“Hard work is not easy but it’s fair.” -Larry Holmes
Al-Diwaniyah, Iraq (Operation Iraqi Freedom VII)
From October 2009 to September 2010, I lived in Al-Diwaniyah, Iraq. To be completely transparent, I wasn’t the best soldier in the world when I landed there. Probably not how you want to be when going to war.
Truthfully, I hated being the in military. I was constantly getting in trouble and I was an overweight, out of shape soldier by Army standards. The one promising thing about me was I’ve always been motivated to get better.As a result of my personal motivation, I was able to get my act together while in Iraq. First thing I did was start reading magazines about health and fitness. In the process, I learned different workout routines and healthy meal plans.
My efforts yielded success, I recorded my highest physical fitness score while in the Army (294) and I had lost around 40 pounds. I was stronger, smarter, and faster. This was all possible through hard work, educating myself, and a consistent determined effort in the direction of being an all around better soldier for those around me. I went from being talked down to on a regular basis to the guy many looked up to and wanted to emulate.
In Search of…
I remember one soldier (Dish was his nickname) in particular who wanted to know everything from my workout routine to what I was eating on a daily basis. I had no secrets, so I was more than willing to share with him everything I had done at that point to get where I was.
We sat down together and I wrote out workouts I performed on specific days and even a daily set of meal plans. He then shadowed me for a few days to see everything for himself.
After a week or so, I bumped into Dish’s roommate. He told me Dish was upset about the information I had given him. According to Dish, nothing I told him was working and he believed I didn’t tell him everything. In other words, he thought I was lying and withholding information.
I never confronted Dish about it, but I was upset by his comments. Everything I was doing in the gym and out of it, down to the supplements I was taking had been written out for him.
And, I had every right to be upset because I had been completely honest with him. I just didn’t know what he was really searching for.
The Cheat Codes / Magic Pill
Unknown to me at the time, Dish was looking for the cheat codes. He saw that I had gotten in good shape and wanted to know how I did it. When he found out I did it the hard way he thought I wasn’t being honest with him.
He came to me looking for the magic pill. I’ve now realized he hoped I was taking some supplement he wasn’t aware of that would lead to him shedding pounds and gaining strength quickly. Unfortunately, I had no secrets to tell.
In Dish’s mind, I had lost the weight and gained strength over a short period of time. In reality, it happened slowly over a period of 6-8 months of hard work and dedication.
The main point is this, “hard work is not easy but it’s fair.” I put in the work, therefore I reaped the benefits and got the results.
By looking for a quick fix in the form of some miracle pill or supplement, Dish was attempting to cheat himself and the process. Life doesn’t work that way. Unfortunately, There are no quick fixes or short cuts.
When you set a goal for yourself the only way you can achieve it is by becoming the person capable of accomplishing that goal. Had Dish followed my plan for a month instead of a week, he may have achieved better results. Instead, he took the easy route and likened me to a liar.
Remove this idea in your head that there is some pill you can take or life hack you can implement to achieve the success you want. Realize that God has already given you everything you need in order to succeed in life. And if you add hard work, determination, and a consistent effort to that YOU WILL NOT FAIL.
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