Good day everyone. I checked back into Tim Ferriss’ Tools of Titans for today’s What I Learned. This book is solid gold. A huge book filled with thoughts and ideas to help you achieve anything you want.
Ferriss talks about an email exchange he had with former U.S. National Team gymnastics coach and founder of GymnasticBodies, Christopher Sommer. Ferriss was working with Coach Sommer on a move/workout called “straddle L extensions”. I’m not exactly sure what this move is but it sounds brutal. You can replace straddle L extensions with anything you want. Writing a book, running a marathon, improving your relationship with your spouse, anything.
After an email that Ferriss sends Sommer expressing his discouragement, Sommer responds with a gem. A couple hundred word response that summarizes entire books and coaching courses. Ferriss, in both his genius and generosity, shares it with us.
I’m not going to share the entire email but rather point out some key points that I think can help us as we strive for greatness and success.
Here they are….
A. Be Patient.
This is literally the first words Sommer says to Tim. Patience. Far too soon to expect improvements. It takes time. A lot of time. More time that you think. Impatience is the primary reason people fail. They expect greatness and massive changes and success quickly. This failure to meet expectations lead to frustration which eventually leads to failure. It’s completely unnecessary. We need to be patient.
B. Patient but Persistent.
There is a secret, according to Sommer. And that it is to show up, do the work, and go home. That’s it. I’ve heard this time and time before. Jeff Goins talks about it in his books, as does Steven Pressfield and Seth Godin. You have to do the work in order to find success.
Once the decision is made to achieve whatever goal you have, show up and do the work. At the gym for fitness goals, in your kitchen for weight loss goals, in the office for sales and business goals, at your home for your family goals. Once that decision is made, the one where you decide you are going to achieve this thing, all that is left is for you to do the work. Nothing interferes, nothing gets in the way. Refuse to budge, refuse to compromise.
C. Learn to enjoy and appreciate the process.
This is another one we have heard many times before. It’s all about he journey. The journey is the destination. All these things we have heard. Sommer puts it this way; “you are going to spend far more time on the actual journey than with those all too brief moments of triumph at the end.”
How true is that. This is going to take a while (see A. above). There will be setbacks, days when you feel like you are falling behind. Don’t beat yourself up over it. Clock in, do the work, and show up again the next day. Celebrate your successes and learn from the mistakes you make along the way. Mistakes and defeat are going to happen. Sommer expounds on this concept a bit more to say that “if you are not encountering defeat on a fairly regular basis, you are not trying hard enough.”
A few more things….
- Refuse to accept less than your best.
- Throw out a timeline. It will take what it takes.
- Make a single decision. Commit to a longtime goal and not a series of smaller intermediate goals.
Just these 5 Kindle pages of this giant book are worth the price. I can’t recommend this book enough. Whatever long term goal you are trying to achieve, the concepts in this brief email from Coach Sommer to Tim Ferriss will help you.
Good luck to you! See you tomorrow.