Do you ever feel like you can’t pull it together? Like it’s all too much? Me too.
We all have moments when we feel the weight of our responsibilities, obligations and desires is going to crush us. We all have times when we feel like the lives we want, the goals we desire, and the work we want to do is too much-that it’s all too hard.
But it’s not. We can do hard things. You can do hard things.
There’s no doubt that modern living is more complex than it’s ever been. But the truth is this; we make it that way. It doesn’t need to be.
Here’s another truth. We (you and I) need to get stronger.
The stronger we get, the easier challenges become. The stronger we get, the better we can help those we care about overcome their challenges. In service of helping you, I want to share 10 ways you can get stronger.
Briefly, I’m a former top 100 junior tennis player who went on to a D1 scholarship. I’m a current 4 time Investopedia Top 100 Financial Advisor, top podcaster, a husband and father. While I’m far from perfect, I’m constantly working to get better and stronger, and I believe you can benefit from my experience.
Here’s what we’ll cover:
- Be useful rather than brilliant
- Get better
- Stop comparing yourself
- Figure out what you want
- Figure out what you stand for
- Become an advocate
- Embrace imperfection
- Test yourself physically
- What’s impossible?
- Find community
Let’s get started.
Be useful rather than brilliant
I don’t have that many original ideas (It’s not from lack of trying), but that doesn’t keep me from doing the work I want to do.
Do you know what a Dogleg Reamer is? No, of course not. But you most certainly know what a hammer is.
A Dogleg Reamer is a highly specialized and brilliant tool- one that you’ll go your entire life never needing or using. But I bet you’ve used a hammer before.
Stop trying to be brilliant and start being useful.
How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.
What would it take for you to get 100% better? That sounds like a pretty heavy lift, and it is.
What if you could get 1% better every day? Would that have a profound impact on your life? I think it would. Could you do that? I think you could.
Well, if you did that for three months, what would happen? You’d be almost 100% better.
Stop comparing yourself
“Comparison is the thief of joy.” – Teddy Roosevelt
By now, we all know the things we see on social media aren’t real (If you don’t know that, now you do). But that doesn’t stop us from comparing ourselves to our friends, neighbors, and the Kardashians.
But that’s a losing strategy.
We have no idea what’s going on in other people’s lives. Could everything be perfect? Sure. But odds are, the person you think has everything together is dealing with a lot of their own problems.
The only person you should be comparing yourself to is yesterday’s version of you.
Figure out what you want
Do you know how important goal setting is? I did for years, but never actually set goals.
In fact, it took me until around 35 to finally sit down and do it. Years later, I can honestly tell you the profound impact it’s had on my life.
One of our superpowers is our ability to think about the futures we want, and to work to make it our reality. It’s far too great a power to ignore.
To help you get clear on the future you want, you can access our Goals course for free.
Figure out what you stand for
Stand for something, or fall for anything. There’s never been a more important time to know what you believe in than today.
There’s been a lot of talk about personal values of late, and it’s an important conversation to have. Do you know yours?
In service of helping you to get clear on yours, you can access our Values course for free.
Become an advocate
Don’t be an activist, be an advocate.
There are a lot of problems with activism, mainly the division it creates and fosters. Becoming an advocate means you become passionate about something, and give evidence to the world of its importance through your life.
For example, if you are passionate about health and fitness, you could advocate for it by simply living a healthy lifestyle and helping others when they ask you about how you’re doing it.
The first step is becoming passionate about something and working towards mastery of it.
This seems obvious to me, because I’m far from perfect. But I’ve had enough conversations with psychologists to know there are a lot of people out there who think they’re uniquely flawed.
While you are God’s special creature, none of us are perfect. We all have flaws, doubts, and apprehensions. Life is a never-ending process of self-improvement in search of an ideal we’ll never reach. And that’s the point.
Stop reaching for imperfection, continue working to get better everyday.
Test yourself physically
I’m all about learning new things, expanding my consciousness, and exploring my spirituality. That being said, there are few substitutes for pushing myself physically.
Whether you’ve got an athletic background or not, start doing uncomfortable things. Don’t run? Start running. Don’t weight train? Start lifting. Never done yoga? Take a class.
Not only will you physically grow stronger, you’ll become mentally tougher and grittier.
What feels impossible to you? Running a marathon? Learning a new language? Starting a business? Whatever it is, do it.
At the heart of doing hard things is getting started. Commonly, the first step is learning how to do what you want to do. If you want to start a podcast, there are countless free YouTube videos and blog posts on everything required to make it happen. Dig in.
Once you’ve learned what’s required, make a plan. What additional resources will you need? Where can you get those? When will you get started? How long will it take?
I’m never going to play in the NFL. I’m never going to be an astronaut. While I could probably make a really, really long list of things which are out of my reach, I honestly believe that I can do must about anything I set my mind to.
Sit down and think about what you’d really like to do, then ask yourself, “This might be impossible, but what if it weren’t?” Adopt that mindset and get to work.
The famous Harvard Grant study began in 1938 and ran for 80 years. Its purpose was to answer the question of what makes for a great life. The answer is the quality and strength of our relationships and connections with others.
In a time when we’re feeling more lonely and isolated than ever before, finding and cultivating community has never been more important. But how to do it?
Think about what you like to do, what you’ve done in the past, or what you’d like to do more of in the future. Perhaps you have an athletic background you could start again? Maybe there’s an alumni group you can join? A new hobby you’ve been meaning to try?
While the internet has pulled us further apart, we can use its powers for good instead of evil in this circumstance. Groups in your community are just a quick Google search away. Once you’ve identified a potential group, take the first step and get to one of the meetings. Don’t overthink it, just show up.
The more quality relationships you can develop, the better your life will be. But like everything else we’ve been talking about, it’s not going to happen on it’s own.
Making it real
You need to be stronger. More so than that, we need you to be stronger. All those problems you see in the world will be solved when you commit to personal excellence and to doing hard things. If we all did that, those problems would disappear.
You can do hard things. Get to work.
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