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.
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.
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.