“There is no substitute for hard work.” -Thomas Edison

“Focus on your vision and keep going until you hit the finish line. Don’t be one of the people who believe in their vision at first but then give up. See it through, no matter how long it takes. Understand that obstacles are just part of the game. Whatever you imagine, you can achieve. Once you realize this truth, no one is going to be able to stop you.” – Russel Simmons

I love this. Figure out your vision. Write it down. Make it stick. Know exactly what it is that you want and then go after it with everything you have. It doesn’t matter how badly you want it, it will never just be given to you. If you have the power to set a goal, make sure you have the power to finish it. I think this really resonates with me because I have an easy time getting started on something. As soon as I conceptualize it, I do it. I don’t delay action by weighing the pros and cons, collecting a ton of data, or asking mentors or peers, I just do it. Then somewhere along the process it becomes challenging. The joy and excitement of starting the goal washes away and I’m left with really hard and sometimes very mundane work. My challenge is always to keep going. I want to start after a new, more exciting goal, instead of seeing the first goal through.

One of the things I realized when starting MOVE Austin Fitness was that work is work. The whole “do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life” seems unrealistic to me. Millennials, myself included, LOVE to follow our passion. We want to feel valued and important. We want to make a difference in the world. We want to decide what it is that we love and then automatically be the best at it, instead of work hard for it. We don’t have time to rise up through the ranks. We are so passionate about our work that we believe we should already be up front leading the troops. When we change our mind of what gives us joy, purpose, and meaning, we move on; unlike our parents and grandparents who held the same job for their entire life and appreciated the stability. We want to start at the top. Or move up the ladder very quickly. So when I followed my passion of fitness and opened up a gym, I soon realized the hard part wasn’t in the conceptualizing and opening, it was in the next three years and beyond of hard work that followed.

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After college one of the hardest things about going straight into our family business of real estate was how encompassing it was. My mom used to always say, “Real estate is not a job, it’s a lifestyle.” At the beginning you have to hustle, like really, really hustle. You’re working all day, showing clients in the evening, writing contracts late at night, working weekends, answering phone calls, and you’re constantly plugged in. I saw my mom do this growing up and thought, I’ll never do real estate. She has no life! I figured if I was going to spend my life working, why not do something I loved so much that it would never feel like work? Ah ha! Why not do fitness full-time? Boy was I in for a shock.

That first year opening up MOVE was one of the hardest years of my life. We were thrown into the trenches. Jarrod and I were at the gym way before the sun came up and home after dark. We even lived in walking distance so we could get up there at a moments notice. Several times we joked about just putting a bed in the office. We coached every class together and spent our off time learning how to run a business. When no one showed up for our class we would lock the door, turn off the lights and take a quick nap on our ab mats. Too exhausted to work out. A far cry from healthy, we grabbed take out chinese food or fast food from P’Terry’s on our way home, then plopped in bed only to do it all over again the next day. To this day I cannot think of eating Snow Pea Chinese food ever again, or really any Chinese food for that matter.

Let’s just say we got a fast track course in Business 101 that year. Not to mention we decided to get married and start a life together at the same time. All of a sudden the answering phone calls, meeting clients and “life encompassing work” I did as a Realtor didn’t seem too tough. Perspective is an amazing thing. Looking back, my mom always had time for me growing up. She worked hard, but she was at every game, school event and life event. Her time was flexible. She was her own boss and was able to create the life she wanted. She knew what she wanted. She knew what was important to her and what it took to get it. Then she worked hard for it. And she stuck with it. She is still working hard, improving everyday, mentoring me and providing for the life she wants with my Dad. They travel constantly. They are madly in love. They have balance. I value her for that.

At the end of the day I don’t think it matters what your passions are when it comes to working toward the life of your dreams. I think it matters what your core values are. Let me explain. One of my passions has always been fitness. I have been an athlete my entire life. I live and breathe fitness. I am so passionate about it that whether it’s my job or not I will make time for it. In fact when it was my job, I didn’t make time for it! The last thing I wanted to do was spend another hour at the gym for myself. The things I told my clients to do, I wasn’t doing. I felt unauthentic. I felt unhealthy. Funny how that works.

My core values however, are much deeper than my passions. My core values give my life meaning. They aren’t just something I enjoy doing, they are the reason behind everything I do. They are essential to who I am, what I believe in and what my purpose is. Servitude, love, family, tradition, spirituality, gratitude, financial freedom, and purposeful living are the core values that currently drive my life. It doesn’t matter if I’m working in my passion or not, because if my core values are the driving force behind my work, I will feel happy, fulfilled and content. I will be using my strengths to best serve the world. I will be meeting my definition of success and still have time for my passions.

That was my big wake up call. Work is work. It’s hard. It’s tiring. You won’t always want to do it. There will be obstacles. You will want to quit. Don’t stop. Don’t start over. Put your head down and keep going. Finish what you start. Continue to serve others, find your financial freedom, give your heart and joy and love and laughter to everyone you come in contact with. Find the meaning and value in your work. What is the ultimate goal? I am beyond blessed to have Jarrod running MOVE as I got back into real estate almost two years ago. I feel more balanced than I ever have in my life. My core values are being met and now I can focus on self-improvement and empowering others. I have time for hard work and I have time for my passions. I have peace. I have purpose.

Today’s Daily Affirmation: I finish what I start. I am living purposefully. I am a hard worker. I am providing for my future. My core values guide my life. My beliefs are valid. My dreams are my reality. Everything I imagine I can achieve. I am already perfect, beautiful and whole.

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