“I hated every minute of training, but I said don't quit, suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion” – Muhammad Ali
Every now and then part of me wishes I was so talented I could just coast while achieving whatever I wanted to. However, I’m not and the perfectionist in me is never really satisfied with the standard I deliver with the things I’m reasonably good at and passionate about. This sees me caught with the challenge of trying to keep up and improve. I don’t consider this as a negative though. In fact, it’s something that’s essential to the makeup of me as a person that I’ve learned to use in a positive way.
I have great admiration for boxers. I’m amazed by their skill, commitment, level of fitness and the sheer brutality of the sport. What I really admire though is how boxing is a way out of poverty for many. Even if they start with just a dream, it’s something. Boxers truly embrace the grind despite the torturous training regime, hardships, the highs, the lows and little probability of striking it rich.
In our everyday lives, we often have things to do that aren’t glamorous or sexy. They’re more of a chore than anything. I don’t know of anyone who looks forward to ironing clothes or cleaning the bathroom or toilet at home. However, they need to be done. It’s a similar situation at work where there are some aspects of our role we’d much prefer to do than others.
Resist or embrace?
We get a choice of how we react by either resisting or embracing. Resisting likely leads to dissatisfaction, low performance or failure which contribute to work becoming a grind.
To maximise performance, we often must embrace the grind. Consider:
Your mindset – A positive mindset is the first step to enjoying work
Treating work as a game - Can you perform better than last time?
Focusing energies on achievement – Celebrate small and big wins
Maintaining energy – Managing energy is more important than managing time
Success requires a degree of elbow grease. While it might not seem like it at the time, even small steps go somewhere. Enjoy the moment by making the most of opportunities by ensuring your steps lead you to towards realising your bigger picture.