by Darrin Schenck

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by Darrin Schenck

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The big differences are contained in the small things

                                                                                                                                                                Ed Mylett

I love this quote from Ed Mylett, and I think it is so true.  This morning is a perfect case study of this exact mindset.  My wife and I both hiked yesterday and were busy all day.  We went to bed early, tired from the days’ activities, but lying there in the dark my wife said something that reminded me front and center about one of the many things I love about her.  She says: “Let’s go hike Pyramid Trail tomorrow”.   It would have been easy to sleep in, take a short walk to the coffee shop and sit and do nothing and call it good.  But that is not how we live our lives.  We push ourselves frequently.  Pyramid Trail used to be a “survival mode” hike for me, I did not enjoy it one bit, other than to be done.  It felt like an accomplishment to do it, but it was a grind for me.  She is a much stronger hiker than I am, although I have closed the gap over the past few years.  I have trained and pushed myself to be better at hiking, just like I have with other things in life.  I physically trained to be a better hiker, and slowly I have achieved that.  A month from now, we will be hiking the Grand Canyon again, and this time I will be prepared.

I worked hard to have reached the level I now reside in for my line of work.  I am the VP of Sales for a medical call center and I sell these services to companies large and small nationwide.  I am the only direct sales person the company has, and yet will will hit the $5 million in annual sales mark very soon.  This happened because I did the small things.  The small things in this arena are things like always following up with a prospective client, keeping touch with industry contacts, and doing the other work necessary to achieve the goals.  I went to the trade shows, I manned the booth, I walked around and introduced myself to others.  I made sure to keep every promise I made, barring circumstances outside my control.  I don’t think that success is as difficult to attain as many people think, but then again, I live my life differently.  We did a tougher hike the next day, despite being sore and tired from the day before.  We pushed ourselves.  We did a little more, and it pays off in the long run.  We both were glad we did it, hit a reasonable time from parking lot to top of the mountain (46:05) and after a brief rest headed down.  We both felt good, like we hit a different level of performance.  Once we were about a third of the way down and past the most steep part of the mountain, we decided to run the rest of the way out.  Yes, we jogged down hill, on a rocky mountainside, and then ran once we hit the flat stuff.  Made it out in under 35 minutes.  I am not a very good runner on the road, but I seem to do better on a trail such as this.  I did more, sorry honey, WE did more.  We ran the last mile and a half instead of just walking it.

My point is this, if you just a little extra, over time, this will add up significantly.  I didn’t start out being able to hike like this or do a trail run.  I worked my way up from bad to not too bad to decent, and now a respectable capacity as a hiker.  Your own capacity to handle more, do more, achieve more, will increase dramatically if you follow suit.  Do one more rep despite not being sure you can.  Walk to the grocery store with a backpack when you only need a couple of items.  Walk to the coffee shop instead of driving.  These are the real secrets to success…just a little more here and there can be enough to lift you out of the masses and have you in different company.  Tired is a state of mind…remember that.  You can ALWAYS do more than you think, everyone one of us.  I have been close, a couple of times, to my true, absolute physical limits, over the course of my life.  I have written about them before, and if you want to read these examples, they are not hard to find.  Other than that, there have been plenty of times where I had more to give but didn’t.  But in my defense, I think my list of those times is far shorter than many people could say about themselves.  As I write this, I am two weeks shy of my 53rd birthday, and this week I bench pressed more weight than I ever have at any other time in my life.  I was quite excited about hitting the milestone of a 200 pound bench press at a body weight of 165 pounds.  And this is a relative thing: some guys at my gym warm up with 200 pounds, but this is my personal best and I am proud of it.  I was able to do this because I did one more rep here, and one more there.  I was able to achieve this by pushing harder, and like Ed said above, doing a small amount more to (eventually) make a big difference.

If you want more out of life, you have to do more.  More studying, more research, more reps, better diet, whatever.  Eat half the doughnut, be the designated driver instead of getting hammered every single weekend.  Whatever your starting point is, just ease your way towards success by doing a little more, a little better job than you’re doing now. Everyone is trying to some degree, most are doing what they perceive to be their best, but it is not.    It is what they are comfortable with in terms of output and discomfort.  Do Better.  If you want more, do more.  It is that simple.  Extra work doesn’t guarantee you success, but not doing extra guarantees you will not be as successful as you’d like to be.

In the end, how do you want your life resume to read?  Your Obituary?  Do you ever think about that?  Many never want to ever consider that their life will not go on forever, and this is not a good mindset in my opinion.  If you think you always have more time, you have no real incentive to start living differently today.  I am acutely aware of how short life can be, as I wrote about here, reciting the harrowing experience of surviving a head on collision on the freeway with a wrong way drunk driver.  I am not writing this to brag, I am sharing to A. give you an example and B. show you what’s possible.

–Pro Racquetball Player  #18 in the world for three years

–Head Coach – ASU Racquetball 15 years.  2x Collegiate Coach of the Year, Women’s National Championship, 15 years of top 10 finishes

–Authored five books    Independent Publisher Award winner for one of them, another voted Best Instructional Book by USA Racquetball

–Successful Sales career, most recently taking start up company to $5 million in annual sales

–Paid Public Speaker

–released Chatter-Box phone app

If I died tomorrow, these would be some of the highlights read about me at my funeral.  There will be more added to the list as I go.  I will always strive for more, do one more rep.  Because of this, I live a life I am proud of, happy (but not content) with.  And I can’t wait to see what is next…

Whatever you are excited about and striving for, be sure to do a little more.  Do that extra rep, stay a little later, get out of bed a little sooner.  The biggest differences in life are contained in the small things that you do every day.  It is a cumulative affect, and it starts with the smallest of things.  Ask anyone who has made it to the top of their mountain, they will tell you the same thing.

I wish you luck in your endeavors.

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