“Man, you gotta sweat or you won’t get far.”
– Victor Pride
Everything is a slog
People act surprised when they find out that I don’t do tourist stuff every single day. “You moved to another country and are still working?” Somehow relocating is a foreign concept. Contrary to popular belief I still have actual responsibilities to take care of. While I have seen some cool churches, gone to a few nice restaurants, and visit the beach with some frequency, most of my time is spent doing the same stuff I always do.
Most people are content with what they have. They have zero frame of reference as to what it takes to move up and improve. The classic “All rich people are jerks” mindset comes from folks who’ve never tried managing employees or dealing with angry clients. Some guy with a hundred foot yacht might look like he’s having fun, but his life is infinitely more stressful than anything that a someone with a 9 to 5 job could imagine.
If you want something you have to be ready to put in a thousand hours of tedious boredom. Every cool job has a million mundane and insignificant components that are hidden behind the scenes. Being a copywriter or an Internet marketer sounds like fun until you look at the clock and realize that it’s 4 am on Sunday morning and you haven’t eaten in 18 hours. You’ve been busy drafting sales pitches and the client hasn’t liked any of them.
A mediocre copywriter might make $200,000 a year from simple writing tasks, but there’s a ton of behind the scenes work that isn’t fun or impressive. The great David Ogilvy would sometimes write over one hundred drafts before he could come up with a headline that for his advertisements. Most people don’t have that willpower.
Every dude wants to be huge. However most men hate the gym. Go to a weight room sometime and watch all the lifters who spend their time screwing around on iPods. Witness guys do two sets of an exercise before wandering off to chat with their friends. If you want to get big you have to treat your goal like a second job. I’ve been so busy lately that I haven’t had time to make lifting a priority and it shows. While I’m not fat or anything, and I’m still hitting the gym, I did get noticeably smaller. Doing a huge work out that requires me to rest all afternoon isn’t something I can manage right now. Once my busy season for work dies down a bit I’ll start to concentrate on getting big again.
Going to another country sounds like fun on paper. Anyone who has ever done any Internet dating will know that every girl lists “Travel” as one of her interests. People love to envision the idea of wandering around the world, seeing new sights, and meeting new people. While this is great on paper it’s really difficult in real life. Learning a second language and studying cultural customs isn’t something that can be done in a week. You need to dedicate a significant amount of time to it. An hour a day is the bare minimum.
Are goals worth it?
The average person is in love with the idea of doing something great. They hate the actual process. There are a million free resources to learn another langue and most people will never check them out. There are great books about business and sales that go unread. Most people will never look at this stuff. They’d rather play video games or watch television. For the average person goals are pretty pointless.
The idea of living in another country or being rich is more rewarding than the actual process to get there. I had more fun fantasizing about owning my own business than I do actually working on it. Most of the time jobs are either frustratingly mundane or frustratingly complicated. In my mind being a writer would be fun. I didn’t have the frame of reference to know how much work it actually is.
If you’re in love with the end goal, you probably won’t have fun actually trying to reach your destination. The idea of riding jet skis outside your villa all day will be more satisfying than the work required to get there. You aren’t dedicated, you just like the concept. If you want to achieve your goal you have to actually be dedicated to the process. You have to tolerate long nights, futile results, and a lot of stress. If you can stand that you’ll survive to the end goal. Otherwise you’d be better off just fantasizing about everything you’d ever want.