What it Takes to Be Epic: Desire vs. Necessity

Suppose you’re an Olympic weightlifter and you’re on an island where you can train at your leisure, eat whatever you like, train whenever you want and your only goal is to hit the biggest numbers you can. How often would you train?”

To this question people often respond that they would train a couple of times a week.

Here’s another situation.

“You’re in Alcatraz. You’re locked in a cell that is too short to stand in with a bed you don’t even fit on. All your family and loved ones are in adjacent cells. They are never allowed out of their cells. You have 30 days to squat a certain amount of weight to release your family. You are only allowed out of your cell to train. How often would you train?”
Under these circumstances people often say they would train everyday. When you ask them why they respond, “because you have to!”

This is the first year that I can remember since I was about 16 that I wasn’t too drunk to clearly recall my entire New Year’s Eve. I was under the weather and decided that this year I would stay in and rest up. Instead of popping champagne, I popped open a bottle of San Pellegrino and threw on an episode of the Barbell Shrugged Podcast. On this podcast John Broz of Average Broz’s Gym talks about the mindset of being a champion.

John uses the above example to talk about the difference in mindset that separates world champions from average people. He explains that athletes who train out of desire will never be able to reach the same level of success as athletes who train out of necessity. Wanting to win is different than needing to win.

John’s view on being a champion reminded me of my first podcast with my friend JK when he said that if you want to be the best in finance there are no days off and that you need to work everyday to become the best at your craft. This doesn’t mean that everyday has to be nonstop work, but each and every day you need to push yourself closer to achieving your goals.

It’s not surprising that JK and John Broz have a similar philosophy. JK trained to be an Olympic rower for Canada and John Broz used to live with and train under one of the most successful Olympic weightlifters of all time, Antonio Krastev. Being a champion is about shifting your mindset to work out of necessity to be the best rather than the desire to be the best.

Their advice is unconventional but when all sorts of successful people from different walks of life start preaching the same thing, it’s time to start paying attention. In 2016 I have decided I will take their advice.

I will squat 300+lbs in the gym everyday, I will blog everyday, I will work on my business everyday, I will develop my personal relationships everyday and I will meet someone new everyday. In 2016 I want to shift my mindset from desire to necessity. It’s not about saying I’d like to do something; it’s about making it happen.

The person willing to make the biggest sacrifice will reap the biggest gains; this is my mantra for 2016.

Originally published at breakingbaystreet.com on January 8, 2016.