This week, more than most others, I have started working seven days. Some people would call me crazy. To those people I say you love your couch and television a little too much. Time waits for no one and there’s stuff to get done.

There’s a saying that I keep seeing pop up in memes all over the internet: “Hustle until the balance in your bank account looks like a phone number”.  It’s an amazing and bold statement that keeps on playing over and over again in my head.

In my life I have been poor. I have been homeless. I have been sick and I have been less than gracefully unemployed.  However, never in my life have I ever given up on where I thought I should be.  I am still scratching and crawling to that point and when I get there I’m sure I will feel that I have a long way more to go.

Life, has taken its shots at me, just like its done to many others. I’ve been beaten and bruised, kicked and punched, and told to stay down. “Don’t get back up. I’ll hit you again. Don’t get back up,” it said to me. I didn’t want to get hit again.  I didn’t wan’t to get kicked again. I was getting tired. But, the fighter in me doesn’t stay down. The soldier in me doesn’t stay down. The veteran in me doesn’t stay down. The husband in me doesn’t stay down. The father in me doesn’t stay down. I don’t stay down no matter what the cost.

I always get up and ask life, “Is that all you got?” And the beatings begin again.

In the resolute recesses of my spirit I have posted a promise I made to myself a long time ago. I will bring my dreams to fruition and I won’t stop. I have seen others make the same promise and fall by the wayside. They stop for many reasons. The main reason for most of them was that it’s too hard. It’s too tiring. It takes too much effort. There are days I feel the same. But, that promise is still posted back there and its never coming down.

I look to past family members who made it through the Great Depression with very little to eat and very little to spend. I give thanks to them and my father who taught me the meaning of making an honest dollar for an honest day of work. The U.S. Army taught me that the day isn’t done until there’s no work to be done and that sometimes it will take massive amounts of sweat and blood to complete a mission.

What I’m trying to say is that success does not spring from being comfortable sitting on your couch. It does not come from feeling relaxed. It comes with sacrifice by missing time with your loved ones, bypassing the urge to buy that new pair of sneakers you wanted, or getting that extra hour of sleep. It comes with giving up something to gain something.

If you look back at the many people we could use as examples of success you will find a modicum of pain and suffering that propelled them to keep going no matter what. Your idol might be Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Jay Z, or any other Hollywood actor or actress, tinker or tycoon that comes to mind. They suffered, but they used it as fuel for greater reward at the expense of a today filled with immediate gratification.

So suffer today.  Take life’s shots to the chin. Crawl in the mud. Forego the luxuries of blowing it all at the club every weekend. Drive the clunker. Never mind that status of others. As one of my favorite actors, Matthew McConaughey, once stated, “My hero is me ten years from now.”

 

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