Work Harder

We live in a weak society.  It is what it is, and that’s not to say that everyone should be lifting 500 lb logs off the floor and pressing them overhead, but we’ve become pacified from the determination and hard work it takes to succeed in the world.  Everything we want is now at our fingertips. If we can’t have it, we can follow someone that does on about 10 different social media platforms. We are able to settle for our own mediocrity and lack of drive because you can look through a lens and live through someone else’s life instead.  We’re stuck wanting, wishing, and hoping that success comes our way in the future. And at this rate, it won’t.

Don’t fool yourself into thinking that you’ll be 26 with a lamborghini when your nights consist of boozing, netflix, and pizza for months on end.  If you look forward to Friday-Sunday more than you look forward to a week of challenges, you probably won’t achieve that. You may not be broke, but you won’t live the life you’re staring at on instagram all day any time soon.

Strength isn’t just a concept in the gym.  Strength includes mental toughness. I would argue that mental toughness is more of a factor of lifting a few hundred pounds on your back than physical prowess.  Mental toughness comes from the time under the bar, on the court, in the field, or in the office. It comes out of experience and failures. Without those, every situation is new and scary.  

If you’ve never squatted 100lbs and you get under the bar for the first time, it is going to feel heavy - VERY heavy.  But the best way to get better at something is to do it. Squat a few times a week for a few months and build up to that weight, and wa-la 150 lbs now feels lighter than 100 lbs did.  Did you get physically stronger? Sure. But it was the mental toughness that really got you there. Time under the bar made heavier and harder tasks feel easier. There’s a big difference between perceived difficulty and actual difficulty.  Most of us never have the chance to prove our perceptions wrong.

That’s the problem with the ease at which our whims are pleased.  We don’t have to work for anything anymore. We don’t even have to drive to the store to buy something.  It comes right to our door. We can work from home, get food delivered to our home, shop from home, workout in our home.  There’s no longer a reason to lift a finger anymore, and it’s to our detriment. In real life, the harder we work at something, the easier it becomes.  You study for one test, it’s tough. Study for 100, easy. You have one bad day, you need a bath and some candles afterward. You have a bad year, you push through it.  Your survival instinct kicks in, and you’re able to handle more than you thought possible.

That is what makes you strong.  Not how many supplements you take, what your arm looks like at the best angle in the best mirror in the best lighting, or how much people think you lift.  Strength comes from passionate, hard, and mentally breaking work.  Try it sometime, you’re probably stronger than you think you are.

Richard Saad