Castles Made of Sand Slip into the Sea Eventually***….
Recently at the YMCA gym one morning, a buddy of mine who is in his mid-60s, and as fit as anyone I personally know, shared with me that he was struggling to find his groove that morning. He just wasn’t feeling it. But of course, he was there anyway going through his workout. You don’t get to be in fabulous health in your 60s without working at it consistently for years and years (and not just the exercise part).
We talked through it for a few minutes, about how this was normal, how the work he was doing would get him back to the head space he was accustomed to, and I shared that I could completely relate because I have the same experience many days, and I take the exact same approach he does. I show up and do the work.
You see, if he or I only showed up at the gym when we were feeling like it, then we would not be fit, energetic, and healthy as a way of life. We wouldn’t enjoy the fruit of being able to fully invest ourselves in the relationships, work, causes, callings, etc. that we choose to do.
The principle that drives this is simple…
Never Sacrifice the Long Term for a Short-Term Gain; Always Start with the Long View
Most mornings, I would rather physically and emotionally stay in bed longer. Enjoy the comfort of the warm soft bed and push away all the things that in the moment of comfort I don’t want to deal with because I am waking up in an “Eeyore” state of mind.
If I did stay in bed, there would be short term comfort. Instant gratification. But then, something else would be sacrificed. For many, when they feel tired in the morning, and they had planned to go to the gym, they hit the snooze button and roll over.
And the short-term castle made of sand, slips into the sea of long-term health struggle. Because once you allow it to be okay, you have accepted that you’ll do it over and over. But when your actions in life are guided by principles and NOT feelings, you’ll accept the few groggy minutes, or the less than energized start as the moment’s price for the long-term fruit and you will move forward. In the long view, what needs to be done is rarely optional.
The proverb says: “The slack hand becomes poor, and the diligent hand makes rich.” That’s shortened but the meaning is still clear as a bell.
The slack hand does what is easy, and what is comfortable. The short view.
The diligent hand does what matters, consistently, day in and day out. The long view.
The richness and the poorness are not monetary by definition, they are states of being and can be related to any aspect of life.
There is nothing in my life that is of priority where I don’t take the long view. Nothing.
Because when you consistently take the long view, over time, your short views are pretty good.
You Got to Dig a Hole First
Does a tall tree have deep roots? Of course, it does, or it would no longer be a tall tree. It would be a laying down tree.
Just like a tree drives its roots into the ground before it starts going up, when you’re building a tall building, you have to dig DOWN first. You have to build a foundation that will support the structure. You have to be okay with the fact that no one from any distance can see any measurable progress for a while because you’re working on the part no one can see.
It’s Like This with Everything of Substance from Fitness to Business.
You have to have the long view. You have to do the fundamentals that build the rock of a foundation. You do the work that’s result is invisible much of the time.
You know what happens to the get rich quick castles. The gimmick weight loss and fitness castles. The baubles instead of time and attention relationship castles.
They ALL tumble down sooner or later and usually sooner.
But NOT the long-term, fundamental based, day-in and day-out, one step at a time, tortoise castles. They are made of rock and stand the test of time.
Here are three things to consider as you attempt to build the life you really want. They relate to getting your Mindset right for the long view. Mindset always must precede skillset.
The first thing is to be Grateful. Huh? How can I be grateful for what I haven’t got yet? Actually, you are doing just that. Just not the long view goals you’re working towards, but your state of being right this second. Here’s a few of the things I mean….
You “get to” go after the things you want. (Many don’t have this choice in this world)
You CAN go after the things you want. (Many have lost the ability and opportunity to)
You are FREE to pursue the life you want. (Many in the world have no idea that’s a thing.)
Your basic NEEDS are already met. (In terms of what’s truly important in life to survive and have joy, you are already set…if you’ll quit thinking about what you DON’ T have)
There’s plenty more you could be grateful for, but I’m just connecting this to the things you are going to work on.
The second thing is to set the proper expectation. Lasting results that are valuable take a while and involve lots of challenge and difficulty. Expect that. You don’t know what you don’t know and sometimes learning what you need to know is painful. Some of what you think you know is not true. That one hurts to learn too. You don’t always know how you’ll feel during an experience, and sometimes you’ll be scared, frustrated, irritated, and lots of other not very popular ways to feel. That’s life. If you don’t struggle, if you don’t feel like giving up at times, if you don’t doubt yourself, you are either not trying hard enough, or not trying at all. Building a foundation for a successful life IS the long game. The quitters either don’t grow up to accept that and keep trying to short cut the nature of life, or they wallow in the blame of how unfair it all is that it’s hard. Expect and embrace the long-term struggle, and over time, your struggles (there is never NOT some kind of struggle in a human life) will be on a completely higher plane of existence.
The final thing for now is simple: Resolve. This is simply a state of mind where you refuse to accept any excuse from yourself. You will only accept consistent effort towards what you are trying to bring into existence. This state of being removes the option to stop. It makes that option, and the future remorse of doing so, so painful to consider, that any amount of short term struggle is much more palatable.
Once you get to this third one, I can promise you from experience that it is only a matter of time, before whatever kind of life you truly want to live, and whatever kind of result you truly want to achieve, will start to become your reality.
And it all comes from the simple principle of the “Long View.”
I hope this is as helpful for you as it has been for me over the years.
***This comes from a song written by Jimi Hendrix
Many Blessings, Todd
P.S. If you are in need of coaching or training for your organization, reach out to me.
P.S.S. This principle, as well as the road map for your best life can be found in 3 Circles Living