How Energy Increases, Strength Grows, and the Seduction of Doing Easy Things is Resisted
You don’t find strength while snoozing in a hammock or snacking at the movies.
Expand potential by doing things that require energy and strength.
Strength rises when you do hard things.
No challenge – no strength.
Resist the seduction of easy things:
Pack-dwellers grab low-hanging apples. But opportunities emerge and potential expands when you reach high.
Low goals insult talent.
Self-respect isn’t found lounging in a hammock. It comes to those who do hard things.
Stop drifting. How might you reach high?
Low-hanging fruit provides quick easy wins, but you learn what you’re made of when you climb for the top of the tree.
Big challenge produces big strength.
6 ways to increase energy and grow strength:
“The quality of your life depends upon the quality of your thoughts…” Marcus Aurelius
#1. Maintain undistracted focus on clear goals and objectives. You never wander your way to high-hanging fruit.
#2. Hold passion to please your boss in your heart. People pleasing is often a hinderance. But ethically pleasing the people over you expands opportunities.
#3. Demonstrate high ethical standards that protect long-term gains. We all know people who fell from the heights.
#4. Focus on winning. You don’t win by fearing losing. You don’t win when you worry about the runner to your left or right. You move forward when you look to the finish line.
#5. Work hard. If you’re looking for an easy job, don’t seek leadership.
#6. Savor the benefits of service. Enjoy relationships with people you have served. Be thankful for respect that comes from diligent service.
You can’t control everything that pops into your head, but you can control the things you set your mind on.
5 behaviors that increase energy and grow strength:
- Give honor instead of demanding honor.
- Maintain zeal in low-energy environments.
- Focus on service even when under-appreciated.
- Meet pressing needs when no one is watching.
- Practice kindness even when people seem unkind.
What expands potential?
How might leaders find the power to do hard things?
22 hard things you have to do to be successful (cnbc.com)
7 things that make it easier to ‘do the hard thing’ | Kelly Exeter
Why Doing ‘Hard Things’ Makes You Stronger | Weaving Influence
How to Teach Yourself to Do Hard Things (lifehacker.com)
Perhaps the postulate for “no challenge, no strength” is “know challenge, know strength”. I find power to do hard things by setting a small goal and gaining a small win. Then I set a larger goal and gain a larger win. The momentum that grows from there provides power to do hard things.
Thanks Beth. Wonderful insight. Reaching high is about two things. The courage to set stretch goals and the wisdom to break stretch goals into actionable behaviors. Small wins are helpful confidence builders. They are also most useful when they contribute to big wins.
Great post Dan!!
Appreciate you, sir!
Thanks for the good word. I appreciate you.
Great and timely post – I am exhausted today, but remain focused on our BHAGS (Big Hairy Ass Goals). This just gave me that little extra boost to get at it and “Eat That Frog”. Have an amazing day and Thank You!!!
Thanks Joseph. And thanks for referring to Brian Tracey’s book, Eat that Frog.
Love your interpretation of BHAG… I think Jim Collins used “audacious.” But your version is more memorable. 🙂
I’m struggling with energy. I seem to have quite a bit of frustration energy, not positive “get things done” energy and I can’t seem to shift it. I’m having a hard time letting go of situations over which I don’t have control. That leads to frustration and while outwardly, I’m doing my best to give honour, show zeal, etc., it’s taking an enormous amount of energy to contain the frustration and then it’s super discouraging when I don’t contain it. Can you recommend any steps I can take to let things go? Thanks so much.
Hi Dee, I’ve been thinking about your comment. I personally know how exhausting anger can be. On the surface, anger shows you what you don’t want. If you listen deeply to your anger, what do you want? feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Dee’s post really spoke to me. I wonder how I can let go? Can you share the advice you had in mind?
I would like to take the 6 ways to increase energy and grow strength and break them down in my life. By breaking these 6 ways, it will better hold me accountable and understand areas to increase energy and grow strength at my workplace.
#1-Maintain undistracted focus on clear goals and objectives. – One area to help keep undistracted focus is using my calendar to breakdown how and where I spend my time. It is easy to put something off for later which never gets accomplished.
#2. Hold passion to please your boss in your heart. – I like the idea to hold the pleasing in your heart. Not “Brown Nosing” in front of everyone, but purpose inside that I will work with passion.
#3. Demonstrate high ethical standards that protect long-term gains. – It is very easy to do everything right, but one unethical action, your name can crumble.
#4. Focus on winning- This goes back to #1 with the idea of having clear goals and objectives.
#5. Work hard. – Leadership can be very difficult and working hard is part of any job.
#6. Savor the benefits of service. -With my personality I like working with people and enjoying serving others.