Success = Doing The Hard Things

Do The Hard Thing - Johnny Business

I usually like to provide my own content to the blog however, I recently came across Dan Waldschmidt‘s site with a fantastic post called “You Have To Do The Hard Things” that really spoke to me. He discusses doing the tough things that we all probably know we should do in order to achieve the levels of accomplishment we strive for.

It reminded me of a quote from Mark Twain that has become a recent mantra of mine. Twain said that:

“Eat a live frog first thing in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.”

To me this meant tackling the things in my day or week that I didn’t want to do straight away and then everything else after that gets easier. I used to procrastinate when I had something difficult coming up and I would try to either distract myself or put it off until I absolutely couldn’t anymore. I began to recognize and take steps to overcome this problematic approach when I read Julien Smith‘s book The Flinch. Julien posits that the “flinch factor” is a defense mechanism from our evolution that is short-circuiting in our modern times. He goes on to explain that, to succeed, you often need to face the challenge ahead directly and that the flinch, cringe, procrastination leading up to that challenge is most often worse than the real event itself.

All three of the aforementioned references conclude on a single point: success isn’t easy and, in order to achieve, you first need to face your challenges head on, without fear. Below is the list of “Hard Things” from Dan’s website. He also has a book coming out called “EDGY Conversations” that I am looking forward to reading that goes into this topic in more detail.

Dan’s “Hard Things” List:

  • You have to make the call you’re afraid to make.
  • You have to get up earlier than you want to get up.
  • You have to give more than you get in return right away.
  • You have to care more about others than they care about you.
  • You have to fight when you are already injured, bloody, and sore.
  • You have to feel unsure and insecure when playing it safe seems smarter.
  • You have to lead when no one else is following you yet.
  • You have to invest in yourself even though no one else is.
  • You have to look like a fool while you’re looking for answers you don’t have.
  • You have to grind out the details when it’s easier to shrug them off.
  • You have to deliver results when making excuses is an option.
  • You have to search for your own explanations even when you’re told to accept the “facts”.
  • You have to make mistakes and look like an idiot.
  • You have try and fail and try again.
  • You have to run faster even though you’re out of breath.
  • You have to be kind to people who have been cruel to you.
  • You have to meet deadlines that are unreasonable and deliver results that are unparalleled.
  • You have to be accountable for your actions even when things go wrong.
  • You have to keep moving towards where you want to be no matter what’s in front of you.