Discover more from Club Elevate+Aspire+
3 Words to Transform Your Life from Ordinary to Extraordinary
I’ll admit - I love nice things. Things that make me feel cozy and comfortable in my own skin. Things that make me feel powerful already, without having to do more. Things that make me feel easy and carefree, like a sunshine-filled day of freedom.
I have a tendency to procrastinate. Partly because, yes, the last-minute adrenaline rush usually does spur results at a higher level. But mostly I procrastinate because I prefer to spend more time at a relaxed pace when possible.
What’s more, I’ve learned that a certain degree of “slacker-hood” can be a value.
For example, if you want to perform at your highest levels, it’s imperative to take time for relaxation and restoration — sometimes a day at the beach (or a week, or two) is not only well-deserved but much-needed. You cannot, in fact, “sleep when you’re dead” because sleep is the opposite of death - sleep is the living process of regeneration that counteracts the decay process of death.
Plus, if you want your work to be as efficient as possible, it can be useful to figure out how to do the minimum necessary to still produce significant results. There’s no honor in working hard when you can achieve more with less by working smart.
That said, I’ve also learned that if I want to truly grow and accomplish feats that match the ambitious vision and goals I have for my one life, I also have to actively pursue the opposite of what feels comfortable.
This approach can be summed up in 3 words: “Choose hard things.”
One of my favorite quotes on this topic is from film director Dee Rees:
“I’m always choosing the hard things, the things that aren’t easy.”
Thus, I make a point on a regular basis to actively go out and challenge myself. To put myself in awkward, uncomfortable, sometimes even scary situations where failure is probable. Because it’s the best way to learn and grow.
For example, my journey as an entrepreneur has been a string of trying out potential projects, many of which go nowhere. It’s always disappointing, but part of the process.
Sara Blakely, the founder of Spanx, credits a daily question from her father as inspiration for her ultimate success. He would ask her,
“What did you fail at today?”
“Failure” is a word most people try to avoid, especially those of us driven by high standards of excellence. On the surface, failure seems the opposite of excellence. But an overall life of excellence cannot be achieved if you don’t go headlong toward the new and the difficult, where the lessons from failures are crucial if you want to ultimately succeed.
The key is to integrate strategic opportunities for failure into a robustly successful life. Don’t let yourself fail at everything. Build out a base of success leveraging your strength so you can diversify your portfolio of life experiences and take on some calculated risks where failure and its high value lessons are expected.
Each day can be an opportunity to push yourself out of your comfort zone. Unfortunately, while “comfort” and “leisure” are prominent in the luxury industry today, incorporating “challenge” is not - even though it’s a requirement for excellence.
So here’s my question for you: “What hard thing did you choose to attempt today?”
To the growth of your excellence!