What Working Hard Feels Like
I have found that sometimes it is not necessarily obvious if I am working hard enough to get to where I want to be in life. Especially with the type of work that I do.
I write, perform comedy, and play music. More than anything in the world, I would love love love to be able to do this professionally.
So I take classes at The Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre (UCB), I try to write something new everyday, I go to the free Jams at UCB so I can perform on stage, I films videos, and work on my music technique almost everyday. But my gut is telling me that this is not enough, there is more I could be doing, and that I am not working hard enough.
When you are engaged in some physical activity such as a sport, you know right away if you are working as hard as you can. You know when you are pushing your body beyond the limits it is used to.
To remind myself of what it feels like to dedicate 110% of my efforts toward a certain goal, I joined a gym.
The gym I joined offers cycling classes. Because of my schedule I have to attend the morning sessions. These classes began at 6am, 7am, or 8am.
Simply getting out of bed this early is a task in itself. At the beginning, I nearly gave up all because I did not want to wake up. Not to mention it is freaking cold in New York, especially in the morning.
I made sure not to drink any wine past a certain time and I went to bed a bit earlier, but I was eventually able to make a habit out of waking up at 4am.
The cycling class is only 45 minutes, but these 45 minutes are the most difficult 45 minutes of my entire day.
I gave everything I had to this cycling class. The evidence is displayed by the sweat running down my forehead and sliding down my back. My breathing became heavy as my lungs fought to take in as much air as it needed to keep me conscious. My brain was alert and only focused on what was happening in that very moment. There was a pain, like a burning sensation growing in my legs and my arms. Exhaustion started to spread throughout my body, but my brain reminded me that we are not done yet. Adrenaline kicks in thrusts my fatigue to the side. So I push on. 45 minutes later, I am a different person from the one who crawled out of bed only two hour prior.
During this class I worked harder and pushed myself further than I would for the remainder of my day. I walked into the class with a goal, reached that goal, and set the bar higher for my next class.
This is the kind of effort we need to put towards our goals in life. If you are not setting the bar for yourself higher each day that you show up for life, then you are probably not working hard enough.