You might be overwhelmed by a feeling of underachievement or even failure, simply because you weren’t what you might have been yesterday or at another time. I was tempted to fall under this delusion as I left the gym today. I put in work, but not like I did the past couple of days. Only a day ago, I was a sweaty beast, challenging myself with more reps and higher weight. So, naturally I felt accomplished and unstoppable. I had momentum at my back and wind in my sails. Tomorrow, I thought would be the same or better. Well, tomorrow showed up and I wasn’t that beast. In fact, compared to the monster of only a day ago, I was a mere cub I thought. No doubt disappointment followed, but it was brief, as I suddenly reminded myself, “Hey, wait a minute. You showed up!”
It’s not always how much you put in, it’s about being persistent. Some investments are larger than others. Some of our efforts aren’t as profound as in days past, but they are still investments. They are still efforts. You still showed up and over time, that effort and investment grows. That’s the point. Don’t be deceived and therefore, deterred by the delusion of sameness of effort. Growth isn’t always consistent, but it is progressive.
You will hit a groove where you feel absolutely invincible. You will hit a wall that will make you feel completely defeated. What you must never do is stop! The engine of growth and progress is persistence. As Dominique Jando, renowned circus scholar and author once relayed to me regarding his writing process, “some days the ideas just flow and on others, you can barely write a sentence.” Nevertheless, each and everyday you put pen to paper, be it one word or twenty pages. You show up!
The heaviest burdens are created not by failing to reach our goals, but quitting because we fail to respect the process of progress. It’s not always about that day’s goals. Exactly when has anything in your life gone as planned? Who can truly say they consistently fulfill their daily “to do list”? If tomorrow isn’t promised, why should it be a strange thing for us to accept that not all of our expectations will be fulfilled? What we can control is being present and persistent. How grand or small the effort doesn’t necessarily matter and is not always up to us. Sometimes all you can do is show up. Don’t stress, simply invest, for every bit of effort counts.