This is the hardest thing about most undertakings in life
Exercise and weight loss
Writing or side hustles
A few months ago I wrote this story about my weight loss journey and it’s exactly about this challenge.
Consider parenting. I have four kids. The older ones are two teenage boys. They have complicated characters. For many years we’d wondered — will it ever get easier? Will they stop fighting? I am not talking about our boys being difficult in a cute way. It was damn hard and it still is, often. Now, for the first time in many years, we are seeing them mature. It’s becoming easier. But it’s taken years!
Consider a new job. Many months to get to know your team, and your boss. Months to learn your company and your role, even if you’re coming in supposedly prepared. That’s easily two years before you can become good at your job.
Entrepreneurship — nearly impossible to become successful fast. Getting started, often struggling, often pivoting — easily a couple of years before you see a viable path, let alone a successful path.
Relationships. Think of how easy it is to get excited about a new relationship, to fall in love, to think you’re in love, to start dreaming. But the beginning means so little! So many relationships end, often in pain. It takes time for any relationship to truly be tested. Years.
Hobbies. Any new hobby is cool but to become really good at something you need consistency, you need “reps” (as they call it in sports) over many-many months. You need years to achieve excellence.
There are exceptions. Wasn’t Instagram sold for a billion only after a year? But these are exceptions.
There are more concrete examples. Look at pro athletes. They get injured. Playing sports is not a hobby for them. It’s their entire life. Life pauses when an injury happens. Klay Thompson of the Golden State Warriors was away from the court for something like a thousand days. Read Klay’s story of how he suffered when he was immobilized. Patience, patience, patience…