I had a Skype session with one of my online clients this morning. She works for the employment office so her job and the job of her staff is finding people jobs. And she said that she uses an analogy with them that is similar to one that is often used in fitness; she tells people she can help them but the reality is they have to do the work if they really want to find a job. She can present opportunities and suggestions, but they must do the work.
The same applies to my line of work. I can help people by designing customized fitness programs, providing nutrition support, offering unlimited emails etc., but none of it will work unless the client does the work and follows my recommendations.
This is true for everyone, and sometimes it’s hard. And, it’s even harder with the stuff you’d rather not do. Sure, it’s easy for me to work out and eat a healthy diet; I love it. But not so easy for the person who doesn’t enjoy it or for the person who has 50 pounds to lose and knows they can’t eat everything they want anymore.
Most of us face this inner battle every day, but we face it in different ways and in a variety of different areas.
I’m studying for the National Strength and Conditioning Association’s Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist certification. It’s an advanced certification, it’s not easy, and a lot of people fail the test. To prepare, I’ve told myself that I’m going to study every day for at least 30-45 minutes, and at that rate it’s going to take at least 3-4 months to prepare for it.
And the truth is there are some days I just don’t feel like doing it.
But the days that I’ve skipped my studying? I’ve always regretted them the next day because I know I didn’t own up and do the work. And nothin’ good comes from that.
That’s the irony of doing the work with the stuff we’d really rather not do. That double-edged sword comes from knowing you don’t necessarily enjoy doing it (whatever “it” is), but also knowing that completing it comes with a feeling of empowerment and great success.
For me, this is mostly because I feel better after I’ve done something that requires discipline, not just when it’s something I enjoy doing. It took me a long time to learn this.
That’s a big lesson for me for when I’m working with some of my clients. I have to keep in mind that this may be really hard work for them. That this is not fun. They know the feeling that waits for them down the road, but it seems so far away that the business of doing the work can fall to the wayside.
To be able to do the hard thing, the difficult thing, when we’d rather not. That’s one of the keys to self-fulfillment. Remember when your mom or dad said to you, “when are you going to grow up?”
Well, this is what they were talking about.
We all have our own personal kryptonite in this area, but there is one answer and it’s the same for all of us:
Do the work.