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Tag: perseverance

Doing Shit When You Don’t Feel Like Doing Shit

Doing Shit When You Don’t Feel Like Doing Shit

consistency – the quality of always behaving or performing in a similar way, or of always happening in a similar way

Consistency, ladies and gentlemen. It’s the twin-sister of durability, of discipline, of persistence, of grit. Their mother Conscientiousness and father Steadfastness did an awesome job. I’ll use them interchangeably here. Why am I writing about this? The reason is two-fold.

The first reason is that I had this subject written down in my subject list for this magnificent blog for a while now. I am convinced that consistency is a much better predictor of achieving what you want in life than intelligence is. Intelligence without a certain amount of action is, of course, useless. There always has to be some form of action to produce something. And of course, I’m not telling anything new here. I think we all know that guy who invented, among some other things, the quote: “Genius is one per cent inspiration, ninety-nine per cent perspiration”.

Genius is one per cent inspiration, ninety-nine per cent perspiration ~ T. Edison

A great example is a girl I had in my class when I went to university (for the first time). She had two diploma’s already! She climbed up the education ladder to get to university. And with all due respect to her, but she wasn’t the smartest of the bunch. But the point of this article is that exactly that doesn’t matter! She worked her ass off and to be honest, she kicked mine!

Consistency in action
He looks quite consistent…

The second, and most important, reason is the fact that I’m without inspiration the whole week already (although I have a huge subject list ready for use). And without inspiration, motivation lacks too. Without motivation, it is hard to be prolific. To be prolific, you have to be consistent. The circle is complete.

It sucks to be without inspiration! But it happens. And if you want to reach a certain goal, especially if they’re a bit bigger, you’ll have to deal with it. I think the magic trick is to search for a drop of consistency in your body somewhere in the very moment of shortage of inspiration and motivation, and just start, see where it goes. Or maybe the other way around, maybe you’re able to find a drop of inspiration to get on that consistency track again. Josh Waitzkin (author of The Art of Learning) once stated that “growth comes at the point of resistance“. This is such a point.

If you don’t feel like running, go run. If you don’t feel like practicing your violin, go practice. If you don’t feel like completing your assignment, go complete it. If you don’t feel like writing, go and write. Growth comes at the point of resistance.

Timeless wisdom

SO!! Now comes the part where I share my timeless wisdom with the world, so that it can be a better place and flourish forever and eventually there will be world peace. So listen closely. I think there are two sorts of categories to keep your consistency. Let’s call them ‘fast carbs’ and ‘slow carbs’. Fast carbs are a quick fix, slow carbs are in there for the long run, just like with real carbs (what a coincidence). Here’s a short, non-exhaustive list

  • Fast carbs
    • Quotes. Quotes might be cheesy, or cliche. But oftentimes they come from very smart and/or cunning people who have some serious thinking power or a treasure full of experience. It’s the smallest summary of knowledge you can get.
    • (Parts of) Speeches. See previous, only a bit less byte-sized.
    • Excercise. Do 50 jumping jacks, or 20 push ups, or sit-ups. Whatever makes you happy! You’d be surprised how much difference 2 minutes can make.
    • Music. This worked when I didn’t want to go out ten years ago and people wanted to persuade me. Maybe you can use it for something that’s actually useful… (Sports for example?)
    • Just do the first 5 minutes.
CARBS! Source: The Rock/Twitter
CARBS!
Source: The Rock/Twitter
  • Slow carbs
    • A goal. If you have a goal that really, REALLY, resonates with you. A goal you really believe in. One you want to achieve no matter what. (This one might not come as a surprise).
    • Accountability. The good old “stick behind the door”, as we say in our precious Holland. The responsibility you have towards others serves as a propeller as well. Thanks Michel! And thank you too, thousands of potential readers!
    • Pat on your back. Celebrate your wins. Reflect in the morning on the things you’re happy you did the day before. (CAVEAT: a hint of consistency is needed to be able to apply this, could evolve into a virtuous circle though)

I’m off for a run… Don’t feel like it at all though! Cheers!

 

Did you guys like it?! Then like it! And more important, complete, adjust or diminish my ‘timeless wisdom’. Do you feel left out in the open? Teach us! (and don’t forget to like us on FB, thanks!)

 

Why do we Endure? Perseverance and Grit

Why do we Endure? Perseverance and Grit

“History is written by the victors.”

Winston Churchill

The past months I’ve seen a lot of roads, airports, and hotel rooms. I am almost regarding Germany as my second home after putting in a solid 12.000 km last three months. I have to skip sleeping, down time, and my BJJ classes. All things I’d rather not, but I made a conscious decision.

I made a decision to go full steam ahead for a business I am helping to build. We install pineapple-cutting machines in supermarkets, and the business is getting more and more traction. The whole operation rests on a small team, and I am (literally) flying all over the place to fix, promote, and sell. I am not even getting paid that much, especially if you consider the hours I put in. I need to have broad shoulders to carry all the responsibility and deal with the pressure. Without sales, the company will not lift off. My job; get it off the ground, no matter what. Use your business school background and your entrepreneurial spirit to get it done.

Why do I do it?

A question I sometimes ask myself when after a tough weekend promoting our machine at an event, without any sale.

Why not just quit?

When I am really having a hard time I might think this, especially when I have to pass on the BJJ class a second time on a row or leave the evening for work again.

Why put yourself through all this?

Cutting back on sleep is kryptonite to me, and I feel less energetic. And knowing that my girlfriend hears me getting out of bed to get in the car at 5 in the morning, and being away from home until the next evening makes me a bit sad.

Why you ask? The power of perseverance or grit.

Perseverance:

“continued effort to do or achieve something despite difficulties, failure, or opposition: the action or condition or an instance of persevering: steadfastness”

Grit:

“firmness of mind or spirit: unyielding courage in the face of hardship or danger managed to survive by his grit and guile”

When I was young I had some talents. I had some interests. And I had some goals. I also didn’t really go all in. I just kind of did this, and kind of did that. I don’t feel sorry, I have done a lot of cool things, and will keep doing them. But there’s missing this one thing. This big achievement. Something that puts me to the ultimate test. A thing that will push me down, again and again. This thing that is unforgiving, doesn’t care if I have talent, interests, or goal. This thing will kick me when I’m down and under, but will give me the ultimate reward when I persist and endure. This business venture is that thing.

I remember this quote:

“Be like a postage stamp. Stick to one thing until you get there.”

– Josh Billings

It’s kind of stupid, but it really captures the feeling I have writing this article. There is something magical about holding on to something. Going further than others are willing to go. Working harder than you actually think is possible. Doing more and dreaming bigger than you ever did. Read a book about people that achieved something, and you will learn they persisted, and showed grit in times of trouble. Nothing worth having comes easy. So the message to myself every single day is, persevere.

 

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