Is It Difficult?

Is It Difficult? Good.

Is it difficult?  Good. 

Seriously.

If it were easy, you would be competing with a LOT more people.

But as things get more challenging, the herd starts to thin – the weaker ones (or at least, the less committed) moving on to look for easier, lower hanging fruit.

And if it’s nearly impossible, well then congratulations – just showing up and doing the required work puts you in rare company.

Challenges Reimagined

We often think of challenges only in terms of them getting in our way, delaying our goals.  But our present challenges also prepare us for even larger challenges ahead – not to mention potentially setting us apart from the competition.

Consider these four-letter words of wisdom attributed to director David Fincher…

“I always wanted to give a lecture at film schools. You go in and you see all these fresh faces, and you say: ‘You! Stand up, tell me your story. Tell me what your film is going to be about.’ And they start, and you go: ‘Shut up and sit the f— down!’ And if they do, you go: ‘You’re not ready.’ Because the film business is filled with ‘shut-up and sit-the-f—-down.’ You got to be able to tell your story in spite of ‘sit-down and shut-the-f—-up.’ If you are going to let something like that derail you, what hope do you have against the transportation department? What hope do you have against development executives?”

-David Fincher

To continue with the Fincher theme, consider a scene from Fight Club

The First Rule

Toward the end of the film, guys begin showing up on the front porch of the main character’s house in hopes of joining ‘Project Mayhem’, an underground guerilla army.  The unannounced rules for getting in were simple:

“If the applicant is young, tell him he’s too young.  Old, too old.  Fat, too fat…

…If the applicant then waits for three days without food, shelter, or encouragement, he may then enter and begin his training.”

In the end, the sweet and morbidly obese Bob makes the cut – otherwise unqualified, he simply chose to not quit.

Your Fight

What happens in Fight Club is often true in real life – the person who wins is simply the person who keeps showing up.

So, is it difficult?  Good. 

Show up anyway.  Do the work with excellence anyway.

Don’t just endure the challenge — embrace it.  See it for the gift it is. 

And don’t sit down.  Ever.

– Matthew Porter


Matthew Porter writes about decoding success, creative leadership, marketing, and productivity.

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P.S. What happens when we keep showing up and welcome the challenges?  Ask Army vet and former Miss America, Deshauna Barber.

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