January 2018, my friends and I decided to get a gym membership and start working out.
Awesome. But you could swear it wasn’t the first time we made such attempt. It’s that time of the year when everyone dusts up their lost dreams. we did ours too.
On this Saturday morning, we all confidently walked into the gym’s front door like the new champions in town, and… we got started.
It was clear that our going to the gym was not to build a self-defense mechanism or to learn boxing or any special tactics. We were there to have muscular arms, broad chests, 8 packs, V- like body structure, and to look like “The Rock”.
The first month, I began to feel my arms getting heavier and stronger. My clothes got tighter by the armpit, and some of my friends observed that I was getting fatter.
Fatter? By the way, man, those aren’t fat. Those are muscles, you dumb sucker.
It felt good anyway that we were seeing the fruit of our labor.
We got motivated. We got happier. We pushed harder, rode faster, and stroke quicker.
It serenaded us to see our whole bodies covered in sweat.
Then we had a problem:
The muscles stopped growing. Our arms stopped feeling heavier. It was like nothing was happening. And then going to the gym became less exciting.
After every session, we would line up in front of the mirror to size our arms and chests feeling sad that they were not forming as wanted.
But you know what, the problem wasn’t that our bodies stopped growing. It wasn’t that our arms weren’t getting heavier.
The problem was that with every push we did, with every ride we rode, we expected at least an ounce growth of muscle.
We focused too much on the result and not the process.
We shifted our focus.
The game changed when we entered into competition mode.
Instead of lining up in front of the mirror and sizing our arms, our focus shifted to:
How much push can we do today?
Who can ride the longest?
Who can go the furthest?
Who can lift the highest?
We were constantly pushing our perseverance to beat last week’s target.
We forgot our arms, our chest and got obsessed with numbers, time, and records.
We began to say things like: before the end of this month, I should be able to eat up 20kg of dumb. I should hit 10km in 30 minutes. In 6 months, I should be a monster doing 100kg dead weight.
At that point, we didn’t care whether our arms weren’t getting heavier or our tummies weren’t hardening. We were simply happy doing the lifts and increasing the numbers.
Monster arms. Broad chests. Full-blown packs. They happened seamlessly.
The whole idea of building up is a beautiful dream. Everyone wants to live that dream. But eating irons upon irons is damn torture. That was what we later fell in love with — and it made the entire difference.
Focus on the process, not on the result.
If you are a writer, your focus should not be on the number of followers you have or the number of comments your articles attract. You shouldn’t even worry too much about getting into the big pubs. Your focus should be on hitting the publish button as often as possible.
Your focus should be on your ability to write hypnotic stories. To write better headlines. To write great intros. To be great at connecting with other writers. To better marketer of your work. To be pro in every aspect of what you do.
Of course, those are the things that lead to massive followership and readership.
If you are a businessman or woman, making more money is the obvious goal. But a lot has to be done to make money. So, let it slip. Get to work.
Whatever you want to achieve, there’s a price to pay for it. The sermon is:
Focus on paying that price. It hurts less.
You’re less likely to give up when you focus on the process.
We often expect too much to happen within a short time, and when it doesn’t, we give up.
Expectations hurt. Much of our expectations are on the assumption that the world is flawless. We know it’s not. But because it’s us imagining, we expect a tiny little exception.
In the world is noise, debris, people, who are you?
That Mr A started a cosmetic company at 20 and was already a multimillionaire at 22 does not guarantee you’d start yours and make anything from it.
You may die broke. You may become a millionaire in 8 years. You may in 6 months. Our paths are different.
The truth? Don’t hurt over it. It’s normal.
What you should hurt over is how obsessed are you? How much of yourself can you put in? How long can you ride? How committed and passionate are you? Those are the things that matter.
Everyone should have a dream, a target, a goal. But once you finish setting the piper, get on the field. And don’t raise your head until it’s 12.
The moment you zero in on the work, it becomes easy to get into a flow state. When you’re in a flow state, you don’t mind the outcome of what you’re doing. You just want to do. You enter into competition with yourself to keep doing. It gets you excited, motivated, and energetic even when the whole thing isn’t pleasant. Giving up becomes no option for you.
Finally, it hurts to keep staring at stats that doesn’t move. Lift your eyes from them and bend down to the work.