I’m going to tell you something that you already know. If you really want something, whether its a relationship, occupation, salary increase, a new car etc.. than you better be prepared to do whatever it takes. This principle has recently dawned on me. I am involved in a Strength and Conditioning Internship at Brock University and wrapped up 4 days of staff training about a month ago. During the training, we had a few skype interviews with some professionals in the sport performance industry who talked about their journey to get where they are now. What grabbed my attention was how many “unpaid hours” that these individuals put into crafting their best self in the sport performance realm. Internships, volunteering and coaching seemed to make up the bulk of their experience – something that resonated with me. It was an awakening because in reality no one wants to work unpaid hours if they don’t have to. I quickly understood that if Sport Performance is the field I want to enter, than I better be prepared to do what it takes. If that means working long unpaid hours or getting less than 6 hours of sleep a night, than that is what I am going to do because it’s part of the process and I love the process.
To quote Eric Thomas, “Everyone wants to be a beast until its time to do what beasts do”. Think about this… I bet you want that perfect relationship, but you’re not willing to do what it takes to have it. I bet you want that salary increase but you’re not putting in extra hours or going the extra step to give someone a reason to increase your salary. I bet you want a new car but you’re allocating funds to irrelevant areas. I bet you want to be a great sport performance coach, but you’re not following the blueprint. Whatever it is, there is a beast somewhere else doing what they need to do to get what they want, have what they want and be who they want – but right now it’s not you.
I want to leave you with a story that was brought to my attention about a year ago:
This is doing what it takes.
Born in 1820, Harriet Tubman was an abolitionist from the southern United States. Many know the story. She worked to end slavery and literally fuelled a movement prior to the American Civil War. Harriet was born into slavery with her parents in Maryland where she realized that the physical and mental abuse was no longer going to control her. In 1849, a breakthrough occurred where her “owner” died, which opened the door for an expedition out of the south to Philadelphia, or what many slaves would consider to be freedom. Harriet made it safely by means of the underground railway. Once in the Northern States she could have easily continued to make new roots and start a new, free life. Rather, she made it her duty to travel all the way back down to the south to bring more slaves to freedom. With a $300 dollar reward for return on her back, Harriet stayed the course and freed her family along with 60 other slaves by returning them to the North. Over many years to come Harriet was an activist, a leader and freed hundreds more from slavery. To this day she remains an icon.
Bringing others to freedom from slavery may not be the beast you want to tackle, and that’s fine. For most of us, we dream of much simpler aspirations. If Harriet was the beast of bringing slaves to freedom, what are you the beast of? Be a beast and leave your mark.