Have you seen the movie Limitless with Bradley Cooper? I’m a pretty big fan. I’d even go as far to say I have a man crush.
For the most part the film is about a down and out writer struggling with life who stumbles upon a drug that allows him to utilize his entire brain. Thus, he comes the perfect version of himself.
Well, I’m about to tell you why the movie has it ass-backwards and my good friend German Cormons has it all right.
German and I were on a mountain bike ride the other day and during some down time on the ride we started shooting the shit a little. Somehow the movie Limitless came up and German asked me what I thought about it. I said I loved the concept. The ability to use your entire brain to achieve limitless possibilities.
German said he was surprised by my response. He expected me to have a problem with it. He said the whole movie was about taking the easy way out, not putting in the hard work, and re-enforcing societies concepts that there are quick fixes.
1. Fad diets
2. All kinds of fat loss, muscle-building, and god knows what else pills you can pop
3. Get rich quick schemes
4. 7 minutes to abs or any other get ripped in only 2 minutes a day bull-shi*
Now he didn’t completely bash the movie. He also mentioned that he thought it was pretty sweet that the pill he took didn’t allow Eddie Mora to achieve anything and everything. Instead it allowed him to recall things and tap into knowledge he already had inside of him.
This got me thinking. Has “Hard-Work” become a dirty word? Something we have totally forgotten about, opting only for quick fixes and the easy way out for the fastest results possible?
How do you define hard work?
Steve Pavlina has a definition that I really like. “Hard work is that which challenges you.”
We tend to associate hard work with doing something we don’t enjoy, or feelings or struggle, exhausting effort. The majority of us can get caught up trying to do what is easiest and thus avoiding hard work at all costs.
It doesn’t have to be this way. Hard work can be fun and enjoyable if you focus your efforts in pursuing activities you love, are passionate about, or more importantly find meaning in. This is not to say that hard work will not be difficult even in pursuits of your joys. It most definitely can and will be at points in your life. The key is to find out what makes you come alive and put hard work into that.
One way to figure this out is to do as many things as possible that require hard work.
Developing the exercise habit.
Improving your nutrition habits to achieve body fat goals
Pursuing a business you want to start
Learning how to play an instrument or foreign language
Participating in your first triathlon
The list can really get extensive. The idea is to just try. Practice actually putting in the hard work. Before you know it it just becomes natural.
The mountains pretty empty at the top
Chris Waddell is the epitome of hard work (read his story here) (and watch this inspiriting video here). Long story short, in the fall of 2009, Waddell became the first paraplegic to summit Mt. Kilimanjaro unassisted. Yeah… unreal!
I don’t know how many have done it after him but my guess is not many. The idea here is that hard work actually makes you unique, different, and sets you apart from the majority.
The tougher the challenge the less competition there is at the top. Hard work scares the ba-jesus out of people. If you’re willing to put in the effort you may find that you are the only one doing so.
Sure you may fail, but what really is the worst case scenario? You fail, that’s about it. So row, row, row your boat gently down the “whoa-is-me” stream, pick yourself back up and take on the next big challenge.
Why don’t we do it
So many reasons hard work is an endangered species. For one, it’s easy to say I’ll start tomorrow or make up some other excuse to convince us it’s ok to put our dreams on hold.
My diet starts monday!
I’ll skip todays workout and start tomorrow.
My jobs not that bad. It pays the bills. Why risk starting my own business?
You get the idea.
It’s human nature to want to be accepted, comfortable, secure, and safe. It’s a challenge to shake things up. It takes hard work sometimes.
It’s hard work to stick to your fitness plan. To tell your friends you’re skipping the night of drinking till 2am so you can get your workout in.
It’s hard work to prepare meals (like bobby flay) every day.
It’s hard work, and scary to start your own business.
There are a million different reasons not to change. To not put in the hard work. But all you really need is one GOOD reason to change. Ask yourself this.
Are you being the person you truly strive to be on a daily basis?
If you answer no…. then put in the hard work!
There are more people out there not putting in the hard work in order to achieve there goals. Don’t get sucked in with the majority. Dare to be different. Dare to do great things!
So how do I work hard?
I’m sure you know how to put in hard work but here are a few tips to do it a little smarter.
1. Figure out “why” (don’t skip this video, ok!?) you want to do something, achieve something, why it is important to you. If you don’t know why you are putting in the hard work there’s a real good chance you’ll throw in the towel, get burned out, or get frustrated and see now point or light at the end of the tunnel.
2. Educate yourself. Read, watch, experience as many things as possible. Teach yourself as much as you can and challenge everything!
3. Reflect. Take time to sit back and think about what you are doing. It may serve as a little boost when you feel a little run down or are questioning the “why” behind the hard work. Sometimes a clear head and some time to remind yourself the reason the hard work is important will pick you up a little
4. Sleep. Seriously, hard work doesn’t mean you need to work around the clock. Take time to get rest. Not only will it make you more productive and effective it will keep you in a good mood.
5. Enjoy your leisure time. Take a break from the hard work to do something you really love. Maybe a solid surf session or a healthy dinner out with some friends.
6. Focus on the important things and delegate out the things that are not as important and consume too much time.
7. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Hard work does not mean you have to do everything on your own. Concentrate on your strengths and either educate yourself on the areas you are weakest or ask for help, hire, or team up with those that have strengths in areas you suck at.
In terms of your health and fitness do not measure your success by how quickly you achieve results. Sure it’s nice to get super strong really quick or to drop those pounds really fast but more importantly you want to do it the right way, keep the results over your life time, and feel good while doing it.
Skinny does not always equal healthy. Is your performance suffering, personal life suffering, hormonal balance suffering because you optioned for a “quick fix?”
We often tend to opt for instant gratification in life. Short cuts to everything.
Sure it’s totally sweet to get instant results but are you able to sustain it over the long haul. Were you able to learn anything through the experience, improve yourself, others, your life?
Quality over quantity. Or in this case quality results over immediate results.
What have you been putting off because it’s too hard? How can I help?