Push past the pain period
…adopting Habits of Billionaires and Highly Successful People
By Aditi Raman Shridhar
That award for your talent, that pay-cheque for your hard work, that level of creativity you always wanted to reach, that dream event you got invited to with all the successful people, that person whose life you turned around with your talent, that child you inspired with your work ethic and that expansion you feel when you reach your goals: have you really wanted these badly enough that you paid whatever fee it cost to get you there?
“I want to be in the top, most creamy bracket of people in this world and I am ready to pay the full membership fee for it,” says world famous psychologist Marisa Peer. “Most people don’t want to pay it and so they cannot get there even if they want it,” she says.
The amount of work you put into improving yourself and your craft is the fee you pay to become the best in the world. It means there is relentless work and time management and scaling peak after peak in your personal health, relationships and career. But why does a relentless pursuit of goal become impossible for a majority of people?
The reason is that whenever we begin a new habit, say brushing our teeth before sleeping at night, exercising our body for more tone and fitness or adopting healthier and nutritious meals, there is always a pain period that starts setting in after a week of starting the new activity. This pain is not only physical but also emotional and it tests your patience and will power. This is because the mind does not feel inclined to continue the activity which is new and unfamiliar to it and therefore it makes you stop and procrastinate the activity.
Sooner or later the individual gives up on toning his/her body that they started with so enthusiastically or switch to junk food after a week of healthy diet and the goal is never reached.
And this is the only thing that makes all the difference between successful and unsuccessful people. Successful people always, always and always push past the ‘pain period’!
Hollywood actor, professional bodybuilder, filmmaker and politician Arnold Schwarzenegger discusses Pain Period as being the limits that one needs to break down in order to grow and expand one’s horizon and achieve the goals. “I knew that if I gave up on my dreams, I would live my life with a sense of perpetual regret, always second-guessing what could have been. So I kept at it; I tried a numerous ways to enhance both my mindset and my performance, and eventually, I started to see some improvement. I kept pushing the envelope further and went on to drastically improve my grades, develop a business, start a cancer-prevention organization and score highly on the MCAT. Yet, I still know I could be doing much more,” he says.
Armed with this knowledge, appreciate the fact that achieving remarkable success is something that every single person is capable of doing. This isn’t a factor that some people have and others do not. This is something that you currently possess, have always possessed, and likely will always possess. The only factor is you; are you willing to go through the pain period?
HOW TO PUSH THROUGH
Many psychologists mention working with the best of the best in sports, movies, music, business and so on and they talk about certain mindsets that these winners possess. Marisa Peer gives an example of working with Olympic athletes and regularly uses them as a point of reference to explain what a winning mindset means.
She says that when people see athletes winning medals, they don’t see the hard work, grit and determination that went behind the scenes.Ask any Olympic medalist how they feel about getting up at the crack of dawn to train in the cold and in the dark or how much pain and sacrifice they have endured in order to reach their level of success. They will tell you that this is the part of their job that they don’t like but they knew it was what they had signed up for. If I was to ask them would they trade it for a different career they will say no, never. You see, contrary to popular belief, disliking or even hating some parts of your job does not mean you’ve picked the wrong one.
Even that ideal job we dream of having will have its downsides. If you really want to aim for a top career, you will need to accept there will still be parts of it you dislike or don’t enjoy. Just as an athlete must take grueling and often punishing training schedules to acquire the necessary fitness levels to win those medals. Just as a movie star must spend long hours of solitude learning scripts and endure long shoots in difficult locations away from home for months on end.
In his book Born for This, Chris Guillebeau talks about the Joy-Money-Flow model: “winning the career lottery,” he says, “happens at the intersection between work that you like to do, work that supports and sustains you financially, and work that you’re really good at.” In short, it’s possible to do a job you love and get paid for it, but inevitably you’ve got to put the effort in and sometimes that means doing things you really don’t want to do, don’t like and don’t enjoy.
SUCCESS LOVES DETERMINATION
The people who are the most successful are the people who stick to their goals, no matter how often they must do tasks and jobs that they dislike in order to get there. Such people understand that although we live in a society which is continually looking for the next best hack, the only way to derive success for the long term is to work at it. This means that there’s no one trick to get us to our goals, but rather a steely determination to get the job done.
Sacrifice is the key word here. Everything we do in our lives involves a sacrifice of some sort. Whether that be in our roles as parents, partners, friends or workers, life will regularly hand us restrictions and force us to decide or balance up our options. Yet, if we care enough and want it enough, we’ll be more successful by working through those tougher of times.
For the Olympic athlete, building resistance means pushing through the pain threshold to get the best training times. Whereas for those of us working, it means doing those tedious tasks that we may feel are below us and are often unrewarding. It’s all about persisting when faced with situations we really don’t like and seeing things through to completion rather than only applying ourselves to the tasks we like and enjoy.
REDSESIGN YOUR BELIEFS
So many people believe they can find that perfect job which will offer complete satisfaction at all times and that will neither feel like nor require hard work in return. Unfortunately, by developing this mindset, you are fooling yourself. Nothing, not even your dream job, can be pleasurable or uplifting all the time, and if you don’t believe and accept this you set yourself up to feel deluded and disappointed.
Instead, by redesigning your current life and working to make subtle changes, you can turn this mindset around and use it to your advantage. This is a vital and much needed technique for anyone when looking for a new job or wanting to maximize the enjoyment of your current job. Just as an athlete can’t win events without training, neither can a professional or entrepreneur succeed without doing tasks they dislike. Once you train your mind to accept this, you give yourself a much better mindset when facing those tasks you don’t like.
When you find yourself faced with tasks you hate or actively dislike the key to success is to do them first. All successful people share in common a trait of doing the things they don’t want to do first. They understand that getting the jobs that we hate done first makes us feel like a winner because we are immediately free from the dread of having to attend to them later rather than have them weigh heavily on our mind through the day. When you attend to unwanted tasks first you feel good about yourself all day because you are free to get on with doing what you enjoy and do best.
Aditi Raman Shridhar is an Indian writer and health & wellness instructor.