Will it reeeeeally matter….?
#4 Spectacular Effort Equals Spectacular Reward – 49 Life Lessons it took me 50 years to learn
We’ve all been there.
In a blind moment of inspiration, motivation, determination, indignation or just sheer impulsiveness we have said (out loud) we will do something. Now this can take on many forms. From something simple like saying yes to an early morning training session or meet up or something much bigger, like a 12 week challenge or a ‘life-changing/bucket list’ goal. Sometimes it’s physical sometimes it’s not.
But in any case, we said YES! Yes, we would do it!
Now this isn’t an integrity lecture. Although I am a fan of integrity.
At the guts of this blog is a big lesson I learnt way back in 2009. A lesson that has stayed with me and that I use almost every day in some capacity. And it has never failed me!
Towards the end of 2008 I made the (crazy) decision to train for and compete in a body sculpting competition. I hired a coach (side note: if you really want to achieve something huge, hire a coach/mentor who has actually achieved what you want to achieve!). We chose the events, yes, events being plural (oh I am glutton for a challenge, there were two events a week apart in May 2009 and so I went, what the heck, I’ll do both!). My coach created a training plan (thanks Kel, you are the best in the business) and I began the work. Three months of pre-comp preparation (a little break over Christmas) and then 5 months of solid competition preparation, including disciplined nutrition, 10-15 hours of training a week and posing practice.
It was never my plan to do this sport ongoing. But what I did know was that I was not going to invest eight months of my life to ass about. I was absolutely going to give it a red hot crack! I wanted to be sure that when I stepped on that stage on 17 May 2009, that I could ask myself this question and then answer it honestly.
The question was “Have I done everything I possibly could in the process of getting to this moment’?
If I could answer ‘Yes’ then no matter if I finished in first place or twenty first place, I was a winner. And could walk away proud knowing I’d given it everything.
And if I had answered ‘No’ to that question then my result would reflect that too. And I could still walk away knowing that I got the result that were equal to my efforts.
In either case, I was in total control of the outcome on competition day. Not my coach, not my family, not the gym I trained at, not even the judges (before you disagree with the last one, I’ll explain why in Life Lesson #13 from my 49 Life Lessons it took me 50 years to learn).
During the 8 months of training I was often (and I mean OFTEN) plagued with the following thoughts.
Will it reeeeeeally matter if I:
Do 15 reps instead of 20.
Only do 30 minutes on the cross trainer instead of 45 minutes.
Don’t weigh my food precisely.
Buy take away (healthy of course) instead of carrying my pre-prepared meals around with me… EVERY DAY!
Sleep in and skip training.
Have a glass of wine occasionally.
Don’t hand glue hundreds of crystals on my costume.
Skip my daily posing practice.
Blow off the fake tan, hair and makeup and stripper shoes (100’s of squats were far preferable to me than this stuff!) ….
And perhaps none of these would really matter. Because who would know if I did or didn’t do these things, right? Who would care? No one. Not even my coach would lose sleep over it.
Just me. I’m the only one who would ever know. Only I could decide if it would reeeeeally matter.
Now I want you to understand this Life Lesson is not about winning or losing. And it’s definitely not about body sculpting or competing. It’s about understanding that whatever you do in life, whatever you want for yourself, however you want your life to look, ‘Spectacular effort equals spectacular reward’. ALWAYS!
Because what I know for sure is that all of my greatest achievements in life, wherever I have had great success (my kids, amazing results at sporting events, successful businesses in three industries and business awards, raising tens of thousands of dollars for charities, teaching health and fitness in a foreign country) have not come from wishing, hoping or taking short cuts. Two things were always present. Structure and discipline. And the satisfaction of knowing that the effort I put in to whatever I did, the Universe always reflected back at me ten-fold.
Now I get it’s easy to say on any given day, ‘will it reeeeeeally matter?’. And I guess the only person that can ever answer that is you (and me). And, sometimes things will seem hard. Sometimes we won’t want to get up early. Sometimes we will think we can ‘make up for it’ another day. And sometimes it maybe really won’t matter. Maybe?
So here’s a great self-awareness question that might help. It has served me very well and hopefully it will help you too.
“Is what I am about to do going to give me the greatest result for me and my life?”
Then all there is to do is answer honestly.
PS. For those playing at home, yes, I won my first Body Sculpting competition and in that moment, I punched the air and yelled ‘YES!’