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Hard Work & Hustle

Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t hustle. I’ve adopted this saying as my mantra during the winter months when my motivation doesn’t come as naturally as it used to. February is often when those New Year’s resolutions start to lose their appeal and when the days become dreary and not conducive to hustle. The goals we set become dull and tiresome. We can’t muster up the energy, life gets busy, and our big dreams often fall by the wayside after the New Year rush.

However, I don’t think it’s impossible to hold onto our goals (and reach them) all year long. What a lot of people (myself included) fail to realize is just how long it takes to reach your goals. Below are a few things I remind myself of when the workload becomes heavy and the shine wears thin.

1. Build Small, Daily Habits

There are things I do daily that help me move forward towards several of my goals. For example, I read every day whether it’s an article on sports psychology, a fantasy novel, or poetry. I make time to stretch my mind, get out of my own head, and learn something from other experts and writers. This is important to me, because it helps me stay motivated if I can see someone else’s journey.

Finding those daily practices can help keep you accountable to your goals. If you have something that you have to do each day, you start to build your day on a positive framework, setting the tone for the rest of your habits.

2. Consistency Over Talent.

When I’m learning a new skill, or working to become a better version of myself, I often find that I’ve fallen into a trap of comparing myself to the best in my field or sport. When this happens, I have to take a step back and remind myself that very few who are “the best” started out this way.

We tend to give the credit of success to “talent” rather than hard work and consistency. Most people at the top were not the most gifted in their field, and a lot of times they had to spend years working towards their goals before they received any accolades.

If you ever feel overwhelmed by comparisons, take a deep breath, remember that others have worked hard to make it to the top, and it probably took them years to get there. Imagine if you spend years working steadily towards one thing. It could be your job, your degree, a sport or hobby - whatever it may be, if you add up all those hours of consistent effort, you’ll eventually tip the scale and find yourself moving closer to your goals.

3. Trust the Process.

This is one principle that keeps coming back to me every week in new ways. I often want to rush my process - rush my body into adapting to sports, rush my mind into learning new skills, but when I rush, I miss out on being able to learn.

We have to trust that all these little, seemingly unimportant practices will evolve over time and that we will be changed - if not in our own time, in the right time.

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