The very title seems counter-intuitive, I know. It doesn’t make sense. Shouldn’t we love what we do everyday? In theory, yes, of course. No one should lead an unhappy life. But anything that is good, or worth becoming good, has to go through a heavy road. It takes work.
Look at the man or woman who has a sculpted body. They earned that shit. They worked their butt off to obtain the muscle they now have. They put up with the hard training. The grueling days or nights of having a sore body. They most likely ate right, cut out heavy alcohol drinking and took supplements. I’m not being concrete in assuming this, of course, but more likely than not, this person was dedicated day in and out. The results speak for themselves.
As another example, look at your own self. Maybe you graduated from college and now have a degree and even have the very career you went to school for. You put in the long, sleepless nights of studying and homework to obtain the required grades. You needed to pass every class and then some. In order to graduate, you needed to put in the time.
No matter what it is that you now seek out of life, you must put in the time. The effort must not be half-assed. Don’t work out one day and then sit around for another day or two. You will undo everything you just started. Discipline and motivation go hand in hand. You can’t have one without the other.
Find your motivation or your “why.” What is it that you truly want out of life? Is it money? Is it freedom? Is it a long-lasting love? What is it? Only you know the answer to such questions. You don’t always have to know this either. It took me a decade to reach funeral service and becoming a licensed funeral director and embalmer.
I once thought I was going to play poker forever and just keep printing money. After obtaining the money I sought, I realized it then destroyed who I was as a person and it didn’t keep me warm at night. If anything, it left me cold and lonely. Poker was not my “why” as it turned out. It is merely a hobby that I enjoy and can earn a side income from, as long as I remain disciplined enough. That is the key. Not just with playing poker, but anything in life.
After figuring out your “why” in life, the next step is mapping out the ways to get there. Start by imagining yourself being exactly where you want to be. Think of yourself with the sculpted body. Picture your life with your soul mate, enjoying a night by the fire, a glass of wine and laughing together. Sounds amazing, doesn’t it? Now, reverse engineer those moments; how do I get there? What do I have to do to reach that goal?
If I want the body, I have to work out. I have to stop eating junk food. Instead of three hours of Netflix, maybe I spend half of that time in the gym. Instead of eating out, I meal prep (preplan and pack your food). In place of a couple beers, I go with water, or a protein smoothie. No more cookies. Veggies. Fruit. You know what you have to do, in order to get what you want.
Now, the hard part, is actually doing what you know to be true. Once you figure out “how” to get to your “why,” you just have to do it. There’s no shortcuts. There is no half-assing it. There just isn’t. Everything that takes work, is worth doing. You have to hate what you do now, for things to change in your life.
If you’re unhappy with your life, your career or relationship, anything, you have to make the necessary changes. Just by reading this sentence, I know it elicited a few reminders. You probably thought of something in your life that is bothering you. I’ll bet there is something you know that you want to change. You know your “why” deep down.
The heart wants what the heart wants. The brain will figure out how to get there. The body will make sure it gets done. The feeling afterward will thank each one of those. Your future self will certainly thank your past and present self. Think about that. You have to change the status quo if you want to live the life you want. Your “why” demands it.
By demanding more of yourself (while not being hard on yourself- very important), you become a better version of yourself. Figure out how to curb the spending and start saving. Try to watch less TV. Find a hobby. Go outside more. Visit with friends and family. Make a vision board. Look yourself in the mirror every morning. Write down your goals and ask yourself, “How do I get here?”
What do you want? I know what I want. I also don’t know what I want, in some ways. But what I do know, is that I need to be “less.” I thought I needed to be more. I thought, if I do more of this, more of that, then I would be good. I was wrong. This was brought to my attention, and I can’t believe I never realized this. It’s actually the opposite. Do “less.” Think about that. Less drinking. Less eating out. Less goals. Less pressure. Less, as it turns out, leads to more.
I say this as a man who has not always done these things. I speak from experience. Find one or two goals. One step at a time. Not ten. Less is more. It all starts with one question: What is my why? Once you figure that out, the rest will fall into place. But it’s entirely up to you. No one else. You have to do the work. You have to earn it. Life is too precious. Do what makes you happy. There will be good that comes from the sorrow. You have to be willing to hate today, to love tomorrow.