Doing what comes naturally, going with the flow, taking life as it comes will take you somewhere. But only in the rarest of conditions and most unusual circumstances do those paths lead to greatness or even to goodness.
We define success by accomplishing more than just what smacks us in the face while we’re floating down the river of life. We define it be achievement, excellence, consistency, and tenacity. And those come with a cost.
Inconvenience and discomfort are part of the foundational building blocks of success.
I’ve told you how people would always tell me they wanted to sing like I do. And how I didn’t believe it. That life experience taught me to look at things very differently.
When I see an olympic swimmer, I don’t ever think, “Wow! If only I could swim like she does!” Why? Because I have been a swimmer. I took lessons up through the lifeguarding class. And I know the ability to be a world class swimmer isn’t poofed on you by magic. It is earned by very hard work. Work I do not want to do!
Being a winning swimmer means:
- following a strict dietary regimen
- getting up early to go to the pool
- jumping into freezing cold water when you’d rather be snuggled under your covers
- wearing swimsuits in public
- following a strict out of water workout schedule
- dealing with chlorine hair and skin
- worrying about sunburn
- spending hours and hours and hours swimming back and forth and back and forth and back and forth until your exhausted
Does this sound fun? Does it sound intriguing? Does it sound motivating?
I like to swim. Once in a while. But I do not love it enough to go through all that. And I know it. So the truth is, I do not want to swim like a competitive swimmer. I want to swim like someone who took lessons as a child, paddles around in the water after her children occasionally, uses front crawl to get from the boat to the wave runner, and snorkels in Hawaii.
I do not want to endure the inconvenience and discomfort required to be a great swimmer.
Fortunately, olympic swimming is not the only valuable pursuit. And there are many things that I want do enough to embrace the inherent inconvenience, discomfort, pain, and disappointment.
When setting your goals, realize that few important things in life will come without sacrifice, without pain, without inconvenience. Accept that and find ways to push through when it happens. The benefits on the other side are worth it.
Join me in the 100 Day Challenge!