Show Up, Do The Work, And Go Home

This post was fairly easy for me. I didn’t write it. Instead, I’m sharing a quote by Christopher Sommer, a renowned coach of champion gymnasts. A colleague shared Sommer’s quote with me. We’d been talking about the ups and downs of our work and how to maintain focus in a world of nonlinear progress.

When he shared Sommer’s quote, the expectations and perseverance really resonated with me. See what you think …

“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 an 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.

If the commitment is to a long-term goal and not to a series of smaller intermediate goals, then only one decision needs to be made and adhered to. Clear, simple, straightforward. Much easier to maintain than having to make small decision after small decision to stay the course when dealing with each step along the way. This provides far too many opportunities to inadvertently drift from your chosen goal. The single decision is one of the most powerful tools in the toolbox.”

What About You?

So what do you think? Does Sommer’s thoughts strike a chord with you? Can you relate to his admonition for a blue-collar approach to your goals – to show up, do the work and go home?


A version of this post occurred in my newsletter in June. If you like this post, you can get my best work delivered to your inbox every other week. It’s free and I don’t share your information with anyone. Just click on this link and subscribe.

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