Convenience is the enemy of progress!
Look at any great man you admire and you will see convenience and controversy on both sides and where he stood. This according to Martin Luther King Jr. is one of the ways you measure a man.
“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy“ – Martin Luther King Jr.
In my book The 7 Laws of Relationships I go in depth in regards to this. If you’d allow me a minute of your time, I’d like to have a brief conversation with you on today. So that you may unlock the next level of your business and experience success in both your professional and personal relationships.
Now, I’m going to share a story with you all that I’ve never publicly shared, as long as we can agree, it stays here😅.
When I was 17, I played (was on the team (trust me it’s a difference LOL)) football for Michigan State University. Now the reason I haven’t shared this story is honestly due to it previously being associated with shame.
I was a star athlete in my small hometown; state champs, honorable mention all-state, dream team for the state of Michigan, etc. Now all of this was achieved in comfort, meaning I had yet to inconvenience myself. It was the first day of practice and everybody was the “man” where they came from, but that did not phase me, I knew I was skilled. I whole-heartedly believed in the skill I had allegedly honed in comfort.
My talent served me well as the good Lord would say for a blinking of an eye🤣. I felt the opposite of Mike Jones song “Back then they was all on me, now I’m hot they don’t want me.” Not only that, I also began to struggle in school.
In high school all I had to do was show up and put very little effort in to be an above average student. Creating and setting my expectation; minimal effort produces wanted outcomes. Now there may be some of you that prided themselves on getting good grades.
BUT, that was not me! I just wanted to play football because I knew that was going to be my way out. I get to MSU and now I had the “option” to go to class so I thought, until assistants started showing up and looking to see who was in class lol.
Nonetheless, I remember a coach’s assistance recognizing my talent and encouraging me and said, “you need to learn how to run routes better.” Let’s put this into perspective a little. I already had:
- 5am workouts
- Film sessions
- Classes every day from 7am up until practice
- Study table
Also, whatever else I had to read prior to class for the next day. Oh, we can’t forget an important social life as well. That may not sound like a lot, but it was for someone who was trying to receive High effort benefits at low effort costs. It would have meant dedicating time after practice, that I felt I didn’t have.
No thank you🙅. I wasn’t willing to inconvenience myself for greater. I did ask another walk on to help who achieved academic honors, eventually earned a scholarship, played in the NFL, won a super bowl, AND scored in the game… (does that paint a clear picture?), AND he agreed. But I never showed up. I used the infamous excuse, “I’ll do it tomorrow.” Tomorrow came and so did a lot of other ones. Before I knew it, it was the spring game.
Lights, Camera, Action!
Now, I did not think I would get in and suddenly, coach yelled, “Alexander.” My response was similar to Jamie Foxx’s on Any Given Sunday when he finally had the opportunity to be the starting quarterback 🤣😅. This is a no judgment zone, right?
I’m in the game, game time. Quarterback calls the play; everyone yells, “break”, euphoria quickly fades, WAIT! I realize I don’t know what route I’m supposed to run 🤦. After each break here I am frantically attempting to ask the quarterback or anyone for that matter, the route lol. I would have asked the referee if he was close. This is D1 football ladies and gents, there’s no time for all of that!
Finally, I get a route right, it’s an inside hook. I turn around and the balls already in the air coming my way😳. It hits my hands, but I turn to run before I look it in, drop! Smh. Here’s a quote to sum it up: “piss poor preparations promotes piss poor performance, piss poor performance promotes pain.”
Embrace the Unknown
This was embarrassing, my parents, nephew, friends, AND girlfriend where all in the crowd. My convenience and unwillingness to be inconvenienced birthed poor performance. Don’t allow comfortability to prevent you from gaining contracts, business ventures, partnerships, etc. Hindsight 20-20 it was fear of the unknown. Which is ironic because we cannot be afraid of what we do not know. I bet on what I knew, I knew the outcome of convenience. But I did not know what was on the other side of inconvenience:
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light not our darkness that most frightens us“ – Marianne Williamson
The reality is that failure was on both sides of the coin, but at least I could have capitalized and grew intentionally with one of them.
Adversity Breeds Opportunity
Anytime you have the opportunity to be in an environment that protects, encourages struggle, and inconvenience, embrace it. Glory in it, because struggle produces perseverance; perseverance, character, and character hope
While I’m not preaching that comfort in and of itself is completely bad. I do encourage you to practice one of the four virtues of stoicism (moderation) with it. You must Recognize, accept, and seize the opportunity. You Mustn’t avoid, run, or delay!
Find a coach, mentor, accountant, recruiter, advisor, etc. You don’t have to experience growth on your own. In fact, some would argue you can’t fully experience it on your own. The expansion and growth of what you desire will always lie outside of your comfort zone. I’ll leave you with this final thought from Confucius, “An inconvenience is an unrecognized opportunity.”
So I ask, what opportunities are you missing?
If you’re looking to be connected to a group of men leading in their lives my group High-Performance Male Leaders Association is currently accepting applicants. It isn’t for the faint of heart. If you want to maximize your potential then this is the place for you!
Remember It’s Always Bigger Than You.
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