"Grind For Ours"
I think it’s about 30 years or so that the word “grind” has been used extensively to describe people’s effort to pursue the thing they most want at any given time.
The word itself is harsh and describes a sort of unpleasantness where two objects meet in a way that creates friction and the end result could be like the gears in a car engine without oil, it seizes and won’t work anymore. Or, it can sharpen like steel, into a point that is useful and maybe even impressive.
The result of the grind, whether you’re left unable to move or left sharpened and ready for action, is up to how you direct your energy and take control of your grind.
Follow this week as we look at the grind we all face and the aspects that can help us release our champion!
1. IT'S NOT ALWAYS FUN, BUT IT'S ALWAYS WORTH IT.
No matter what we want out of life, it’s going to take work to get it. That’s the trade off. You have skills and time. You want vacation, time with family, a bigger paycheck, whatever. You trade your skills and time in pursuit of those other things in exchange. And the bridge between the two is the work we must do to get there.
The grind is that it’s constant. The need to work for what we want never ends. What we want may change. Our skills may change. The need to use those skills to get what we want, that never changes. It’s a grind.
And as we continue on whatever path we have chosen, there are moments that we’ll dislike something, there will be times of frustration and displeasure. That’s also certain.
What separates the people who have achieved their dreams and continue to achieve their new goals from the people who seem to just never catch any breaks, is typically a willingness to fight through and continue to grind during the moments of unhappiness or doubt or any of those other negatives. If it were easy, everyone would do it. It’s not easy. It’s worth it!
2. WHEN IT RAINS, GRAB AN UMBRELLA
We all know those people, they seem to have a sixth sense or just something embedded in their DNA. They will find a problem for EVERY solution. Matter of fact, they probably will have 5 more on top on that. They are cynical and uninspired but masquerade as “realistic.”
Luckily, there are other people who belong to their own group on the other end of the spectrum. They will work to find a solution for any problem, believing anything is possible.
To be a champion, I think it’s obvious which group we must belong to. And I get that we all come to this journey at our own pace, so I’m not saying those on the cynical side are not welcome. Not at all. They are the people maybe most needing to hear the message. We must exercise patience and understanding. We must be here to support when they eventually join us.
It is our duty to instill in them the knowledge that we know so well. When it rains, excuses get you soaked. Complaints will leave you dripping wet and miserable. Solutions, the difficult work, the umbrella so to speak, will keep you dry and let you keep going.
And the crazy, ironic, mind-blowing thing of it is this… most of what you complain about today, you’ll be wishing you had the ability or opportunity to do it once it’s gone. Retired athletes need an outlet for their competitiveness. You, as well, will find when the grind stops, the music is no longer playing, where and when will you dance again? Don’t take your chance to grind for granted. Embrace it and roll!
3. GET WIN WHERE YOU FIT IN
As we know, hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard. Now, there may be some extreme examples like Kareem Abdul Jabbar probably beats me at basketball no matter how much harder I work at it than he does. But, we don’t throw away the general concept for the occasional outlier. Rather we understand that to get what we want is to win. To win we must work. The work is the grind. It’s really interesting how so many of these lessons are really just like math. They hold true wherever there are people.
The best way I’ve found to put myself in the position to win and achieve what I want is to look at those who came before me. To take the parts of their experience and path that make sense for my own and just follow those same steps. Life is hard but it doesn’t have to be complicated. The grind is hard and puts pressure on us. It doesn’t also have to be calculus.
Start from the end and work backwards. Define what a win is for you. What does that look like. Then what do the steps to get there look like. Then, what does where you are right now look like. How do you get from point A to point B? That’s your grind. The sooner you get on it, the sooner you get toward it and the sooner you get that win. Go win!
4. GRIND FOR MIND
Because the concept of working for what we want is so natural to us, we learn to create our lives around the moments when we must focus and get after it. What that means is that as we push through our journey and understand that we keep the machine going even through displeasure, we get used to it.
When you lift weights your hands may develop callouses. Your body isn’t used to that friction and your skin builds up a hard defense. In the same way, the more you grind and push yourself the more you get your mind and body accustomed to the work.
Eventually, you own it like any other part of your life. And when it’s gone, you may be in a state of chaos. All your attention was focused on this goal, this win, this outcome. What happens when it’s gone? You need other outlets.
And these other outlets that provide a space for our energy, for our attention, keep us stable. We get to a point where we feel a need to stay busy. We need something to do. So, at times we must create a grind of sorts to keep us from going crazy. Our families need us to.
For me it’s the gym. Putting in that work, seeing the results and feeling the results, helps me clear my mind and be sharper for the next challenge. Maybe it’s not the gym for you but some other activity that is in itself a grind but at the same time is helping keep you balanced and centered mentally. Grind on!
Part of our experience as people is an enjoyment of food. Celebrations are almost always accompanied by some sort of special meal. After a long day with a lot of success, we often treat ourselves to a great meal. During periods of heartbreak and self-doubt, we medicate with food. Man, food is just a part of our lives and beyond simply keeping us alive. We love to eat food that tastes good.
So, make sure you do. Make sure you set aside time to nourish your body but also get those pleasure receptors in the brain going with the food you love.
To stay on this grind and get to your destination, you have to take some enjoyment out every now and then. You have to allow yourself a moment to just soak in some good stuff.
Then you’ll be ready to get back at it and looking forward to the next celebration, the next moment to smile, the next ultimate cheeseburger from Jack in the Box!
Thank you for following along all week as we looked at the grind, the process, that we must follow to achieve what we want in our championship journey. The grind is a necessary aspect to success. But it doesn’t have to break us down. Rather, it can and should sharpen us.
“Life is struggle and struggle is life. Misery is optional.”
"What I believe, will be!
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