100.
Try this exercise so you can teach your mind and body how to enjoy the frustration that accompanies a refusal to settle.
Then apply it to your writing and everything else you want to improve upon in your life.
Be willing to endure frustration on a regular basis.
Be proud of it.