All of us want to win. It may be in different ways, and different things, but we want to win. Hell, even people who work hard at being miserable are doing it so they can win some attention, or some help, or whatever it is they’re after. That’s cool – we wanna win.
But have you noticed in movies where someone wants to win (it’s usually a comeback after some catastrophic failure) that they head into the “training montage?” It’s awesome. After going through total hell, loss, humiliation, loss of faith, betrayal or whatever it is, they steel themselves and set themselves to the task of retraining to become a winner.
Now, the montage is actually pretty cool. They struggle at first, learn some new techniques and can’t do it. They spend a ton of time (about 40 seconds) and start to improve. There’s a coach – somebody in their corner. They sweat a lot. There’s inspiring theme music. People start cheering them on. They pick up momentum. Holy shit, they’re looking badass. And bam! It’s time to fight. Whew!
The problem is that it’s bullshit. Life doesn’t work quite like that.
Setbacks come – I get that. After two marriages, having been an entrepreneur, and a close protection specialist before that, I have an angle or two on loss, setbacks, heartbreaks, financial pressures, broken bones and lost knife fights – not all of them ;)
Here’s the thing: there’s no damn training montage in life that will save your ass.
If you want to get “better” at anything, it’s gonna look more like this:
- You’ll get disgusted at yourself for something
- You’ll bitch about it to yourself and others – either skilfully or not – until you (or they) can’t take it any more
- At some point you’ll decide to “try to change things”
- You’ll start making changes and wuss out as soon as it doesn’t go right
- You’ll bitch about it again (your friends will probably stop listening by this point)
- You’ll end up looking in the mirror with your disgust, your failed shot at changing, and no one to commiserate with (sorry about leaving that preposition stranded there)
This is when it gets good. This is the moment when you decide if you’ll live with your disgust, or actually fix shit. If you live with your disgust, strap in because this is for you…
If you’re gonna fix it, you have to be all in. “Oh, but I AM all in Chris, I AM.” I doubt it because people don’t push hard, I mean really hard. You see, the odds of changing any materially important thing in your life are stacked against you. The odds of you change are 1 in 9. So you have to be ALL IN to some sort of biblical proportion if you want to make things move. If you do, you become something new.
So what happens from here, is you start changing a thing, one thing, without exception – no excuses, no variables, no wimping out, no crap.
You likely won’t have a coach to give you clever new approaches/ideas (hat’s off to you if you were smart enough to get one). The work will happen early in the morning when you don’t want to get up, or later at night when you just want to drag your ass to your bed.
You’ll think you’re making crap progress and no perceptible advancement – but you’ll stay at it because you balled-up and said you were “ALL IN” – remember that part? There will be struggle, and you’ll fail some more (but won’t quit). You will be alone, there will be no one cheering you on, and there will be no fucking theme music.
And when you get here and don’t quit, things will start to change. They’ll change for two reasons. The first is because of the compounding effects of your effort. The other reason they’ll change is because, by staying at it, you’ve changed. And because you’ve changed, you’ll have earned the right to be better than your problem.
You supersede your problems – whatever they are – when you have put more energy into you becoming better, than they have energy to mess you up. If you have a big problem, it has a lot of charge to it. You have to overwhelm it with more of your own. You have to become the problem to the problem! If you’re afraid of the storm, you have to become a storm that’s so strong that the other storm takes one look and says, “I’m outta here.”
It is hard – I mean really hard. And you have to do the work. If you won’t do the work, then quietly accept your shit and try not to bug the rest of us. We’re working.