The Grind

Do not grow weary in well-doing, for in due season, ye shall reap, if ye faint not.

—Galatians 6:9

We reap what we sow.

I remember a time when I just wanted to make some money so I could pay my bills, go out with my friends, and start dating. It seems like that’s the default goal for everyone once they turn about 18 or so. Though I was fortunate to be exposed to long-term thinkers and success-minded individuals fairly early, that didn’t stop me from living for the moment.

I didn’t really care about more than two or three weeks into the future. If I spent all the money I had to my name on a night out, I wasn’t worried because I’d get paid again in another two weeks.

Things have changed.

It may be true that our brains mature in our mid-20s at some point, allowing us to see further into the future. It certainly was for me.

I don’t really think about casual dating anymore because I’ve found it to be a horrible waste (though enjoyable and pleasurable) of time if you don’t plan on getting married. I don’t really think about short-term work to pay bills because in the long run, it’s trading hours for dollars. You do that stuff out of necessity; you don’t create a lifestyle that way.

But just because we think in the long-term doesn’t mean we don’t have short-term desires. I still desire the things I’ve always desired — probably even more so. I see people getting married and having kids and settling for decent jobs left and right, and I wonder if it’s right to wait. Am I being too picky? Indecisive? Is it crazy to try for the unknown, knowing it’s entirely possible and actually the odds are stacked against me that I’ll ever realize my dream?

I can speculate in a few cases where I know what’s going on behind the scenes that many of these people are trying to force their life to start prematurely (getting a job, getting married, having kids, mortgaging a house, leasing a car and purchasing other other toys with credit cards, etc.), rather than waiting for the right time. But how much life would one spend in the process of waiting for the “right one” whether it refers to a mate or a career opportunity or a call from God?

Well, I’ve already decided I can’t live to be mediocre. That is an impossibility for me. I’ve “burned my ships.”

So in the meantime, that means grinding it out. It means educating myself, building communities of peers and mentors, upgrading my skills, foregoing some of the good times that my peers are enjoying, and actively seeking opportunity after opportunity, weeding out the ones that don’t belong. It means postponing most things. It means sacrificing others. In God I trust — but sometimes, if I’m being honest, I really wonder how long this is going to take.

And so I grind.

I grind with almost religious consistency. I slowly improved at the gym by constantly showing up and getting better each time. I read books that I didn’t understand until I could understand them. I met almost all the people I know one at a time.

I still have a long way to go, but at least these grinding habits are pretty much automatic now. It was developing them that was difficult. Took me years. Napoleon Hill would call it the Law of Cosmic Habitforce.

From looking at the lives of world-changers come before me, it seems likely that this course of action will lead to open doors. I’m staking my life on it.

But the truth is we can never know for sure. If you look at the statistics, most people do not succeed. Most marriages do end in divorce (and that isn’t counting relationships that end in break-ups). Most people are broke at the end of their careers. Most people don’t self-actualize.

For the ones that want a shot at beating the statistics, I believe they must do the following: grind and have faith.

The harvest season is coming, and we cannot afford to grow weary.

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