Updated: Mar 26, 2020
Christopher Sommer (@GymnasticBodies) is a former U.S. National Team gymnastic coach and founder of gymnasticbodies.com, an online training system for athletic performance, rooted in gymnastic movements.
Tim Ferriss (@TimFerriss) is an early-stage tech investor/advisor and the author of three #1 New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestsellers.
As detailed in Tim's most recent book, Tools of Titans, the two share an email exchange over their gymnastic training together. Tim expresses his utter frustration with his perceived lack of progress and Christophe responds with wise words. The following is an excerpt from that exchange and serves as worthy advice both inside and outside the gym:
“Dealing with the temporary frustration of not making progress is an integral part of the path towards excellence. In fact, it is essential and something that every single elite athlete has had to learn to deal with. If the pursuit of excellence was easy, everyone would do it. In fact, this impatience in dealing with frustration is the primary reason that most people fail to achieve their goals. Unreasonable expectations time-wise, resulting in unnecessary frustration, due to a perceived feeling of failure. Achieving the extraordinary is not a linear process.
The secret is to show up, do the work, and go home.
A blue collar work ethic married to indomitable will. It is literally that simple. Nothing interferes. Nothing can sway you from your purpose. Once the decision is made, simply refuse to budge.
Refuse to compromise.
And accept that quality long-term results require quality long-term focus. No emotion. No drama. No beating yourself up over small bumps in the road. Learn to enjoy and appreciate the process. This is especially important because you are going to spend far more time on the actual journey than with those all too brief moments of triumph at the end.
Certainly celebrate the moments of triumph when they occur. More importantly, learn from defeats when they happen. In fact, if you are not encountering defeat on a fairly regular basis, you are not trying hard enough. And absolutely refuse to accept less than your best.
Throw out a timeline. It will take what it takes."
Such is the way.