Grit, Grind, Routine. Hate It or Love It, but Execute.

I am bouncing all over the place today. Struggling to stay with the routine, stay on task, stay focused, have grit. Not just wrestling with grinding through tasks, I am in a hurricane, a force of thoughts which mashed to-do’s and feelings, and formed a sky high column of swirling utter chaos. Colorful blimps, of random “must do”, “love to do”, “should have done”, “hate every second of it” are whizzing around my head, spew out occasional muttering or a smile, while I am stuck in place.

Zion Running
Photo by Ryan Smith

For past two month I’ve been exploring an idea for a new venture and things are starting to heat up. This is familiar landscape. “To-do” list longer then one’s life time. Desire to succeed make Darth Vader’s wish for galactic domination look like child’s play in comparison. Idea shines brighter then the star and smell of victory! Today all that is trumped by lack of discipline to sit, roll up the sleeves, and DO IT.

Perhaps you know of a trick on how to be consistent, how to stick with routine, please share it! I’d guess, I am not the only one who’s experienced such struggle and hope that you will relate. This is how I dealt with me today.

Stop. Yes, stopped and walked away from keyboard. Put the phone on airplane mode, music blasting in the headphones, I went for a run. Few miles, but long enough to get away and get the mind focused on just 2 things: breathing and running. Right, left, right, left. This has reminded me, juggled a few brain cells that thought that cure for lack of such a discipline, is just that simple: one foot in front of the other, repeat.

If there is anything I learned over the years, is that a key to success lies in execution. I thought I have mastered the trait of turning desires into actionable steps and grinding through them. This day, man who am i kidding, this whole week has been challenge to that. I know that doing “it” trumps many other things. Anyone, who can fog a mirror, can have an idea. Making the idea reality, is in execution, grind and grit.

There is a study done by University of Pennsylvania “Grit: Perseverance and Passion for Long-Term Goals”. I linked to it here for your light academic reading pleasure 🙂 The study concludes:

“Grit demonstrated incremental predictive validity of success measures over and beyond IQ and conscientiousness.” (Achievement) “… entails not only talent but also the sustained and focused application…”

In plain English: People who have the Grit to: Do, Grind and Execute, achieve measurably higher success, then those who are smart, have a great idea or are talented.

A mind can be as loud as it wants, but what it screams are urges. It knows no difference of what’s important vs loud. It is the job of thinking to make distinction of the two. I know that I’ve already decided on what’s important, it is the time to stop thinking and procrastinating and go to work.

Going is hard. Task is boring, difficult. It’s all relative. Difficulty, bother and hassle are temporary inconveniences. I don’t like running, I however don’t like being 100 lb overweight a lot more. Let’s change perspective, in the grand scheme of things, this run will be over in just a few minutes, and on the other side of those minutes, is the rest of today, with all the wonders that it brings, awaits.

Life is a struggle. A battle fought a thousand times each day, of giving into the distraction of the moment or enduring the pain of discipline. It’s in this moment, when I don’t feel like doing the work, I remind my self of shortness and temporary nature of such moments, remember grit, change perspective, show up and just do it.

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