Winners Want the Process, Not the Prize

“The summit is for the ego, the journey is for the soul.”

You know when you’ve had a long day, or an argument with a family member, or even when you’re celebrating a promotion and you circle around the dessert table and after about seven minutes you pick up a brownie and take a bite and then you keep eating it and you don’t even know why and you don’t taste it anymore (it doesn’t even taste good!) and you’re only feeling pissed at yourself for having taken that first bite in the first place!?

You know what I’m talking about. And you know why you get so pissed eating that brownie? Because you let your mind win! You had goals, needed to stick to your nutrition or training plan, and you talked yourself out of it. You gave in. You didn’t earn it. You broke.

We live in a world of instant gratification and overnight successes. There is an illusion that the faster, easier, less complicated way is better. But it’s not. I guarantee that if I gave you all $1 Million right now you might appreciate it for about an hour (okay, maybe a week); you will think your dreams have been realized and that you got the feeling of success you were after – but that’s just not true. You didn’t earn it. If you don’t earn it, it doesn’t feel nearly as good. In fact, you may even get depressed or frustrated by being handed what you thought you wanted. What you were really after was the growth, the learning opportunity, and the experience, not the cash!

Let me give you a couple of examples. Did you know when people win the lottery, that they are in a worse off financial position after 10 years than before they won!? It’s because they did not earn the right, they did not become who they needed to be in order to handle that kind of money. The same happens to professional athletes. Have you noticed how many go bankrupt? They are handed million dollar contracts without having gone through the girt and grind of building a financial model or the financial knowledge in order to manage it properly.

Whether you eat a brownie that you weren’t supposed to, had an unexpected windfall, or took off three unplanned days of workouts, it might feel good in the moment, but you are going to be kicking yourself later.

Being handed what you think you want is never really what you want.

Success is hard; it’s a struggle. This isn’t the first time we’ve talked about this, but I think it bears repeating. Those “overnight” successes? They worked their asses off. You have to choose your struggle. Choose what you will say no to, and consequently, choose what you will say yes to. When you look back ten years from now and see the struggle, the grind, the success, the failure, the results, the setbacks, etc. that you had along the way you will be thankful for those experiences and the journey. I never fear losing money or going bankrupt, because I know that I have the knowledge and skills to build it back up again, no matter how fall I’ve fallen. Because I’ve done it before. If success had just been handed to me, I wouldn’t be able to say that, nor would I have the confidence to go out there, take risks, write checks, and break necks.

You’ve got to earn the right to success. Sure, it gives you more credibility in the marketplace, but more so, it gives you the confidence you need to get shit done and to weather the storm. On your journey you must find models (and role models), systems, and rules to guide you which all starts with daily habits and activities. It’s not going to be easy, but nothing really worth having ever is. Find the biggest and best habits to support your journey, your struggle, your growth, so that when you do get there, when you do earn that right, you’ll be able to enjoy every bite.

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