If people knew how hard I had to work to gain my mastery, it would not seem so wonderful at all.Michelangelo Buonarroti
We’ve all been there: at the start of something new. Whether it’s starting a new business idea, starting a new relationship or starting a new exercise program, we’ve all been at the beginning. The beginning is always an exciting time, filled with wonder and expectations. There are an unlimited number of possibilities; anything and everything can happen to us at the beginning.
Let’s get this started and see where it takes me!
But let’s face it, starting at the beginning sucks. Very soon, that feeling of exuberance subsides and we’re left facing the cold, hard reality of working on yet another task. We’ve got a business to grow. We’ve got a relationship to nurture. We’ve got to stop eating all that crap, get out from in front of the screen and get out butts moving. We’re left alone, staring at all the hard work that lies ahead of us.
If it wasn’t for all this work, this would sure be a lot easier…
Often, when we’re in the throes of development, whether it’s a business idea, a relationship or getting healthy, we feel overwhelmed. We look around longingly at everyone else in that space and see nothing but success. Our competitors are killing it, with customers lined up out the door. Other couples are laughing as they walk down the street, arm in arm. Everyone else at the gym is ripped and throwing weights around with one hand. They’ve all got it made. They’re the lucky ones.
Or at least that’s how it seems.
We think, if we could only get lucky, if we could just catch a break, we’d be able to compete. We’d be just as successful as all those other people. We envy the ease of their success. We’re jealous of how quickly they’ve made it to the top of the mountain.
We see their accomplishments; it’s quite apparent. We see the end result, their blatantly obvious success, front and center for all to see. They’re more than happy to display their triumphs for the masses.
What we don’t see, or more correctly, what we don’t want to see, is all the stuff behind the scenes. All the hard work they’ve put in. All the blood, sweat and tears they’ve invested to reach their current level of success.
I’m a greater believer in luck, and I find the harder I work the more I have of it.Thomas Jefferson
Even though we turn a blind eye; even though we don’t want to admit it; even though we want to pretend that they just got lucky and were an overnight success, all that hard work is still there. The foundation that was laid over time. The heavy lifting, quite often done in obscurity, that happens before the limelight starts shining. Before the success, before the contentment, before they were superstars, they were just like us: starting something new.
It’s never easy. It’s hardly ever enjoyable. It’s usually a grind and quite often ends in disappointment. But it cannot be avoided. We all have to start at the beginning. There’s no way around it. We all wish we’d have a great stroke of luck, that lightning would strike, that we’d have instant success (like all those other people).
Unfortunately, that’s just not how it works.
We still need to work hard. We still need to tough it out. We still need to toil in obscurity. It’s not fun. It’s not sexy, and the odds are that no one else will ever know what we had to go through to get to the finish line. But we still have to do it. In the entertainment industry they call it “paying your dues.” The rest of us just call it the shit you have to go through to get where you want to be.
Most new ventures fail. It’s unfortunate, but it’s the way life works. Lots of people start things, but very few make it to the finish line. You can call it luck if you want. Do whatever you have to do to get yourself there. But it’s really not luck. It’s showing up. It’s doing the dirty work. It’s being consistent in your efforts, day after day, week after week, year after year, doing the grunt work that other people can’t (or don’t want to) do.
It’s hard to be a success. Most people never triumph in their ventures. That’s why we shower the ones that do with praise and adulation. They were able to get through the struggle; they made it to the end. They achieved success.
We can do it too. It just takes everything we’ve got to get there. It takes time. It takes money. It takes commitment. It takes blood, sweat and tears. Put in the work, and eventually lightening will strike; that elusive stroke of “luck” will find you. You will make it.
Just remember, while it may look like luck to everyone on the outside, it’s not. It’s all you on the inside.
Good luck. Or whatever you want to call it…
Don’t wish it were easier. Wish you were better.Jim Rohn
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