Honor The StruggleFeb 01, 2021
Honor the struggle. A phrase I have heard before but didn't always appreciate until recently. Life can be tough enough as it is, why would I embrace the struggles?
Not only was 2020 a struggle in many ways, with the Covid-19 pandemic, but it is the New Year, and many of us have set new goals and aspirations for 2021, which can bring its own type excitement, but struggles and anxieties as well. A new report from Strava suggests that people are most likely to ditch the New Year's resolution commitment as early as January 19th! This fact only compounds the struggles many of us are already facing due to the challenges of the pandemic. Allow me to try to put these challenges into perspective in hopes of being able to help you continue on with your resolutions and break through your goals for 2021.
Change is hard. In fact, anytime you set out to make real change in your life, initially, it can get down right ugly! Setting new fitness goals is a great example you may be able to relate to. The initial days of immersing yourself into this new regime can be painful, both physically and mentally. In the initial days, your body is screaming at you to stop(or you might die), and your mind is convincing you this is not necessary(getting in shape is overrated anyway). Getting from messy to transformation can feel like a daunting task, leaving many to drop out after just 19 days.
Bless This Mess!
Being someone that has been in a career of finance for the past 23 years, let me use the concept of "compound interest" and Albert Einstein to help demonstrate my point and help you breakthrough your goals and resolutions for 2021.
Albert Einstein called compound interest the most powerful force in the universe, the 8th wonder of the world. He said "he who understands it, earns it, he who doesn't, pays it." Here is a simple example of the power of compounding that will not only help in your personal finance goals, but your life goals as well.
Let's say you are given two options: Which would you choose?
1. $1 million dollars today deposited in your bank account
2. $.01 deposited today, that will double every day for 30 days
To summarize, although the $1million dollars seems intriguing(and immediately gratifying), you would be better off being patient and consistent and allowing the power of compounding to work for you. In option 2, the $.01 would have grown to $5.368 million!! WOW. However, taking a closer look, it would not be until day 28, that you finally crossed $1million. For the first 27 days, you would be kicking yourself in regret of the poor decision you made only to reach the windfall gain in the last 2 days. That takes patience and commitment. Game changer.
How can you relate this to your New Year's goals(or any goal for that matter)?
I was recently speaking with a client who was sharing the joys of his exponential business growth he was experiencing the past few years. He reminded me this success wasn't a recent phenomenon. This was 20 years of hard work and dedication that has led to his recent "escape velocity" in his business. He had a record year and the he can't keep up with the referrals he is receiving. This is the compound effect at work.
There is no easy or fast path to change, growth or transformation. The power of compounding applies to nearly any situation you desire meaningful change. It is the adversity that is the catalyst for developing the commitment to something that is really important to you.
Going back to my workout goal example. In the beginning days of your new workout regime, try to see the hard and messy days, as a gift. Learn to appreciate and embrace it as part of the human journey. We naturally want things to be easy, but this is not how to become extraordinary. You have to be willing to do the work.
Peter Crone, personal coach, the Mind Architect and someone I follow, very eloquently said,
"Life is the process of friction, that polishes the gem you already are."
A diamond undergoes unfathomable levels of pressure, stress and friction over LONG periods of time to become one of the most precious and beautiful gems in the world. The catalyst to our own greatness, our own "gem," is the struggles and adversities we face on a day to day basis. Your struggles are life looking you square in the eyes, challenging you to see what you are made of? How you respond to this challenge will measure the extent to which you are able to grow to the next level.
Let's be honest, as a human being, you will have a history that is littered with struggles and failures. That is life. However, the degree to which you incorporate these failure as who you are, is the degree to which you are defined by it. Learn from your struggles, failures and challenges but don't be defined by them.
Honor the struggle my friend. We are all going through our own version of our own struggles. Look back on your life and recognize how your struggles have helped shape the person you are today.
Commit yourself to being extraordinary. Commit yourself consistency. Push beyond the ugly, blow past the messy and discover the invaluable diamond on the other side. You are worth every penny...compounded over 30 days! ;)
Here's to living your best self in 2021!
"Just as we develop our physical muscles through overcoming oppositions- such as lifting weights- we develop our character muscles by overcoming challenges and adversity." - Steven Covey
With success and happiness,
Shawn M. Carlin