Are you paying your dues? This is a topic that Jared and I discussed on this weeks podcast, but one that I want to touch on a bit further in this weeks blog. If you haven’t listened to it, I recommend you do. When you hear this saying, what is the first thing that comes to mind? For me, the best way that I could sum it up is “performing the act of hard work day in and day out with no expectation of an instant return or gratification”. Some of you may have a different definition, but I can almost guarantee that the end result is the same.
This is a topic that I am very passionate about and one that my parents taught me from a very young age. I spent a majority of my early years watching them work extremely hard in order to make sure that their three children had the things that they needed. My mom has worked for the county Board of Education for 40 years. My dad began working full time at the age of 15 in order to support his family. He just retired this past August and is still working one way or another every day. To this day, I have never heard them complain once about having to go to work or hear them say that they don’t want to do something. Even if that’s how they felt, they never showed it. They continued to wake up each morning, put their boots on, and go take care of business. Even when times were hard, they kept moving forward.
When I turned 14, I was lucky enough to get my first official job working for a local tent rental company making $5 per hour. I was the sledge hammer guy. My job was to drive 4ft metal stakes into the rock hard dirt in the middle of summer with a 20lb sledge hammer. In my mind, the money was great, and I was just happy to be working. I felt as though I was making my parents proud and was living up to the family name. I knew it wasn’t a lot of money, but I did know that if I continued to show up and work hard every single day, that good things would continue to happen down the road.
Because of my habits early on, that mindset continued to carry over into high school sports, college, my career as a Strength Coach & Personal Trainer, and powerlifting. If I struck out in baseball, I stayed after the game to practice hitting off the tee. If I failed an exam, then I would find a more beneficial way to study. If I lost a job, I would work harder on my weaknesses. And if I missed a lift, you better believe that I worked every single day to come back and hit it.
The thing about paying your dues is that it does not pertain to only one area of your life. It is contagious and transfers to every single thing that you do. In order to have the things that you want, it is mandatory that you put in the time, work, effort, and passion towards whatever you are doing and “pay” up front in order to reap the benefits and develop the new skills needed to achieve your goals.
So when you feel as though things aren’t happening the way that you think they should, just know that there are still dues to be paid. Wake up every day willing to take on anything that comes your way. Accept it with open arms and know that you are becoming better from performing that task. If you do not see an instant reward, then keep moving forward. If you do that, then success will follow.