In Arnold’s 5th rule of success, he quotes Muhammad Ali: “I don’t count my sit ups. I only start counting when it starts hurting. When I feel pain, that’s when I start counting because that’s when it really counts. That’s what makes you a champion…”

Rule #5: Work Your Butt Off

I laugh internally whenever I hear people criticize a professional athlete when they mess up an “easy” play. They would say something similar to “that’s what they pay you for!” Most people say it without ever playing the sport.

Let’s take it the other way.

Think about someone you admire. Think about what they do and why you admire them. They make it look easy. You probably think it’s impossible for you to do it as well as they do.

I do this with my mentors and many others on the John Maxwell Team. I have done it with coworkers. But then, I remember they have been doing it longer than I.

People have done the same with me.

  • You have a great baseball swing. They didn’t see the thousands of hours I put into it.
  • It’s easy for you to exercise. They don’t see me force myself to get to the gym.
  • You should write a book. They didn’t see the hundreds of ideas and drafts I erased.
  • You ask great questions. They don’t see the dozens of times I rephrase the question before saying it.
  • Easy for you to say it because you have been here so long. They have not seen the battle scars paying for my stay.

You get the point. There’s no such thing as an overnight success.

While I have had a comfortable life so far, I have had plenty of struggles along the way. Especially when it comes to fighting my gremlins.

My biggest challenge when playing baseball, and one of the main reasons why I didn’t play professionally, was the perfectionist in me telling me I wasn’t going to be any good because I had too many things to work on. The same thinking is present in everything I do.

The path to my current levels of success contains a lot of emotional scars that had to be conquered. Climbing the ladder of success is more than sweat and effort. It’s about persistence. It’s about paying the price it requires to be disciplined and courageous enough to do the right thing and keep moving forward.

It’s about proving yourself to what Napoleon Hill called the hidden guide.

The hidden Guide lets no one enjoy great achievement without passing the PERSISTENCE TEST. Those who can’t take it, simply do not make the grade.

Those who can “take it” are bountifully rewarded for their PERSISTENCE. They receive, as their compensation, whatever goal they are pursuing. That is not all!

They receive something infinitely more important than material compensation: the knowledge that EVERY FAILURE BRINGS WITH IT THE SEED OF AN EQUIVALENT ADVANTAGE.

–Napoleon Hill, TAGR


What are you going to fight for?




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