Every time I hear “Hello” by Adele, I’m amused by the line, “It’s no secret that the both of us are running out of time.” (Here, at the 3:40 mark.)
How could she and her ex be running out of time? The album was called “25” because that’s how old she was when she wrote those songs. Obviously, at 25, you’ve got lots of time!
But it’s an incredible song, and that line adds urgency and gravitas to it.
The other day I was sitting here on my couch thinking about how digital courses enable you to share knowledge with lots of people, efficiently. Then I thought about what a pain in the ass it would be to make a digital course. And that’s when it hit me:
Probably you never get extraordinary results without an extraordinary amount of effort.
Put another way, an ordinary amount of effort will likely only get you ordinary results.
(But if you know someone who has attained extraordinary results with an ordinary amount of effort, hit “Reply”! Lol.)
Of course, “extraordinary effort” doesn’t necessarily mean a hellish sprint. An extraordinary effort can be a long, slow process of working day in and day out. THAT’S what’s extraordinary: Staying with it. Persevering. Making tiny progress on a project bit by bit. And then, usually, having binge work sessions toward the end, as you’re finishing it.
But getting back to the topic of age: For me, the overwhelming experience of middle age is endlessly debating whether it’s worth it to make an extraordinary effort.
Should I knock myself out? Why? What is my motivation exactly? Will I get the results I want? If the odds of success are 50/50, or worse, should I knock myself out anyway?
I know, you’re not supposed to care about the results. “It’s not what you get that makes you happy, it’s who you become.”
Who do you want to become?
Decide what identity you want, says Atomic Habits author James Clear. Focusing on the identity you want inspires you to commit to the habits that’ll get you there.
It’s not good to start asking yourself whether this or that is worth making the effort for. You end up walking in circles.
Better to take action, toward something. Anything, honestly.
Don’t wait for inspiration to strike.
Don’t think about whether you’re in the mood.
Just do it.
Because—and yes, I’m going to say it—
It’s no secret that the both of us are running out of time.