"Progress is made on the days you don't want to show up."
One of my training partners said that in conversation one morning as we were about to start our warm up at 5:45am.
It stayed with me that morning - and it was as relevant to a group of fit, happy yet cold and half-asleep Crossfit athletes as it is for me when I think about growth in your career.
Can you imagine something harder than showing up at 5:30am, at a place you don't really want to be, when you don't feel like doing anything but being asleep?
Are you often faced with a similar choice in your career? Situations where you know what the right choice is, but you opt for the easy way out?
I see it every day, people choosing shortcuts or avoiding the difficult, mundane tasks and instead doing the ones that excite them.
There's something to be said about using the momentum of your own intuition. That is to say, if you feel in the mood to work on something specific, of course, do it. But don't continually sacrifice the important stuff for the stuff that's fun.
Someone once told me that the people I train with are 'lucky' for having the right genes to go to the gym, run, swim, jump and row each morning at 5:45am.
I've also heard the word 'luck' used in the context of people's career position. Yes some people land into roles by accident. I guess that's dumb luck.
Others land into great roles because they were handed a silver spoon. Let's call that circumstance, not luck.
The majority though, are where they are because of hard, fucking work.
Luck? Are you fucking kidding me?
I believe that luck has very little, if not nothing to do with it. It's hard work that gets results. That's it. Hard work.
And not everyone wants to do the hard work.
But when you do show up on those days where you don't feel like showing up; the days you just aren't feeling it, that's when progress is made. That's when you walk away feeling like you've accomplished something.
That's when you feel like a giant. Invincible. Capable.
That's when your self esteem issues vanish. When you stop feeling like a pretender.
If you continue to show up and hustle, through the days, weeks and months, you're going to be the one that makes the greatest progress.
The momentum that will push you into the greatest, sweetest part of your career is of your own making. It's in the choices you make when you're faced with a warm bed and another sleep in, or a short drive to the gym to do some real work before the charade of '9 to 5' begins for yet another day.
It's in the choices you make when you're faced with the decision to either hustle and find a paying job, or sit still and wait for your 'ideal studio' to call you and beg you to go and work for them.
You're always going to be faced with things you know you should do, but don't.
You'll always be faced with hurdles to jump.
Seth Godin says "Showing up, it turns out, is the hardest part of making a difference."
So very true.
I hope you do something today that pushes you forward, that contributes to your own progress.
I hope you do something today that makes you a little uncomfortable but leaves you smiling and nourished.
I hope you decided to show up early and often.
Because you know, what you're chasing is yours and yours alone.
It's nobody else's. It's yours.
And it's worth it.