Yup, that’s right. You heard me.

It’s time to work harder. Not just harder, better.

We live in a world where people try to make us feel good about ourselves and our goals. We talk about our accomplishments and offer consolations to people who don’t make it to glory (“oh, it’s okay, at least you tried!”).  I’m usually adamant for positive encouragement, trying things, and getting better.

But not at the expense of getting soft.
Because there comes a point when good enough just isn’t enough.
What makes you feel good at night isn’t just that you tried.

What really matters is that you tried, you failed, you tried, you tried AGAIN, you worked your crazy butt off and then YOU DID IT.

You did what you set out to do.
What feels good is when you actually, against all odds, found a way to make it happen.
Unfortunately, sometimes people stop at “just trying.”

Just trying can make you feel pretty good.

But at the end of the day, just trying isn’t good enough. Most people don’t care that you tried. In fact, you might not even care that you tried.

Actually doing what you set out to do is what makes you a ROCKSTAR.

I’m talking about that feeling of HELL YES, I DID IT. The feeling of utter and complete exhaustion knowing that you really DID do everything to make it happen. The feeling that when you get home, you can’t finish your beer because you’re so-damn-tired but you are grinning from ear to ear because hell-yes-you-made-it-happen.  When you do it, you know.

Not: Oh – well I tried.
Not a shrug, and Okay, well, I guess I’ll watch TV for a minute because it’s too hard. I don’t have time to finish it right now, but at least I tried.
Sometimes “just trying” is bullshit.

You know you want to make it happen.

If “it” hasn’t happened yet for you – whether it’s your dream of writing a book, running a marathon, getting a new job, or starting a business – then frankly, you need to keep working.

It’s probably not that fun right now. That’s okay.
It can be pretty rough in the beginning.
Sometimes that’s the way it’s supposed to be.
Get over it.

Don’t stop now.  Be inspired by the people who are so dedicated to their dreams that they worked for 5, 10, 15, years to make it happen.

Success doesn’t happen overnight.  Success happens by consistent, long-term, dedicated, disciplined determination and hard work.

Most of my readers are outgoing, go-get-’em, talented, driven people. (I know, because so many of you have emailed me, shared with me, chatted with me over lunch or met up virtually via twitter- believe me, I think you’re amazing). You are amazing. And I am here, 100% behind you, believing in you.

But today, right now, let’s face it: believing isn’t enough. Believing doesn’t get your book written. Thinking positively doesn’t get you off the couch to go running. Reading someone else’s work doesn’t move your ass to where it needs to be. Sometimes, we have to let failure sink in and think things through. Maybe you’re not there yet, and that’s okay. I will encourage you and support you.

I will also tell you to work harder.  And better.  Find a way to make it happen. Find a way to get it done. I don’t care what you have to do. Today, I don’t care that you’re tired or scared or stressed out. I’m calling bull sh*t on you. Do it anyways.

You have to do the work.

I’m here, at a computer, working. I’m there, late at night, in an office, working. There are lots of nights of endless work and very un-sexy days of hours of figuring things out. I pin stuff up on walls, tear it down, write it again, rework my ideas, agonize, and meet with people to figure things out. I share my ideas and they get ripped off the walls. I start over again. Weeks go by in immense frustration. You wouldn’t know the half of it, except, well, I share a lot of things on this blog so you DO know the half of it. Then I’m here, writing about it, telling you about when I make it happen, when I fail, and what I’ve learned.

What are you doing, right now, to make things happen?

In an article on the difference between Asian parenting styles and Western parenting styles, Amy Chua of the Wall Street Journal talks about raising talented children, and the high expectations she has for her children. In an evocative essay on the differences in parenting and expectation, she makes several points that are worth repeating:

“We must work harder and longer and struggle to learn new things, to the point of mastery, even when it’s not fun in the beginning.”

Why? Because (as she says), we know that ‘nothing is fun until you’re good at it. To get good at anything you have to work, and children on their own never want to work, which is why it is crucial to override their preferences.’ “

While I may or may not agree with all of her points on parenting styles, this point is so true it’s worth repeating:

It’s not going to be fun yet until you get THERE.

And most people won’t get there because they give up too quickly and too soon. Yeah, it’s hard. Yeah, it’s gonna take a lot of work. Why are you here, anyways? You’re here because you like reading my stories and occasional ramblings. You’re also here because you like being inspired, or hearing about how things happen.

Things happen because you make them happen. Read that again.

Things happen because YOU make them happen.

Because you work your ass off getting it done.
Because you put in long hours when it needs it.
Because you’re willing to say no to the things that don’t match your vision.
Because you want to make things happen.

So. Get working. I’m done talking to you. Consider this your swift kick in the ass for the week. (You deserve it).

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