No matter who you are and what you are trying to do, it takes time and energy to learn new things. It takes patience and perseverance, and more energy than you ever imagined. It takes time, more time, and just when you think you have it down you will need more time to learn the parts you haven’t even encountered. Until you have done the work, trained your muscles, endured the constant pain and growth and learning you haven’t really earned any sweat equity.
I had someone tell me recently that they don’t mind working hard but they don’t like to sweat. They think it is messy and it makes them uncomfortable. So they avoid situations where they might sweat even the tiniest amount. They figure out another way to get there or they just move on to something else. I didn’t really have a response to all that. I think I was shocked not only that they felt this way and arranged their life accordingly, I was surprised they were so proud to tell me about their philosophy on life. I walked away a little stunned and without words.
Later I thought about this person and realized the opportunities they were missing because they didn’t want to sweat. The sense of pride and accomplishment when you work hard, get messy, sweat and can see the fruits of your labors. The unplanned adventures when you climb a hill not knowing what is on the other side, covered in sweat then you see a view that you will never forget. The cramped bus rides to remote tropical places, the silliness of a family football game when no one really abides by the rules, or the joy of eating a turkey you cooked and sweated to baste over and over again for hours. If you won’t sweat when do you get to experience any of these things?
Getting somewhere in life requires hard word. If you work hard enough you can learn and grow and develop into the person you hoped you would become when you were in fifth grade. If you are not willing to be uncomfortable, work hard, and then work some more, then how do you earn that sweat equity in your own life? How do you have a sense of pride and personal confidence in yourself? How do you know your own limits if you aren’t willing to test them?
I have to admit I feel a bit sorry for the person who doesn’t want to sweat. They are missing some of the best parts of growing and developing. They are not allowing themselves the chance to see what they can do, to experience what is on the other side, or see what the world has to offer. You have to be willing to do the work, build up your own sweat equity and feel the pain in order to get to the next level. Otherwise all you are doing is riding along the simple path avoiding the uncomfortable and letting someone else have all the adventures. Personally I’ll keep putting in the hard work and sweat, and I will enjoy the ride…then I’ll take a shower!