If You Say So
The words we choose are important. Not only the ones we say but also the ones that go unsaid. Regardless of whether we choose to release our thoughts into the world, the moment we think it, we release it to our world.
Everything is what you say it is. For you, that is an undeniable truth. There is no way of avoiding it. The way you choose to see the world is your reality, your truth. And that reality is ultimately nothing more than a reflection of your attitude towards all the occurrences in your life.
In the abstract this can be difficult to fully embrace, so let’s get more specific and focus on one area in which our perception creates a very real reality: hard work.
Why Should We Care?
I have not met too many people that do not want to be considered a hard worker. Most people will quickly concede the importance of working hard as part of being any form of success or excellence. It’s a given, right?
But, what is hard work? Is it an extra five hours a week? Five more reps in the weightroom? Working through lunch every day? The answer to these questions is clearly … yea, maybe.
See, it matters less about what it is and more about what you say it is. If you believe you are “out here grinding”, for example, you will likely begin to do and experience things that you think people that ‘grind’ do. Such as having an increased confidence, spending more time at work, and associating yourself with other hard workers.
While this sounds like a good thing, with a little observation you realize that everyone’s idea of hard work is drastically different. What is considered hard work to one person is moderate to the next. This gap can sometimes be significant. The results will eventually reflect the difference.
There is a fairly simple solution to this one however - eliminate the idea of hard work. It’s all just work. Part of the process necessary to become great or reach your goals. It’s not hard work, it’s just what you need to do.
Stop buying into the whole ‘grinding’ nonsense. Those striving for excellence never view it like that. There is a threshold for work. It’s neither hard nor easy. It’s just work. It’s not considered ‘grinding’. It’s just doing what is necessary.
REAL TALK - Action Steps
Understanding that everything is what you say it is, goes both ways. It can lift you up or pull you down depending on your personal standards. While being too high is a risk, I find that holding too low of a standard is the larger risk. Here are a few ways other than work that we see the limits at work.
Everything is what you say it is. Good or bad, right or wrong, it is what you say it is - to you anyway. One of the biggest challenges of leadership is realizing that this axiom is true for others too. Leading them will require us to understand what they say it is.
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I'm a teacher, coach, and parent seeking excellence while defining success on my own terms.