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Here’s the Thing about Crappy Situations….


Here’s the Thing about Crappy Situations….

It’s Sunday morning. Just finished teaching an amazing class. It’s probably one of the hardest classes for anyone to make it to: Sundays, 8.30am. Now that spring is here, the sun’s up and it’s not all that bad. But in the deep freeze of winter that we have here, it was pretty crappy to drag your ass up at 7am on a Sunday morning and get to a workout.

The workout is hard. My classes are known to be tough. I make sure you get your money’s worth. For the full 45 minutes, we sweat, feel the shake in our knees as we pulse that squat. Then one more set. Then best 8 reps. It’s gruelling, even for me.

But in the last 5 minutes, that is when the euphoria sets in. The “OMG i’m done!” That runner’s high, even though we didn’t run a single step. (though we probably worked harder than running a mile). You feel like a million bucks.

It’s not the first time I’d taught a class at ungodly hours in the morning. When I was in Calgary, I taught a 6am bootcamp class at the Winter Club. It was a bunch of type A lawyers and oil field consultants. They were amazingly consistent. They’d show up every week. Not only would the show up, but they bring it. I had to actually amp up my already gruelling exercises to work them. And they’d just grit their teeth, and go. Hard.

The Euphoric Moment

Then by the time the class ended at 7am, we’d walk out of the Winter Club, witness the winter sunrise, and truly feel like a million bucks. It was that moment that kept us going. Fatiguing your body. Stepping out into the earliest light of sunrise. Breathing in that crisp fresh morning air. It subsequently did amazing things to the day. You felt ready… like you already warmed up. And you did. You were mentally and physically prepared for anything.

There’s something to said about working crazy hard on something, to be able to bask in the warmth of accomplishment. It’s that slightly dizzying high of going through all that work… and coming out … alive. Accomplished. I think that this is the same feeling people look for when they embark on seemingly ridiculously difficult feats like climbing Mount Everest, or hanging off a cliff in Thailand, like my friend JoAn.

So remember this as you are about to embark on your journey.

1. This Too Shall Pass

Sometimes, you’re stuck in a project. I just finished a hellish project. A project during which I wanted whip out a fork and stab my eyeball repeatedly. (Sorry for the visual) I had been in systems implementation projects for almost 20 years, and this would be one of the toughest projects I had ever done. There were key staff changes midstream, both internally and on the end user side. Key decision makers, and people who originally created the vision of the project and its approach were pulled off just before the critical time, leaving the remaining schmucks to pick up the pieces and carry it to the finish line. The finish line itself had been moved multiple times given the state of readiness of the system. Throughout all of this, all i could think of was how wonderful it would be to be working on building out my online empire on ITSolopreneurs. All I could think about was how much I wished off this project. I kept telling myself: This too shall pass.

And it did. All things do. Even crappy things.

2. Appreciate the Struggle

This one is waaaaaay easier to say than do. Appreciate the struggle. My foot. Let’s face it. When you’re knee high in the mud, it’s way easier to think of how you can get out of it. But sucky as it is, it serves a purpose. It creates contrast. It creates clarity.

Never are you more clear about what you love than when you are faced with what you hate. Without darkness, there is no light. Without being poor, you can’t appreciate being rich. What I’m saying is that you don’t have to like where you are. Appreciation is different. It has nothing to do with your preference. In fact, it helps you clarify preference.

Related: The Tao of Lego in Business and Life

Remember the Prize at the End of the Journey

Women who have experienced the birthing process know this. Having gone through the entire pregnancy to childbirth process, I realize why it’s so strenuous. I know why it’s painful. I know why it’s meant to be a crazy ridiculous battle at every step of the way. It’s so that when you get to the finish line, you get that same euphoric high. You appreciate your treasure. Then it’s no question that the care you give to this child will be second to none. You will sacrifice and go to unbelievable lengths to protect and groom your child to unsurpassed greatness for which he’s got the aptitude.

So remember, you’re likely not the first one to go through whatever you’re going through. Nor will you be the last. People who have had less have survived and thrived. And you will too. As Jack Ma said, “Today is hard. Tomorrow will be worse. The day after tomorrow the sun will shine. But, most people quit tomorrow night.”


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