The Pill

None of us are supposed to wish such things.  We aren’t supposed to wish for a short-cut to get us to our goals whether that be running and fitness or business and finance, or whatever.   It’s the baked in ‘American-Style’ work ethic, this ‘muscular Christianity’ traced all the way back to the Puritans that says you gotta do it the hard way and when it gets harder, you keep your mouth shut and you endure it – you suffer it, in silence.

That’s not a completely false sentiment, and as such things go, there’s usually a grain of truth in just about anything.   When you want to get into shape or get your life together, there is no pill, there is no hack, there’s no shortcut, no secret – it hurts, it’s unpleasant, it’s a whole bunch of self-inflicted discomfort sometimes, and sometimes it just downright sucks.   No one will give you extra hours to get things done, you’ll have to carve them out – painfully at times – from your current routine.   You make gains by cutting losses.   You look forward and turn your back on the cathartic nostalgia of past failure.

There is no truth or motivation that will flip some switch inside of you.   Waiting for the right time is merely waiting – empty, dead-ended.   No one has any secret knowledge that has made them successful and ambition without hard work won’t get you very far, after all.

But we go on believing the promises and vapid claims of salesmen and prophets because when our whole world is wrapped up in the idea that we ‘aren’t good enough’, ‘that we’re missing the IT‘ (whatever ‘it’ is), and we keep looking outside of ourselves for epiphanies, clever phrases, and earth-shattering deep thoughts, we are prime targets for all sorts of con-men.

There is no secret or, the secret is that there is no secret.   We have to do the work.  We have to sit our butts down and write the letter, read the book, mark our calendars, plan our meals, lift the weights and run the miles.   It will cost us sleep and bed-warmth.  The price will be unsatisfied sugar cravings and nervous fingers with no cigarette.   We will lose friends (but we will make new friends, too).

There are people in the world who can show us the way – because they don’t make excuses and they get the job done.  Some of these, under extreme circumstances that we don’t share; so much more challenging for them so that we are without excuse.

And if, after all this, we find that we have not taken the path we have to take, and we find ourselves where we were and have always been, it is not the oft-peddled reasons we are so dearly fond of; we didn’t have the magic pill.   It is because at some level we excused ourselves of taking one more step, however frail and slow, toward the goals we have set for ourselves.

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