How to Grind
We all have our preferred methods of motivation that helps us strive to accomplish our goals. Some of us prefer to think long term and envision a 1, 5 or even a 10 year plan. Others use a short term mindset, sticking to projects they want to complete in a few weeks or months. Then there is the group that maintains a basic objective of paying their bills to support their family and maybe have some disposable income for that new Drake album. Whatever your goals are, we all have the same thing in common: we have to grind to get there.
Maybe you’re not sure if certain days count as grinding or perhaps you just worked 9–5 instead of 9–9. Irrespective of how you define a day of “grinding”, it’s all about how your perceived it and something has to get you through it.
So, let’s take the person working for corporate america as one example. He wakes up at 5:00 am, drinks his coffee while writing and/or reading the news. Following his morning routine, he heads off to work via the train and works a 8–10 hour day or sometimes even longer. After an exhaustive day of spreadsheets, numbers and co-worker complaints, he takes the train back. Finally arriving to his home in suburbia, far away from the constant chaos of a major metropolitan, the day is over…..or is it? The last part of his day begins, consisting of the nightly routine of helping his wife with their two kids; cooking, cleaning up the toys scattered every where like landmines and the dishes piled higher than Mount St. Helen’s. The day finally ends around 11:00 following a brief dinner out of exhaustion. As far as leisurely activities, a couple of TV shows and maybe a night cap are usually it.
Now, I don’t know about you, but that was taxing just running through that routine. In case you haven’t caught on, that daily grind was actually a typical day in my life. While it may vary from time to time, that’s my average day in a nutshell. Some days it’s not bad and I get through it with ease and without much conscious thought in terms of motivation. Other more frequent times, I feel like crushing that nutshell into tiny pieces. So how do I or anyone else for that matter get through it? I’m not talking about what coffee shops do I frequent or what energy drinks I guzzle down, nor will I discuss better sleep habits; there are plenty of blogs for the aforementioned methods of just staying awake. I’m here to give the mental approach on how to grind.
Sure you can caffeinate yourself to the max, but eventually you develop a tolerance and or ill side effects from the excessive caffeine and chemicals. Well, at least I did. While there’s nothing wrong with getting through the grind like that (assuming your body can tolerate it) it’s just not effective in the long run. What is effective is mental imagery combined with perhaps some musical selections which move you.
I wake up ready to attack the day and beat it into submission. Now. I know you’ve heard that cliche before or something like it, but most of the time it holds true. Plus, would you want to read on if I told you I wake up shaking and terrified to get out of my cozy bed in fear of something bad happening for no rational reason? Maybe, as that might be entertaining to explore this hypothetical agoraphobia, but I’d rather just show you how to get through your daily grind.
I’m always in a constant state of fatigue, albeit on the lower end of the spectrum. But that’s if I allow myself to get in that state of mind and stay in it. Yes, I believe it’s a state of mind more than we give credence to and doesn’t have to be that way. While sleep is important, you’d be surprised how much you can do without getting a cushy 8–10 hours of deep REM sleep.
Starting with music, I’ve always been inspired and motivated by music like many people are. But I tend to listen to music comprised of a few striking attributes that I find appealing. One of my go-tos is some hip hop with a strong and tough beat, usually with an artist that raps in a tough style. When you’re feeling tired, weak and maybe even anxious, sometimes getting mad or acting tough can rejuvenate you. I’ll either chose that or some hard rock to visualize some powerful scenarios. Having a wild imagination can really benefit you if you understand how to leverage it. I’m from the point of view that it doesn’t matter what you want to imagine, as long as it doesn’t negatively affect you or anyone else out there. If you want to imagine you’re Batman because it helps give you the confidence to walk in a room and converse with a group of strangers, I’ll oblige. Personally, I enjoy imagining a heroic situation where I’m often saving my family by fighting off criminals or a group of bank thieves. I’m not sure why, but it seems to give me the energy to take on long and busy days. I should also note that much of this role playing and musical motivation takes place at the start of my day and sets the tone.
Other times, I just envision myself as some warrior beating my chest screaming out of uncontrollable passion. Ridiculous, I acknowledge, but this is simply what works for me. You may find that listening to Jack Johnson while sipping your chai tea is how you get through your grind. But for me, the daily grind is just that; it’s tough, it’s seemingly never ending and has some fire to it. And the best solution to fight fire (uh-oh, here comes another cliche) is to use more fire and beat the living crap out of it.
I’ll end with one final note and it comes from the late “Ultimate Warrior” aka Jim Hellwig. He was probably one of the most intense personalities I’ve come across on Youtube. One of the points he always preached about was being passionate about what you do but also, fighting the resistance. He didn’t mean that in some rebellious anti-establishment sense, he literally meant the resistance of the grind each day and in life. In fact, he often personified this concept as “Mr. Resistance” (usually with an expletive or two in there). One of his quotes that stuck with me which was a response to a fan question was, “I hoped you’ve worked out your forearms a lot because today’s going to be a hell of a day and it’s time to beat Mr. Resistance with a f***ing baseball bat until he can’t move.” If that doesn’t motivate you to get through your daily grind, then go shoot a rocket launcher, I don’t know.
Till next ride