How To Enjoy The Grind Without Even Trying
“How to be successful at x” is one of the most searched for topics. Lately I’ve come to not surprising realization that most things that I’m successful in I enjoy doing. What’s even more obvious – I tend to do more of the things that I like and less of those that I don’t. But it wasn’t always that way. In the beginning I did some things even if they were hard. What kept me going? How I grew to like them?
As a great T-Nation quote says “dedication displaces the constant need for motivation“. Sometimes I had to remind myself why I’m doing what I’m doing and towards what I’m working that hard. Still, dedication isn’t enough if you don’t feel deep inside that you’re doing the right thing. Without those two you won’t ever like any sort of grind. And without grind there are no prizes worth anything.
People tend to approach their goals in a backwards way. If you’re just “exercising and dieting” and you pick the food you hate eating and exercises that are easy and corrective at best you’re making two of the biggest mistakes you can. Doing those exercises will feel like you’re not trying and you won’t stick with eating tasteless junk. You’re setting yourself to fail despite how it looks from the outside. You’ll quit pretty fast.
Quitting is much easier than going despite failures. Giving up is an exit from the road of hard work but unfortunately that exit won’t get you anywhere near success.
Pick the exercises that are demanding and are making you feel better and you’ll feel the rush of endorphins and sense of achievement after every single workout. This in turn will keep you going and dedication will kick in. Fixing diet is even easier – just don’t put yourself in a position where you can fail. Learn what’s healthy, satiating and tasty then prepare your own meals and you’re good to go. I’ve never seen someone not enjoying the diet consisting of lots of meat, green vegetables, nuts and fats. Everything is easy to do when you’re enjoying it. And if you find a temptation too appealing – avoid it. I stopped drinking occasional beer in the evening just by not having any in the fridge. That’s avoiding failure or setting yourself up for success if you like to put it that way.
That recipe lacks one very important ingredient – the goal towards which you’re working. Contrary to what most people say it’s more difficult working towards hard goals. “I’ll lose 10 kg in 3 months” isn’t wise things to say. Any setback and you’ll sense failure or quit. What’s even worse if you could exceed your expectations – you won’t. You’ll stop at the 10 kg. But think about something like “I’ll modify my lifestyle in such way that I’m losing weight by eating healthy things that I like and exercising regularly” and you’re got to go. Almost. Prioritize your goals and be honest – if career is more important for you than your health (WTF?) then arrange them in that order.
If you’re not doing everything you can to achieve your vision then let’s face it – it’s not something you really want. Be brutally honest with yourself. If your vision is to taste every beer on the planet – pursue it relentlessly.
When it comes to measurable things it’s far too easy to set up a hard goal. “I want to deadlift two times my bodyweight” is an example of that. It’s good as a secondary guidance in picking up the exercises – just don’t add a deadline for it and remember that it needs to be constantly updated to be somewhat unachievable. Then all you need is to put this high enough on your list so your dedication will kick in and then rework that statement into a system to succeed. Magic.
Let’s take it back to daygame. You have to have your target goal that you’re aiming at but will (probably) never achieve. That frees your from sense of failure when you’re not there yet. Maybe “vision” is a better word meaning the optimal desired future state. My vision is “having more opportunities to see, date and sleep with hot girls than time to do that while doing minimum amount of pickup”. Things I do brings me closer to that vision yet I’m pretty sure it’s unachievable.
What “dedication” means in this context? That vision is currently number three on my list of goals (“visions”). You should never have more and always have them ranked. Any time I have an opportunity to pursue things that are ranked higher I do them. I’m just honest with myself and what I really want. If there are no ways to pursue more important things – I do daygame, date, write, tweet, coach, publish infields, give advice online.
If that seems like a hard work then you’ve obviously missed the How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big by Scott Adams. You don’t feel that way if you’re constantly putting yourself in a position to succeed (or at the very least doing something regularly). Every day after work I’m taking the long route through the city center and do daygame there. I’m scheduling dates so they don’t collide with my gym. I’m making it convenient for me to meet and date girls.
If you’re going straight back home each day and you can’t find the willpower to go out and daygame then you’re setting yourself up to fail. You don’t need more willpower, you just need to stay away from home.
Another example: I enjoy writing and I’m dedicated to write 5 posts per month. I don’t even have a schedule. Whenever I think of something that I’d like to share – I make a note. Whenever I’m near a keyboard and I have some time to spare – I write using the notes (hence I don’t have “no topic” excuse). Of course in that time I could watch gazillion YouTube videos but last time I checked it doesn’t bring me closer to achieving anything.
The last element is the enjoyment. Yes, daygame sometimes sucks but for those moments where it sucks you just employ burnout strategies and use your dedication. Look at the list of your visions, reevaluate them. If daygame is still making the top three – great. Grind your teeth and push through. If you’ve done everything right – you’ve learned the basics, you practiced the model, you’re constantly putting yourself in position where you just can talk to girls – then you’ll enjoy successes too. Great interactions, dates, kisses, sex, even relationships – all that makes everything worth the occasional grind. If you’re failing – fix it, if you’re winning – keep going.
So “how to be successful at x”? As usual the answer is very simple to understand and very hard to implement: be dedicated, put yourself in the position to succeed and enjoy the process. Whether it’s your daygame, gym or your life.