Category Archives: Motivation

You Make the Time

We so often have goals and dreams we are actively striving to accomplish. That new project we want to take on that gets us excited and fired up or that new house we’ve been saving for and can’t wait to move in to. Our goals of weight loss and making it big or landing that new job and writing that book.

It’s in our nature to set these targets for ourselves, whether we do it consciously or subconsciously, and to work towards them. Setting the goal is never quite as hard as getting it done is. It’s easy for us to say we want to lose weight or that we want to finish that great new project idea we had. But in practice, it’s oh so much harder to get it done.

Often times we get into a situation where we start on our goals. We start working out, we start eating better, or writing a few pages for our book. But after a few days something comes up, something gets in the way. We have a bad day or life throws too much at us and blocks us from working towards our goal. Pretty soon life has taken over and we stand no chance.

Well that’s what we feel like anyways…

The reality is that we’ve let life win. The truth is that we aren’t too busy or too bogged down with too much to do. The truth is that we lack the ability to double down and get shit done. We lack the responsibility to stay focused and accomplish our goals no matter what. When you look around at those who have accomplished great things you’ll notice that they MAKE things happen. When life throws them a curve ball, they say, “oh well” and they keep on trucking towards the finish line.

photo cred: Anne Nygard
Advertisements

The biggest mistake I heard from myself was, “man I wish there were more hours in the day” and I used to say this to myself all the time. With three kids, a full time job, a small development studio, and my own person hobbies, this was me 100%. I had so much to do that I just didn’t have time to really work towards any of my goals. That’s what I would tell myself….

And I hear so many other people say the same thing, “There’s not enough time in the day” or “If only I didn’t have so much to do already.” And the hard truth about it. The real hard truth, is that those are bullshit excuses. They’re excuses for us to give ourselves a chance to rest. We say these things so that the responsibility, the fault of our failure, is pushed off to something else and we sit back and blame time. Time is the reason I can’t achieve what I want. It’s times fault.

Yet we jump online, we open up social media, and we see some wildly successful person out there doing it, getting it done, and we say, “wow how lucky they are.” We say, “it must be nice to have maids or coaches or assistants. If I had those I could be successful too because I’d have more time.”

And it’s just not true.

photo cred: Aron Visuals
Advertisements

If you want to accomplish your goals. If you want to lose weight or develop that next app. You HAVE to MAKE time. You HAVE to find a spot in your day, every day, and you HAVE to MAKE time. You have to set aside this chunk of time and you have to say, “this is when I am going to work towards my goal and I’m going to do it every day. No matter what. No matter what life throws at me. No matter what happens during the day, how good or bad my day was. No matter what, I am going to make this happen every single day.”

When you MAKE time, you make things happen.

And this goes beyond your goals. This goes farther than just your own selfish expectations. MAKE time for your kids. MAKE time for your family. MAKE time for your friends. MAKE time to contribute to your community. Stop sitting around watching Netflix, playing video games, and scrolling through social media and MAKE TIME.

Compete

For a long time I’ve personally struggled with motivation and reaching the goals I really wanted in life. I never had a hard time picking something up and getting started though. I could design the best strategy, come up with the best plan, and get a huge start on achieving my goal… for a day or two…

And then I would fail… I would fall off, make an excuse, or life would throw a challenge my way and it would be enough for me to allow myself to sit back down and take a break. Any real progress I was making in life was a result of these short bursts, these small sprints of effort. And while these sprints were getting me places, they weren’t getting me anywhere for long.

Sure I could give up soda for a day or two, but then I’d cave on a weekend. I could get my workout in once or twice a week, but I couldn’t do it every day. I could work on my side project, until I hit a difficult bug that I couldn’t figure out. I could accomplish things, it was just taking me a lifetime to make it happen.

Advertisements

So I’ve been on this journey to figure out why I can’t reach my goals faster. I’ve been trying to figure out why I can get started, get all fired up, and then let my flame burnout. So I looked a lot of places, read a lot of books, and did a tonne of research, but I still couldn’t find the right answer. Until I started looking in the right places.

You see, the question I was asking was, “How do you achieve your goals?” and I was asking this question openly to the world (aka I was Googling shit). What I was finding was the next new productivity fad, the next “Top 10 Things Successful People Do” list and “3 Traits of High Achievers.” These quick fix articles and bullet list posts, that are quick to read and make it seem so easy if I just do these 10 things, weren’t getting the job done.

I realized that I needed to change the question I was asking, or better yet, who I was asking. I shifted my target so instead of asking others how to achieve my goals, I started looking for others who had already achieved great things and I started asking, “What did they do?

This profoundly changed my approach to my daily life. When I started looking into what highly successful people were really doing I found one dominant trait that was leading them to success. That one trait was Competitiveness.

The top achievers of the world are all living their lives as if the next person is coming along to take their next meal out from under them. And for some, this reality is actually true. Professional Athletes, CEO’s, and Community Leaders are all living this way because it is their reality. But it’s also what is giving them an incredible boost to their drive and motivation. When you wake up, knowing you have to Outwork your Competition if your going to keep living the life you have, you see things differently.

Advertisements

So how can we take this level of competition and apply it to our own lives? Is there really someone out there trying to take our spot? Are we really sitting at 1st string and the 2nd stringer is coming up right behind us? Are we really in a race but hearing the footsteps of our competition right behind us? Fuck yes we are!

This is the reason we aren’t achieving at our highest potential. It’s the reason we’re so often unsatisfied and bored, with life. It’s the reason we’re living for the weekend and dreading the week. We’ve become satisfied and lazy and just because we don’t have someone right in our face challenging us, reminding us that they are coming for us, doesn’t mean we can’t work that way.

What we need to do is really see who our competition is. Whose out there that’s already better than us at something we want to accomplish? If you want to lose weight, who do you already know or see that’s getting it done? Is it a friend? Is it someone you see on Social Media? Is it Tony on P90X showing you what’s up? Who out there is kicking your ass right now?

Find this person, and compete with them! Let them be the one that’s showing you how to get it done and then go after them! Don’t think about if you can do it or how you’ll do it. Don’t make excuses that they had a head start or that they had a better starting position in the race. The point isn’t to finish the race, it’s to Compete in the race.

If you think, that once you reach your goal, once you lose the weight and get in shape that you’re going to be done. That you can then stop working out and not end right back up where you started. That the race is over and you’ve crossed the finish line, you’re wrong. If you’re only focused on the finish line and once you reach it you stop, your fat ass is going to relapse. It’s not about the finish line, it’s not about winning, it’s about Competing.

Go out and get you some!

Outwork your Competition.

You’re Not Getting the Point!

In my previous post about Finding Your Why we talked about reasons we struggle so much to reach our goals and how we need powerful, motivating factors to achieve them. Although… it’s not always that simple and like myself, many struggle to find their reasons why.

The most difficult and common struggle I find among myself, and others, is in laying out the why’s and motivating factors for our goals. Think about some of the goals you’ve ever set for yourself, or even that you’ve seen someone else set for themselves. How often do we hear or see, “I want to lose weight so I can look good” or “I want to write this book so I can be a best seller” or “I want to build this little app so I can make a million bucks.”

The common theme her is that it’s all about me, me, me, me and we say I, I, I, I….

And then, a challenge comes our way. A hurdle in our journey to accomplishing our goal comes along and what happens? We fold, we cave, we get beat down, and we fail to overcome our challenge. So why does this happen? Why can we be so motivated when we start on a new goal, that first few days in the gym for our New Year’s resolution, and then give up so easily?

But what about that person we see or know that’s out there crushing their goals? What about that athlete that over comes the odds and makes it into pro sports or that ‘A’ student who comes from a rough background or that business man who went from pennies to riches? What about those people? How come when they hit a hurdle in their journey they don’t fall off like the rest of us?

The secret, the secret sauce here, is that their Why’s, their list of reasons for achieving their goals is selfish AND SELFLESS. When you start to learn about these people who have achieved such great levels of success and you look at their list of Why’s not only does it contain personal motivators such as, “I want to be a great football player” but it contains a long listing of selfless motivators.

Think about times you’ve heard successful people give acceptance speeches. How often do we hear, “This is for my kids” or “I did this for my mama” or “I want to thank my dad for driving me to practice every day.” The reason these people are giving these speeches and crushing their goals is because they are motivated by something bigger than their own selfish wants.

You see what happens when you have these selfless motivators is that they tend to be bigger than you. The selfless motivators tend to take on a larger than life sort of role and this is what makes them so powerful. These selfless motivators give you a different set of power to aim towards your goals and then the next time you hit a hurdle or life punches you in the mouth, instead of staying on the ground or making excuses this selfless motivator pushes you through.

These selfless motivators have such a powerful drive behind them that they are literally the reason some people are successful at all. For some successful people, if you were to take them out of their environment and take away these motivators, they would be a regular Joe Schmo. These selfless motivators are the reason people push through their failures. Their the reason people get up earlier than anyone else, the reason some people hit the gym every day, the reason some people are out hustling all day and night.

Now don’t get me wrong, I believe you should have a good mix of selfish and selfless motivators but I think the selfish ones come pretty easy. It’s the selfless motivators that we need to spend more time thinking on and sometimes they aren’t that easy to pinpoint.

My advice is to look at the world around you. Who around you might look up to you? Who around you might look to you for advice or example? What around you in the world, your community, might be bigger than you? Put that on your list of why’s and if you look at your list of why’s and all you see is I… I… I… then you’re not getting the point.

Find Your Why. Repeat your Why.

Why is it that accomplishing our goals and the things we know that we should do, so damn hard?

I’ve wrestled with motivation at various stages in my life. I’ve been on both extremes of the spectrum from highly motivated and engaged to “I don’t feel like doing shit today…

You see, Motivation works very much like a roller coaster and when you’re up, it’s great, but when you’re down… well it’s not so great. The problem with motivation is this roller coaster ride. It’s also the reason it’s so hard to stick to our diets, quit smoking, learn that new habit, or accomplish anything that requires great or consistent effort.

We’re constantly subjective to this wave of motivation and until we can make a change in this area, we’ll always be influenced by it. Motivation helps us get that new diet started but when things get harder, when temptation kicks in, when the workout gets tougher, that same motivation doesn’t ever seem to be enough to push us through.

And that’s exactly where our problem lies. You see our Motivation, when it first inspires us, is so strong that it’s enough to get us to initiate a change in our lives. It’s the upward ride of the roller coaster.

Maybe we had a moment where we felt unattractive with our weight or we felt guilty for not spending time with someone we love. Whatever it was, it was powerful and that motivation drove us to start that process of change…

And then after a while… a couple of days… a couple of hours… we lose that motivation. It fades away and with it goes our ability to make a change. And then the next hurdle comes in journey of change and now we don’t have nearly enough motivation to overcome this adversity.

So how do other people do it? How do great athletes do it? How do successful actors and musicians accomplish so much? How does that blogger on Instagram get up everyday and hit the gym?

Their secret, the reason they are able to overcome that next hurdle, is that they keep their motivation so high that they never ride the downward side of the roller coaster. When they step onto the road to change, for them, the ride is always up.

At first it seems hard to understand how they do this. How do they keep their motivation up? How do they keep it from coming down and avoid that roller coaster?

They have an enormous WHY. What do I mean by this? They have a situation, in their lives, a moment, a history, that is so impactful, so motivating for them, that they are able to stay at the top of their game day-after-day.

Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jim Carrey, Inquoris Johnson, Marshall Mathers, Mike Tyson… the list goes on and on and on. Each of these people are highly motivated, Extremely Motivated in their lives and the reason why is because they had difficult, rough lives first.

These challenges gave them a reason to push back and to push harder and for them, it wasn’t a roller coaster. It never was a roller coaster because everyday when they woke up, life was hard. Their motivation was right there in their faces and they had no choice but to live it. So when they grew up, they were raised in an environment that demanded they stay highly motivated to ever have a chance to survive.

How do the rest of us tap into this? How do we capture this level of motivation when not all of us are going to come from a rough background. How do we find that same motivation? The best way to do this is to answer this one simple question… Why?

Why do you want to accomplish what you are setting out to do? Why does it matter at all? Why do you care? Why, Why, Why, WHY?

And answer this question multiple times, every day. Don’t just think of one reason why. Write down your reasons why. Write down four, five, ten reasons why you want to what you want to do and then as life changes, as you grow, add to your list of why. Remove things that no longer motivate you from your list of why and replace them with new motivators.

And once you have your why’s the next step is to put them on repeat in your life. Make it so that every day, every morning, every evening, every night, you look at this list of why’s. Just like Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jim Carrey, Inquoris Johnson, Marshall Mathers, and Mike Tyson had to wake up everyday and live their reasons why, you should be doing the same.

Find your WHY. Repeat your WHY.

Welcome to The Hardest Work

I’ve recently become motivated to share my journey through life, my experiences, my failures, and my successes in hopes to inspire others as I’ve been inspired.

Since this is my first post I’m still working out the details of setting up this blog. I’m hoping to cover a wide variety of content and topics including:

  • Productivity
  • Motivation
  • Parenting
  • Programming
  • Fitness
  • and More!

I don’t have a set plan yet but I hope to share as much as I’ve learned about various topics and that readers of this blog can share their experiences back with me.

If you have suggestions for content or topics you’d like to hear about please let me know!