Get Off Your Ass and Work
“The critical ingredient is getting off your butt and doing something. It’s as simple as that. A lot of people have ideas, but there are few who decide to do something about them now. Not tomorrow. Not next week. But today. The true entrepreneur is a doer, not a dreamer. “ -Nolan Bushnell
It could be said that for every 1,000 people who say they want to be successful, there is only 1 person who actually gets in the trenches and tries.
When it comes down to it, the other 999 people just don’t want to gets their ass kicked — which is the requirement for anyone to achieve true success.
So if you have goals — to write a book, to create a podcast, get a 6-pack, learn a foreign language, to start a life coaching business for college graduates…
It’s time to get off your ass.
It’s time to work.
If You Sit, You Deteriorate
“We generate fears while we sit. We overcome them by action. Fear is nature’s way of warning us to get busy.” -Dr. Henry Link
If you stay still, you die.
We are always rusting. Whether it’s our knowledge, skill, talent, motivation, or passion, it deteriorates if you let it collect dust in the attic.
This is perhaps one of the most fundamental, quintessential principles of “success” — it takes hard work. That work will likely be unpleasant, discouraging, and exhausting at first. Of course, this is where most people stop (or don’t even start). And that is why living an extraordinary life is so rare.
In the words of famous radio host Ira Glass:
All of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap. For the first couple years you make stuff, it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not.
A lot of people never get past this phase, they quit…And if you are just starting out or you are still in this phase, you gotta know its normal and the most important thing you can do is do a lot of work.
It is only by going through a volume of work that you will close that gap, and your work will be as good as your ambitions.
If you want to be a writer, then you gotta write a shit ton of content.
If you want to be a podcaster, you need to record yourself speaking for dozens of hours.
If you want a 6-pack, you need to be eating healthy and working out 3–5 times a week.
You need to do the work. Volumes and volumes of it.
If you do not do the work, your goals and ability will begin to rust. With every passing day, it will become harder and harder to start the journey.
This is why it is so important to choose the right friends, lifestyle, and career. This is why it’s so dangerous to continue filling your life with “kinda cool” opportunities instead of the “Hell yeah!” ones.
If you sit, you deteriorate. If you don’t do the work, you sink more and more into the quicksand of “I want to’s” and “One day, I’m gonna’s”.
You need to get off your ass and do the work.
“Don’t worry about the output when you’re trying to build momentum. Instead, just get yourself to do whatever you feel you need to do.” -Benjamin P. Hardy
There’s an interesting principle of momentum I discovered through taking Dave Ramsey’s 13-week Financial Peace University seminar.
Ramey called it “The Snowball Effect.”
In short, the most effective way to building momentum (paying off debt, losing weight, etc.) actually isn’t doing the most “logical” behavior available. The best way to build momentum is to just do whatever the hell you can do. And keep going.
For instance, let’s say you’re trying to pay off $15,000 dollars in credit card debt. This debt is spread across 6 cards, each with different amounts and interest rates.
The most “logical” solution would probably be to pay off the credit cards with the highest interest rates first, right?
Right. But the most effective way to actually build momentum is to get small wins, over and over. This means paying off the credit card with the lowest amounts first. The interest rates aren’t even a factor.
This way, you’ll pay off a credit card sooner. This will give you some momentum, which you can use to tackle the next lowest-amount credit card. Once you tackle that, you’ll have even more momentum for the next one, and so on.
When you’re starting to do the work, don’t worry about the most “logical” strategy there might be.
Just do what you can. Do what you need to do.
If you want to be a writer, then don’t start by researching about the best hosting platforms for a blog; just start fucking writing, every day.
If you want to start a podcast, don’t start by researching the best audio equipment in your price range or audio software to buy; just start recording yourself and your material.
If you want to lose weight, don’t spend hours looking up the best 16-week diet/workout plan on Pinterest; go for a fucking jog. Do some pushups. Then more. Then do some more.
This is how you build momentum; by doing what you can, getting small wins, and committing to the behavior.
Which leads us to the next step.
Keep on Going
“Keep on going, and the chances are that you will stumble on something, perhaps when you are least expecting it. I never heard of anyone ever stumbling on something sitting down.” — Charles F. Kettering
Writers don’t say, “Gee, you know what? I just had the most brilliant idea — I’m going to write an article that will go viral! Yes!!”
Podcasters don’t say, “I can’t believe I haven’t done this yet — I’m going to record an episode that will get me 10,000 new followers!”
These plateaus happen organically, often by means entirely outside your control. You do not simply “decide” to be a hit.
Opportunities are created, not given.
The people most likely to experience success are the ones who are too busy to even notice.
That’s because these people are so busy doing the fucking work, they don’t even know what article the Huffington Post is referring to when they reach out and ask if they can repost it.
They didn’t realize anybody was even monitoring their fitness progress when they read the email asking if they can use their story for an inspirational ad campaign.
Any energy you spend trying to achieve long-term success quickly is energy wasted. Energy that should be going right back to the foundation: the work. Paying the price.
Just do the fucking work. Nothing else matters.
“Opportunities don’t happen. You create them.” — Chris Grosser
Imagine you’re sitting in an enormous stadium.
The music is blaring, the lights are blasting, and the field seems really far away.
This is what success looks like: thousands and thousands of people watching and yelling and screaming at the one or two dozen players on the field who are actually in the game.
But unlike an NFL game, you can actually go on the field.
You are allowed to set your popcorn down, leave your seat, and walk past security. You are allowed to enter the field, put on a jersey, and get your ass in the game.
This is success. It is getting off your ass and doing the work.
95% of the world will never truly experience this feeling. It’s a shame, because they all could if they wanted to.
But the field is scary. The lights are bright. Instant replay is waiting to show the blooper reel, and no one wants to risk looking stupid.
Get out there. Do the work.
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