I remember my parents saying that they gave me a curfew because they loved me. At 16, that made zero sense. "If you loved me," I thought, "you'd let me stay out as late as I wanted."
Fast forward to my Freshman year in college, where I could eat brown sugar POP Tarts and Poppa Johns pizza at 3 am. It was fantastic to make my own decisions. I wouldn't get in trouble if I slept through a class or if I balled up my clothes and threw them in a corner. I felt a certain sense of freedom.
About ¾ of the way through my Freshman year, I noticed I was making absolutely zero positive gains physically and that my grades were slipping badly. I was working out sporadically, cramming for tests the night before, eating El Burrito Loco a few times a week, and taking naps in between pranking friends. So why wasn't I ripped? Why didn't I have a better GPA?
I hadn't discovered what every successful person knows: growth requires purposeful sacrifice.
This idea isn't mind-blowing to read, but it answered my problem. And maybe yours.
I wanted results. I didn't want to struggle, leading to the next piece closely tied to purposeful sacrifice.
I'm not a car guy; that's why God made Father In-laws. But, follow me for a minute on this analogy anyway: An internal combustible engine is most likely inside your vehicle. And according to caranddriver.com, "an internal-combustion engine is a heat engine in that it converts energy from the heat of burning gasoline into mechanical work, or torque. That torque is applied to the wheels to make the car move."
Guess what would happen if the manufacturer said, "let's free engines of cylinders. They're too restrictive." You wouldn't have heat. Which means you wouldn't have torque. And your vehicle wouldn't move.
The same is true when you want to get somewhere personally or professionally. You must put reasonable restrictions in place to build energy that moves you forward.
(Someone's going to say, "cool, I have a Tesla, soooo." Battery analogy coming soon...😬)
Consistent hard work over a sustained period leads to positive results.
Putting that together means having restraint on things that satisfy at the moment to obtain something that satisfies long term.
If you don't put boundaries on yourself, you will not realize your potential.
Here are 11 examples:
About five years ago, I was at a breakfast thing where you sit with people you don't know. There were about eight of us at my table getting to know each other, talking about usual surface stuff. A guy to my right generally asked what books people were reading—the guy to my left answered the question he wanted us to ask.
"I get up every morning at 4 am, every day of the week. Exercise and then read for an hour. I encourage each of you to do the same."
Good for you if that's your routine. I'm not that guy.
Options for jumpstarting your routine
Routine is not the enemy. Bad routine is the enemy. Determine what's worth sacrificing for and use purposeful limitations to propel you toward your desired state.
Knowing what to do is the easy part. Acting is where the magic happens.
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