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3 Ways To Love Doing The Hard Stuff


noun  (WORK)

Definition: A repetitive ongoing task, that one has to grit through.  Over and over again.  To be successful.

Be it finishing your salad.  Dealing with tough HR issues. Waking up early to do your exercise.  Or facing the blank page to up with that writing masterpiece.  

These are routine, endless, mundane, burdens that one needs to put up with.  Without which there is no hope of achieving triumph of any kind.  No matter what.

Since, there’s no escaping the Grind, the ruse lies in the way you talk to yourself about it.   Saying “I’m the type of person who loves this” incites a change in the level of identity.

It’s a way of reprogramming the way you look at yourself.  It empowers you to be your ideal, highest self. It is the deepest level of change that you can achieve.

I’ll be going deeper in the how.  How do you talk to yourself to bring about the change in identity.  I’ll be outlining three techniques that can help you do just that.

Strategy 1: What Would Jesus/John Do?

There’s a spiritual person I admire.  Let’s call him John.  The few times I have met John, I have rarely seen him fazed by anything.  There could be a nuclear explosion.  I could imagine John picking himself up, brush himself down and just carry on.  

I often get bogged down by the stresses of life.  It doesn’t take me long to sit on my pity pot.  “If only this didn’t happen.  If only I didn’t make that decision. If only that person did this…blah blah blah.

When I’m back to my senses.  I ask myself, “Well Arif, what would that John do?”  “Hmm, well he wouldn’t wallow in self-pity.  John would just pick himself up, brush himself down and just carry on.”

Knowing that there is someone out there who would react in a more purposeful manner, thinking how he would react in such a situation, empowers me to step up to that level of behaviour.

So, if you find yourself, escaping the grind, or reacting in a un-befitting manner, or stooping to your lower self. Ask yourself:

What would “your mentor/ favourite thought-leader” do?

It won’t matter if you can’t find the right words. You have a sense of the kind of feeling this person would embody. Or the approach he would take. Or the demeanour with which he would handle things. That’s enough to get you going.

Here’s an activity for you. Ask yourself:

What are you stuck on?   

Who is your role model?

Then, complete this phrase:  
“How would <enter role model here> deal with <enter problem here>?

I tell you, it works.  

Strategy 2: “Have an alter-ego” to “The Batman Effect”.

Hold on! Let me first introduce you to my alter-ego, Tele-caller Arif. Tele-caller Arif is a super suave wordsmith and communicator. He breezes through a hundred calls a day in quick succession, turning on the charm every single time.

What Tele-caller Arif does, I couldn’t do as good old me on any given day. Because I, regular Arif, find calling insanely frustrating. I know it’s something I have to do for my business.  I know I have to communicate to bring in those hires, but oh man, the very thought of it is dreadful.

This is where my alter-ego comes in. And unlike regular me, this guy gets the work done without breaking a sweat.  

Anytime you find yourself saying, “Damn, I can’t do that.”  Create an alter-ego, who can do that.  Create a personality for your alter-ego- one that is most conducive and productive to the task. And detaching yourself from the alter-ego helps you still retain your sense of self for the most part.

If you ask me, this strategy is absolute gold. You can use it for anything!

– Craving for that chocolate bar, “I’m Ironman-Arif”.  I don’t crave.

– Exhausted from writing, “I’m Asimov-Arif”.  I never run out of words or ideas.

– If I find myself, slumping and would like to maintain a good posture.  Well, I’m “Stallone-Arif”, I sit tall, straight and strong!

There’s a BBC article that goes a bit deeper on this.  It’s titled: The ‘Batman Effect’: How having an alter ego empowers you.

Oh, and if you want to see an alter-ego in action, watch this clip from the hit sitcom Silicon Valley.  Watch you can see Jared transform to Ed chambers to close a deal with Microsoft. (Warning: Strong language).

Strategy 3: Create an Ad for yourself

I used to hate running.  Any form of exercise really.  But one day I came across a Nike ad.  It said “From Couch Potato to 5k, in 3 months!”.  I was a big, rolly, polly couch potato.  I had layers of flab to prove it.  But could I be a lean, mean, running machine?  In just 3 months?

That had me perked.  And I kickstarted my fitness journey.

Since then, when I’m running low on inspiration juice I replay a Nike ad in my head.

Yes my muscles are sore and my leg hurts, but I’m the guy in the Nike ad.  I show up, no matter what.

You don’t need to depend on a Nike Ad.  Hell, you can direct your own ad.  Complete with Sound track and crowds cheering.

Once I started structuring my attitude this way, working out was a rush of joy. The morose and self-limiting thoughts, turned to exciting thoughts,  while being drenched in sweat!

So that’s it! Three Strategies.

Why do they work?  All for the same reason.  You’re visualising, associating, to a higher version of yourself.  You’re beginning change at the level of your identity.  Who you are!  Not just at the level of habit or action.

Once you begin to refine your sense of self, your outlook will fall in place.  

So from Strategy 1, 2 or 3?  Which was was your favourite?  Hit reply Let me know, would love to hear back from you!


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