Only Begin Counting When It Hurts

Someone once asked Muhammad Ali, “How many sit-ups can you do?” His answer?

“I don’t count my sit-ups. I only start counting when it starts hurting. When I feel pain, that’s when I start counting, because that’s when it really counts.

If you want to be successful you need to be comfortable with getting uncomfortable. Growth only occurs when you step outside your comfort zone, so it’s important you stop going through the motions and begin challenging yourself everyday.

Regardless of what you’re trying to improve at I recommend using the rule of five. Whenever your want to give up, make the commitment to do five more of whatever you’re working on.

When your arms are exhausted do five more pushups. When you feel restless at your desk, make five more calls. When you have writer’s block spend five more minutes trying to write.

There’s several reasons you need to implement this rule in your life.

1. You’ll Produce Better Results. Calling an extra five people may not seem like a lot, but if you make a sale or book a gig it’s HUGE. Doing an extra five pushups may seem insignificant, but when your used to doing 20 pushups an extra five is HUGE.

2. You’ll Expand Your Comfort Zone. If you’re constantly challenging yourself and pushing your limits your comfort zone WILL expand. It would be impossible for it not to. Eventually doing 25 pushups will no longer be such an accomplishment for you. It’ll effectively become your new comfort zone.

3. You’ll Occasionally Surprise Yourself. In addition to doing an extra five of whatever you’re working on sometimes you’ll surprise yourself. I spent 30 minutes writing paragraphs and then deleting them because I couldn’t properly express what I was trying to say in this post.

At one point I felt like quitting because I just didn’t think I’d be able to put my thoughts into words, but through sheer persistence I managed to flip my creative switch. Instead of spending just five more minutes writing about random gibberish I’m now almost 400 words into a publishable post that’ll be live on my blog within the hour.

Stop worrying about doing “x” amount of work everyday. Our energy levels, and hormones are different everyday so it’s difficult to assign ourselves a certain amount we need to be doing. If you just pulled an all nighter finishing a project you can’t expect yourself to be producing at the same level you typically do.

The important thing is you make the most of what you are in control of, your level of effort. Make the commitment to get comfortable with being uncomfortable everyday and you’ll see your results skyrocket in everything you do.

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