There is no Easy Street.
Sure, growing up in Northern Virginia there was an actual road off Route 1 called Easy St. close to where I used to get my hair cut once a month. (Ironically — it was in the bad part of town.)
There is no easy way to do amazing things. If it’s easy to do then it can’t really be amazing. Those two things are as different as night and day.
“Easy” is the reward of mediocrity.
Having it easy is the reward you get for high-performance mediocrity. “Grade A” average showmanship.
It’s should scare you when you think you are doing something amazing and find it easy. Outrageous success is the result of gut-busting, mind-blowing, patience-pushing effort…
You can’t get it any other way.
Think about running. (By now you know that I love running).
You can run a few miles here or there — casual “stay in shape” stuff. Or you can decide to run a 5K. With the 5K, you suddenly have peer pressure. People running beside you, ahead of you. People trying to beat you.
Once you master the 5K, there’s the 10K — twice as far, twice as hard. And then there’s the half-marathon. Tons more time on your feet, but still not as bad as a marathon.
The marathon is like overtime at the office. Even if you’re good, it’s 3-4 hours of torture. You need to refuel along the way — stop for a bathroom break perhaps. It’s a whole strategy thing.
Still more challenging is an Ironman race, where you have 50 miles between you and the finish line. It’s brutal. And when you master one of those, you can try a Super Ironman — 100+ miles of pavement pounding. It’s a 24 hour dedication to peak physical performance.
If someone were to pay you $5 million dollars to run a Super Ironman right now, most of you would give it serious thought. You would spend a few minutes considering whether the deal was legit and whether you thought you had the “guts” to make it to the prize — that $5 million check.
In your mind, it’s a lot of of effort, but it appears possible. Somehow, someway you could pull it off. A lot of people might not be able to do it, but you could — especially for $5 million.
After all, almost 40,000 will people run the Boston Marathon this coming year. This is just a little longer.
Let’s take it up a notch.
How about a running event like this one: The 14th Annual Self-Transcendence 3,100-Mile Race.
A race that only 11 people will run this year.
3,1000 miles in 52 days or less.
More specifically — 5,649 laps of a .5488-mile loop around the Thomas A. Edison Career and Technical Education High School in Jamaica, Queens in New York City.
52 days of the worst torture the human body could experience. An experience only 25 people have ever finished in the history of the race.
This race is the perfect illustration for the effort and dedication that it takes to do amazing things. It’s not a lot. It’s a quantity so big you can’t even imagine it right now.
Could you run 2.5 marathons every day for the next 52 days?
It’s a lesson in why we break. We lose our passion. We just decide that we don’t have the will, the heart, the soul to make it to the finish line.
The same heart that could take you 100 miles, is the same heart that could lead you to the finish line 3000+ miles away. You haven’t changed (besides dropping a few calories along the way). The only thing that is different is the effort that you are willing to put towards your success.
And that realization is inspiring.
Because it means that you can accomplish anything as long as you are willing to put in the effort. As long as you believe success is that important.
So, here’s the real question: what do you think is important?
Are you willing to put in the effort?