You Can Have Whatever You Want if You Do Whatever It Takes
“People are always asking me about the secrets and tricks I use to get results. Sorry if this disappoints you: there are no secrets. There are no tricks. It’s simple: ask yourself where you are now, and where you want to be instead.” -Tim Grover, Michael Jordan’s personal trainer
Most people are not willing to do “whatever it takes.”
They might give 50%. Some might give 75%. A few might even go as high as 90%.
But very few give that last remaining chunk of energy and motivation.
The truth is, it’s often this small amount of extra effort that finally unlocks success. Sometimes, it’s the only way you can succeed.
I learned this myself when I eventually went to a 12-step program for my addiction to pornography. I went years without getting sober, until I finally surrendered my pride. “Whatever it takes,” I relented.
That’s when I got sober. I was giving a good 80% of my effort, but I gained no momentum until I finally gave 100%.
I stopped taking half-measures and became fully committed.
You can have whatever you want — if you’re willing to do whatever it takes.
“Where you are is a result of who you were, but where you end up depends entirely on who you choose to be from this moment forward.” -Hal Elrod, Best-selling author
How to Join the Top 1% in the World
“Successful people do what unsuccessful people are unwilling to do.” -Darren Hardy, former editor of SUCCESS Magazine
To achieve what no one else has, you must do what no one else does.
The fact is, most people have a very low tolerance for pain and discomfort. Their threshold for experiencing fear, difficulty, and struggle is very low.
This is why so many people live small lives that are, frankly, mediocre.
This presents an amazing opportunity for anyone willing to do whatever it takes to win. It means if you’re willing to continue when everyone around you quits, all the prizes at the end are up for grabs.
In the words of uber-successful entrepreneur and author Tim Ferriss:
“It’s lonely at the top. 99% of people are convinced they are incapable of achieving great things, so they aim for mediocre. The level of competition is thus fiercest for ‘realistic’ goals, paradoxically making them the most competitive.”
Navy SEALs discovered that most people quit right around 40% of their actual capacity. This “40% rule” tells me one thing — don’t trust yourself when you first want to quit.
Keep going. It’s likely you haven’t even reached half your potential.
This is how you surpass everyone around you and achieve goals you never dreamed you could reach — by being more committed than anyone else.
If you do something 99% of other people won’t do, you’ll gain the rewards only 1% of the population ever see.
“Things don’t change. We change.” -Henry David Thoreau
Narrow Your Focus to Achieve Enormous Energy Output
“You’ve got to wake up every morning with determination if you’re going to go to bed with satisfaction.” -George Lorimer
If you have more than 2–3 ultimate priorities, you really don’t have any priorities at all.
If you want extremely high and focused energy to spend on your most important tasks, you need to cut ties with all distractions. Whatever mediocre, pointless obligations you have that drain your time need to go.
This is the only way to achieve a new mental state of being that allows you to do whatever it takes to succeed. As writer Benjamin Foley once said:
“If your lifestyle does not add to your healing, it will subtract from it.”
You won’t be able to be someone who can accomplish anything if you’re distracted with the minutiae everyone else is worrying about.
If you want intense energy and hyper-focus, you need to narrow your focus. Start shedding all unnecessary and draining obligations that only distract you from what really matters.
“There is no way to win a Pulitzer prize or conceive a grand theory without pushing your brain to its limit.” -Cal Newport
Why Most People Will Never Avoid Mediocrity
“All around you is an environment that is trying to pull you down to Second-Class Street.” -David Schwartz
Leaving the herd is scary. Most people won’t do it — even if they hate the herd.
Most people are not willing to sacrifice the chains of their supposed “security” with the risky yet joyous freedom that comes from a life led entirely on your own terms.
Being mediocre is easy. Everyone’s doing it. All it takes is putting forth just enough effort to get by without getting yelled at. This is how most people live — how they’ll continue to live.
“All of us, more than we recognize, are products of the thinking around us. And much of this thinking is small.” -David Schwartz
Maybe you’re trying to leave the herd now, but don’t know how to proceed.
The key to escaping mediocrity is to become willing to do whatever it takes.
This isn’t simply a switch you can turn on after reading this article. It took me months — years — of “taming” my pride to become humble enough to actually become serious.
But as Jim Rohn once quipped, “You can’t change your destination overnight. But you can change your direction overnight.”
You can start today. Here’s how to ensure your small start develops into an unshakeable foundation of commitment.
“Small, seemingly inconsistent steps completed consistently over time will create a radical difference.” -Darren Hardy
Become Willing to Become Willing
“If you want to live an exceptional and extraordinary life, you have to give up many of the things that are part of a normal one.” -Srinivas Rao
When I got my first hardcore sponsor, I found his instructions needlessly difficult.
He would tell me to drive an hour away to a 12-step meeting — just to demonstrate my commitment.
He told me to stop watching Game of Thrones and other graphic shows. He said I couldn’t be on my computer after 9pm. (That way, I’d be rested for all the 7am meetings he ordered me to go to).
I found this irritating and stupid. Frankly, I wasn’t willing to do any of it.
But he asked me to willing to become willing.
And…I guess I could do that.
If you’re finding it difficult to become willing to do whatever it takes, start small by being willing to become willing.
Whatever your goal is: 6-pack abs, starting a business, writing consistently, drinking less, being a better spouse — you can start a sustainable habit by simply being willing to think about changing.
Author Ramit Sethi encourages anyone trying to start something new to “floss one tooth.” Just one.
Anyone can floss one tooth. Hell, I’ll go to the bathroom and do it right now.
Because while you’re flossing that one tooth, you might as well floss one or two more.
Then maybe you’ll floss an additional one next time.
Don’t start out declaring massive, unsustainable life changes — you probably aren’t even willing, if you’re brutally honest with yourself.
But start by being willing to become more willing. One tooth at a time.
“Everything worthwhile is done through surmounting the associated negative experience.” -Mark Manson
If You Want It, Then You Have to Take It
“The best men are not those who have waited for chances but who have taken them, besieged chance, conquered the chance, made chance the servitor.” -E.H. Chapin
One of the most important lessons I’ve learned in the past couple years is this:
If you want it, you gotta take it.
2 years ago, my life was a mess.
I was overweight, with an embarrassing beer belly from excessive drinking. I was commuting an hour each way to a job I didn’t like, saving no money while the debt accumulated. I didn’t have any plans other than making it to Friday.
I was living in survival mode.
Now, my amazing wife Kimi and I are traveling the world. She’s sitting across the table from me at a Starbucks in South Korea as we’re planning a 2-month trip through Southeast Asia. After that is a 4-month Europe trip.
We’ve lost about 50lbs between the two of us. We love each other more than ever. I seldom drink anymore. I launched a lucrative online course, and gained 16,000 new subscribers in the past few months. We’re 100% debt-free. We love our lives.
This didn’t happen by accident. I became willing to do whatever it takes to seize the life I want — working entirely for myself, helping people through my writing, traveling the world with my wife and working my own hours.
Don’t get me wrong, it was extremely difficult the past couple years. Lots of therapy, counseling, and breaking my pride.
But I chose to seize the opportunities to quit my job, become an English teacher overseas, and learn how to become a top-tier writer.
In the words of author Thomas Smith:
“If it is to be, it’s up to me.”
If you want it, you need to take it. No one will do it for you.
“Too much dreaming leads to too little doing.” -Neil Patel
“There is one thing that 99% of failures and successful people have in common: they all hate doing the same things. The difference is successful people do them anyway.” -Darren Hardy
You can have whatever you want if you do whatever it takes to win.
Most people aren’t willing to put forth such a great effort. In many cases, they simply can’t — they’re burdened with too many mediocre obligations that prevent them from achieving greatness.
You can cultivate this intensely focused lifestyle by cutting out distractions and focus on learning and creating instead of entertainment.
Start small by simply being willing to change a little. This creates unstoppable momentum most people won’t ever experience.
Will you become someone who will do that hard work of “whatever it takes?”
If so, you’ll be able to achieve whatever you want.
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