There was a sale on costco.com for a top of the line wifi mesh network, one of those routers with 1-4 satellite beacons that transmit wifi signal throughout your 3000 sq ft house. It costs a pretty penny and is kinda overkill for my glorified NYC closet called an apartment, but fuck it.
As a struggling WFH entrepreneur, I’ve had enough important client meetings interrupted. 99% of the time my current router runs fine like the water in my pipes. But when that 1% strikes, it’s not pleasant.
In this day and age, faulty internet connection is the most unacceptable of all my first world problems. Give me fast wifi, or give me death.
The next of my privileged issues I face is that the router arrives in 5 days, which is when I’ll be in California. I thought why not just ask my roommate to do me the favor of hooking it up for me while I’m gone.
But is it really a favor I want to be done for me? Do I really want someone else to hook up my excessively horse powered device which I paid with using my first born? Sure, it makes my life easier. I mean, setting up a wifi isn’t exactly a thrilling thing to do. What would I be missing out in turn though?
Having the pleasure of seeing the sealed delivery box. Opening the box ravenously like a hungry vulture feasting on carcass after starving for days. Feeling the fine quality of the box and product itself, which were most likely made by Chinese workers enduring questionable labor practices. And of course, challenge myself to read the instruction manual (or not) and build the system from ground up.
Would asking someone to do the work for me be akin to asking someone to solve a puzzle for me, read and summarize a book for me, do photography for me, make a video for me, or run a marathon for me? These examples are absurd, but only because they expose our own bullshit stories we tell ourselves. Nowadays, we rather not endure any discomfort, inconvenience, or frustration, but rather just have someone else shoulder the burden or challenge.
Where’s the growth in that, let alone the fun? It prompts me to examine my relationship and natural tendencies to any and all roadblocks I encounter in my life.
I realize that often rather trying to figure shit out myself, I’ve grown soft to giving up at the first sight of hindrance or adversary. When the going gets rough, I bail. This may be an exaggerated conclusion drawn from something seemingly insignificant as setting up a wifi system, but its profundity is worthy of contemplation.
The next time I encounter a problem, rather than default to my natural instincts of delegating, deferring, or deleting, rewire my habits so that I consider *doing* first.
“The only way that you’re ever going to get to the other side of this journey is by suffering. You have to suffer in order to grow. Some people get it, some people don’t.” – David Goggins
Here are some action items for myself you may consider borrowing for yourself:
Notice, write down, and take stock of all the things you’re putting off, procrastinating on, or avoiding. It could be something simple as cleaning your room, and it can be something a bit more challenging like talking to someone you know you need to talk to sooner or later because they’re taking up real estate and cognitive load in your mind.
Next, write your excuses as to why you’re not doing the items you’ve listed. See the excuses for what they really are: just words and stories you made up. Excuses sound best to the person saying them, and you really need to expose yourself and the lame excuses you’re telling yourself. If you need help, ask someone else for advice on that item and I bet you they’ll simply tell you what’s the big deal, or why don’t you just do it?
Lastly, prioritize and just do them. Seriously, we’re all adults. There is no explanation to motivation: you either have it or you don’t. And if you don’t then, you haven’t earned the right to complain, and you’ve earned every ounce of suffering. That’s just the cold hard truth.
Whatever you’re avoiding or putting off, know that you’re only cheating yourself. Kicking the can down the road only trains that particular kicking-the-can-down-the-road muscle. It’s the wrong muscle and habit to train. Not only is it wrong, it is detrimental to your life.
As David Goggins says, you want to callous your mind as you callous your hands working out. When you feel that inkling of pain or discomfort, keep going because on the other side of that suffering is greatness. No suffering, no greatness.