A remarkable and impactful life is not just about doing what you love, but about doing whatever it takes.
Doing what you love and loving what you do is a good way to live your life, but that alone is not enough to live a life of greatness and of monumental impact. Pursuing your passion is nevertheless important but the truth is that it can sometimes be an overused cliché that ends up with many stopping short of fulfilling their truest potential because they gave up once the rubber hits the road.
If you’re really going to pursue your passion, be prepared to face the unsexy grind, get punched in the face, embrace discomfort as a way of life and do things which are seemingly daunting and unreasonable. It’s not just about doing what you love, but about doing whatever it takes.
Whether it’s the cold call, the cold visit, speaking to a stranger, presenting in public, negotiating with a tough client, you will undoubtedly face tasks and situations which you don’t want to do, but have to do.
Here are 6 ways to toughen yourself up and get your game on.
1. MAKE A DECISION
Decide first and decide fast.
Tell yourself that you will do whatever it takes to get the job done. Tell yourself that you will find a way instead of finding excuses. Tell yourself that if no one else does it, you will and you will do it so damn well.
When you make a decision, you are drawing a line in the sand and making a commitment to do or to not do something. It is a clear choice and you are no longer sitting on the fence. When you are clear of what you have decided to do, you will be clear headed when things get chaotic around you.
2. SOLIDIFY YOUR WHY
Why did you start your business in the first place? Why are you doing what you’re doing? What gets you up in the morning and keeps you up at night? What makes you crawl through hell and run through walls?
When your “why” is strong and solid enough, the “how” and the “what” will usually take care of themselves.
When you don’t feel like doing it, remind yourself of your “why”.
3. TAKE ACTION QUICKLY
Imagine your boss telling you to make a phone call to secure a meeting with a tough client. You know you dislike speaking on the phone and would prefer to send an email instead. And a tough client? That will give you the creeps. You can already feel your voice getting shaky and your palms sweaty.
What should you do? Do it within 5 seconds.
One thousand – two thousand – three thousand – four thousand – five thousand. Bang!
The reason why you need to take fast action – within 5 seconds – is because if you wait any longer than that, your mind will start to talk you out of doing it.
“Oh, what if the client hangs up on you?” “Oh, what if the client swears at you?” “Oh, what if you freeze up and forget what to say?”
Whatever you’re scared of doing, do it and do it within 5 seconds.
Walking up to a stranger during a networking event. Doing a cold call. Asking the girl out. Knocking on your boss’s door. Do it!
4. SEE FAILURE, REJECTION AND SETBACKS AS A BADGE OF HONOUR
There was a day when I had to make cold visits to a number of companies in an industrial area in Melbourne – to share with them the different careers services which our university offers to employers like them. I hadn’t called them prior, I hadn’t met them before and I’m certainly scared as hell to do it.
For the early part of the day, I was honestly reluctant to get out of my car as I drove into the various company’s parking lots.
“What if they shut the door in my face?” “What if they ignore me?” “What if they don’t give a sh*t about what I have to say?”
But I sucked it up and did it anyway. And along the way, I decided to actually see failure and rejections as a badge of honour. If I started to get rejected, which I did on a few occasions, it is actually a sign that I am pushing forward, taking action and being on the offensive. I was getting things done.
Apart from the handful of rejections, I did get many good leads, contacts and introductions. Even one chemical company was so gracious that the boss sat down with me for a chat and got one of his staff to give me a factory tour.
5. REMIND YOURSELF THAT SUCCESS IS YOUR DUTY
Success is not only the destination. It is not only the journey or the process. It is also your duty and service to the world and to the people around you.
If you are a teacher who isn’t pursuing success in all you do, then you are doing a disservice to the students. If you are a parent who isn’t pursuing success in your parenting, then your kids suffer. If you are an employee who isn’t pursuing success in your work, then you are hurting your colleagues, your company and your customers. If you hold back because you feel scared or think you’re inadequate, you are doing a disservice to the world around you.
Bring your A-game and your 150% in all that you do.
6. UNDERSTAND YOUR GREATEST PAIN IN LIFE
The greatest pain in life isn’t in doing the hard things. It isn’t the pain of discipline or the pain of execution. It’s not even the pain of failure, rejection, disappointment or even success.
It’s the pain of regret.
What’s standing in front of you is a glorious opportunity. The door is open and it is up to you to walk through the door and seize the opportunity – before it’s gone. Don’t be the person who’s lying on his deathbed telling himself that he should have, would have, could have. “If only I had more time, I would travel.” “If only I had more money, I would start the business.” “If the timing was right, I would get into the relationship.”
By that time, it would be too late. Do it and do it now, before the opportunity is gone.
Don’t wait for the perfect moment; make the moment perfect. Don’t wait for the stars to align; go out there and be the star yourself.
Written by Dominic Soh, TEDx speaker, international resilience trainer and ultra-marathoner.
TEDx speaker, international resilience trainer and ultra-marathoner. Dominic believes that success is all about turning your setbacks into your comeback. If you’re serious about dominating your space, follow him on Industry Bootcamp to receive no-BS life and careers advice – definitely not for the faint-hearted!