Fighting Against Gravity

Jocko Willink has some important words about a different kind of gravity:

When you’re working out you’re fighting against gravity. Gravity is pulling the weights down, it is pulling your body weight down, it’s preventing you from sprinting up the hill. So you’re fighting against gravity but strangely enough the gravity that usually defeats people isn’t that gravity, it’s the metaphorical gravity. The gravity that pulls you into bed and keeps you there in the morning, the gravity that pulls you into your house and prevents you from going to the gym, the gravity that stops you from starting something you want to do. That’s the gravity you have to fight!

It is a simple concept but something a lot of people miss. It is easy to see the runner, mountain climber, cyclist, body builder, and think, “It is amazing how their hard work has paid off!” Unless you are thinking about winners and losers at the edge of performance in sports luck is not something that remotely comes to mind. In other words, the abilities of these people are directly related to the hard work they have put in over a long period of time and no matter what shape you are in currently you can at least imagine the process, be it true to reality or not, that has got them to where they are.

However, what about the person with the great job, money in the bank, outstanding peer group, that is falling into opportunity everywhere? It all comes down to rich parents, out of reach education, and in most cases — simply luck or brains you don’t have — right? Wrong! As I have said before it takes a good five to ten years to become an overnight success. It is during those years when all of your time is spent fighting the metaphorical gravity keeping you from the place where you can actually see results.

The metaphor goes deeper… If you stop fighting actual gravity your muscles will quickly start to atrophy. Wait long enough and you will be starting from square zero all over again. It might take longer depending on how far you got but it will, none the less, happen over time. The same is true with metaphorical gravity. Success never releases you from the struggle. It does, however, bring reward to it that will be the ever plentiful juice keeping you going. It also means to go big you need to start small. (You cannot suddenly add fitness to a lifestyle by starting out with running marathon) Want to get to a place where the doing the impossible in your mind today is the normal of tomorrow? A good place to start is to follow this simple advice:

Do one thing every day that scares you. Baz Luhrmann — Everybody’s Free (to Wear Sunscreen)

As the days turn to weeks, the weeks turn to months, and the months turn to years, you will be surprised how thoroughly you will eventually kick metaphorical gravity’s ass.

(Originally posted on Medium)