Blog Post Title, "Even if it's hard" and Man Contemplating

Even If It’s Hard

How do we accomplish a big task, even if it’s hard?

Over the weekend, I was having a conversation with my son about completing one of his tasks for the day. He was supposed to be emptying the dishwasher by himself, and it happened to be particularly full this time.

He didn’t want to because it was hard.

Later that day, he had the same problem with math.

The next day, it was laundry.

Today, we faced it again with a math test.

Each and every time he was tasked with something difficult, he was tasked with the necessity to push through, overcome, and do it, even if it’s hard.

Ironically, he’s not the only one struggling with that. A year ago, I wanted to quit doctoral school because of the same reason.

Recently, I was talking to a client about implementing change. She gave the same reason why she couldn’t.

“Hard” and its close relatives, “difficult”, “demanding”, and “challenging” all seem to elicit a desire to quit. Blog Post Title and Man Contemplating

That’s true whether you are seven (like my son) or seventy (like my client). Throughout life, we will be tasked with the hard and difficult things. Doubly so in a leadership position.

My guess is, you’ve uttered that phrase once or twice before in your life.

When you’re ready to break through barriers, experience growth, or even if you just have to do it anyway, I want to help.

Three Ways To Accomplish A Task, Even If It’s Hard

Realize All You’ve Done Before

You’ve literally made it through 100% of the difficult things in your life up to this point. You’ve got a mound of evidence proving that you can do difficult things.

You came into this world unable to bathe, clothe, or feed yourself. You also couldn’t walk, talk, or read. The fact that you’re here, visiting this blog (my sincerest thanks for that one too) means you can probably accomplish most — if not all — of those tasks by yourself.

Less than three months from graduating from doctoral school, I told my wife I wanted to quit. It was legitimately the hardest thing I had ever done. Faced with a growing business and other leadership responsibilities, I was overwhelmed. Deep down, I also knew I had to do it if for no other reason than to set an example for my kids. They will someday be faced with “the hardest thing” that they ever need to do, and I don’t want to set the precedent that we quit when things get hard.

I looked at my track record for completing hard tasks, realized I had a 100% batting average, and stuck it out. Three months later, we celebrated the hard work and sacrifice we all put into my graduation weekend.

Practice Grit

Angela Duckworth, in her stellar book Grit, defines grit as, “passion and perseverance for long-term goals.” We’ve all got passion when we start a project. That’s rarely the place we fail.

Instead, it’s the perseverance we struggle with. Having to overcome obstacles, develop creative solutions, and grow in resiliency kills more dreams than a lack of passion.

Once a long-term goal has been identified, strategize key ways to grow in both passion and perseverance. For our son and his need to fold laundry, it’s about the long-term goal of adulthood. My wife and I have always been very open (with them and with others) that our primary objective is not to raise kids. Instead, we are in the process of raising adults. Guess what? Adults take responsibility, own their shit, and do their laundry. Even when it’s hard.

Make it Manageable

Tasks, especially meaningful and significant ones, can feel overwhelming. The good news is that you don’t have to eat that elephant in one bite.

Distill big dreams and goals into smaller chunks. Then, take those chunks and make them into daily, manageable tasks. Even if it’s hard, you’ll experience growth.

When I was starting out in coaching, I didn’t have an email list. I fretted over that. Every internet expert tells you the secret to growth is an email list. Because I didn’t have one, especially a large one, I delayed even attempting to start one.  

Guess how big my list got? It stayed at zero. For a long time. Until I got over the fact that I needed one hundred thousand people to subscribe. I also didn’t need a webpage, a Facebook page, or a book on the New York Times Bestsellers List. Instead, I focused on getting one. Then another.

Along the way, daily tasks became, “write a blog post” and “Hold a Facebook Live.” Along the way, and at each step, my email list grew.

Now? I’m regularly adding people. While I’m not to my goal yet, I’m closer than I was when I felt compelled to have everything together first.

Plus, the best part? You can totally join this list for FREE. I call it my High-Performers List and it’s full of weekly updates, insights, and the key tools I use with my clients. Just click here to join.

Set goals. Make them actionable. Make them relevant. Make them engaging. Then, make progress. (Because we never knock progress).

Wrapping Up

While that’s certainly not everything we could talk about, it’s a great start. The next time you (or someone you know) utters the phrase, “But it’s hard” here is how you make progress. Stop the negative self-talk and assess the situation.

1.) You’ve already won 100% of life’s previously difficult battles and you’re stronger because of it.

2.) You have an amazing chance to practice grit.

3.) Distill the goal down to manageable tasks and take action.

You got this. I believe in you. Even if it’s hard.

One Thing

One of the things I give every coaching client is the “High-Performance Scorecard.” It’s a postcard-sized printout designed to be carried with them in their day-planner or another medium that works for them.

It reinforces many of the mental habits we talk about, keeps them focused on their goals, and gives them “check-in” techniques when they are feeling distracted.

But there’s also one focus item on there that says, “What’s one thing I did today to pursue my goals: ______________________”

After spending hours designing this scorecard, I think this is one of the most important questions on there.

Why?

Because, as a High-Performer training other high-performers, here’s what I’ve learned: we have trouble acknowledging the day-in-day-out habits of success.

I have big dreams. I write them down, track them, andmeticulously refine them to be perfect.

But if I’m honest, some days (more than I care to admit) I think “But what did I really do to get closer to my goals?”

In the day-in-day-out grind of the entrepreneurial life, I often feel like I don’t do things of consequence.

Writing a blog is a part of my business, nothing heroic.

Same with coaching a client.

And Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and email.

Networking is hard but necessary, so nothing special there.

And that’s precisely my problem. When I can convince myself that nothing matters then nothing ends up mattering.

So I put that question in the scorecard to remind my clients that what you do absolutely matters, 100% of the time.

Because what’s the alternative? Not writing the blog post? Now that would be a tragedy.

Not coaching, not engaging in social media, and not networking would mean the end to my business.

So in reality, it’s those little things that do matter. It’s the little things that add up to big wins. Big wins lead to success.

Success is what my clients pay me for.

Never Knock Progress

One of the mindsets I’ve had to change in myself, and one I work hard on my clients with, is that of the daily routine. In the scorecard, it’s a built-in process. At the end of every day, you acknowledge a success, however seemingly small or insignificant, and champion the work done.

And no matter how small a victory, I tell them, “It’s progress, and we never knock progress.”

It’s a great way to combat fatigue, discouragement, and frustration. By remembering the one thing we did today, we’re encouraged to do one more thing tomorrow.

Day after day.

Week after week.

Month after month.

Year after year.

Until all of a sudden, we realize that we’ve made our own version of success.

That’s why we celebrate one thing.

That’s why we never knock progress.


What’s one thing you would tell someone facing discouragement or disillusionment in chasing their dream?

 

Want to receive my Mental Performance Scorecard? For a limited time, I’ve giving it away to all email newsletter subscribers (in addition to my 5-day ecourse on productivity). Just sign up and you’ll receive it in the next newsletter!

LeaderQuest Podcast – Episode 10

We all have 24 hours in a day, so why is it that some people seem to get more done in the same amount (or less!) time?

They are clear about where they are going. They know their purpose, they know their destination, they know how to get the most out of each and every day.

If you’re looking for similar time-saving strategies and techniques, this episode of the LeaderQuest Podcast is for you! The LeaderQuest Podcast – Episode 10 is going to give you three time saving “how-to” techniques to maximize your day.

This week, we’re talking “Time Saving Strategies” so that you can eliminate distraction, gain clarity, and reach your goals in less time.

Take It Further

As always, thank you for listening! I really appreciate it.
Please be sure to like, share, leave a comment, and turn on notifications to keep aware of upcoming events, live streams, and new video releases.
Subscribe to my newsletter and receive a FREE 5-day course on productivity: 

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LeaderQuest Podcast – Episode 9

How do you begin with the end in mind?

By being clear on where you want to end up in life.

Think of a journey, you’d never just get in your car with a half a tank of gas and randomly drive, hoping to end up somewhere fun. Instead, you’d know where you want to end up, fill up the gas tank, and plug the destination into your GPS. With the plan, you know how to succeed.

That’s what we’re talking about this week. Join Justin and Elise as they talk about how to create the life plan and vision of living life on purpose.

Connect with Justin

As always, thank you for listening! I really appreciate it.
Please be sure to like, share, leave a comment, and turn on notifications to keep aware of upcoming events, live streams, and new video releases.

Subscribe to my newsletter and receive a FREE 5-day course on productivity: 

https://mailchi.mp/0b828bba9f13/emailsignup

Follow me on social media:

 

 

The Final Destination

When we left Denver for our California move, it was Valentine’s Day 2017. My wife boarded a plane with our four kids (and my mom) with a one-way ticket to Los Angeles.

Most of our items were onboard a semi-truck moving company and in transit already. After I dropped them off at the airport, I took our minivan loaded with only essential family possessions and my camping gear and headed west. With a full tank of gas and a queue of podcasts and audiobooks, I plugged my ending destination into the GPS system on my phone and took off.

Fourteen hours later I had made it. I was halfway through the trip, and after a quick one night stay at a campground, woke up early the next morning to finish the trip.

At regular intervals, I would stop, fill up the gas tank, grab some food, stretch my legs, and start a new audiobook.

Even when I stopped, got rerouted because of road work, or got stuck in traffic, my end destination stayed the same.

I had a clear goal and objective in mind: reuniting with my family.

Everybody ends up somewhere. A few people end up somewhere on purpose. Those are the ones with vision. – Andy Stanley

Somewhere on Purpose

Life works the same way. So does business. Family. Hobbies. Income. Education.

You are going to end up somewhere. The only question is if it is where you wanted to be.

To get where you want to be, you have to have a vision. Practice Intentionality. Cultivate solid habits. Engage in Discipline.

To get where you want to go, you have to be clear in where it is you want to end up. 

If I had simply entered “California” or “West” into my GPS, there is a strong likelihood that I wouldn’t have ended up next to my family.

In life, if your only goal is to end up “not here,” then you probably won’t. But that also doesn’t mean the destination is any better.

Like a good GPS system with a final address, our life needs to have a clear end destination in mind. A clear goal to reach. An objective measure that we have arrived.

As a success and mindset coach, that’s much of how I work with my clients on a daily basis.

But success doesn’t have to mean financial. Maybe it means that it’s having just enough to be able to take trips with the grandkids. Success for some might mean living long enough to see a family member take over the family business. For another, it could be to lose weight and run their first 10k.

Success for one former client was to start her own business and never work for someone else again. 

For another, it was to build a speaking platform and tour the country providing health lectures. 

Ending up somewhere on purpose doesn’t happen by accident.

So, if you’re ready to end up somewhere on purpose, here are five tips to help you get started.

5 Tips to End up Somewhere on Purpose:

1.) Create a list of the non-negotiable elements of your life. Key relationships, experiences, and mindsets are always foundational.

2.) Visualize your success. Create a vision board, write it down in your journal, practice intentional meditation. Whatever it is that works for you, spend time actually thinking about and picturing yourself in that future state.

3.) Practice daily habits of success. Exercise, read a book, laugh, drink plenty of water. Create a sustainable rhythm to life that breeds success. (If you want help on this point, sign up for my high-performance newsletter and receive my best tools and tips directly in your inbox every Friday).

4.) Share your vision with someone you love. Life is best traveled with someone you love. A spouse, friend, mentor, or coach can encourage you during the downtime and help you push through the tough moments.

5.) Stay the course. It won’t happen overnight. Real Talk: It may not even happen in a thousand nights. But if you are faithful, day in and day out over the course of a lifetime, it will.


What stood out to you? Leave a comment below!