“What you lack in talent can be made up with desire, hustle and giving 110 percent all the time.” – Don Zimmer
“You tried and you failed. The lesson here is: don’t try.” – Homer Simpson
Only one of those statements is true. The other has fancy window dressing, and sounds really motivational, but it has a built-in escape clause. No matter how nice it sounds, it’s just not possible to give 110%. And if I look at myself honestly, it’s not often that I really give more than 65% – and even that might be pushing it. The second statement might be demotivating on its surface, but at least it isn’t misleading.
How much do we lie to ourselves? How often do we say, “I tried my best” or “I gave everything I had” when really we just gave what we felt like, or as little as was needed at the moment, or less than we would expect from anyone else? How often do we let ourselves skate by on the bare minimum effort (because, really, who wants to push themselves more than that) but then expect to get the highest results? How often do we believe our own fairytale?
The consequences sneak up on you…and it’s never quite what you expect. Often, I give exactly as much effort at the gym as will have me finishing right in the middle of the pack – I don’t want to be the first person done the workout, and I darn well don’t want to be last – but then wonder why all my “hard work” isn’t paying off as quickly as I would like. I unconsciously spend my time and my effort and my energy on so many soul-sucking activities in the run of a day, and then expect to find peace at night.
Thinking about it, I realize that its not just an internal problem – it’s everywhere in my life. When I am honest out loud about my sub-par effort, I have people (with very few exceptions) telling me that “even showing up is great”, that “I’ll do better tomorrow”, or even worse that “I shouldn’t be so hard on myself.” If I am simply sharing my experience without exaggeration, then why is it negative to admit that I gave a half-assed effort? Are we all being polite to the point of dishonesty, or do we really have such low expectations for ourselves and for those around us? I need to be better, I need to do better. I need to face up to what I am doing, what I am thinking, what effort I am giving every moment of every day in every activity and what that says about me, and I need to make changes if my effort isn’t taking me where I want to go. But most of all, I need to stop lying to myself.
This ends now.
Time for the most gruelling 30 Day Challenge ever.
30 Days of Accountability
No awards. No gold stars. No bullshit.
If I catch myself dialing it in at any point in the day, I will post an honest, first-try, makeup-free selfie on this blog and/or FB profile…or I’ll ask Kevin Wood to post some of my insanely unflattering CrossFit pics. (Seriously people, this is a fate worse than burpees for me.)
I’ll keep a stockpile of awful pictures in case of multiple daily infractions.
At the end of 30 days, I will have either learned to be honest with myself, or I will have levelled up my humility.