Don’t be afraid of rigor. Seek it out.

How do you get lean? How do you build muscle? You push your body. You do resistance training. You don’t get fit without a little sweat, a little discomfort. There is no easy route to getting ripped, finishing races, or winning games. You’re not going to get there by walking on a treadmill with a cell phone in one hand and a magazine in another.

Likewise, you don’t get to the top of the division or the “head of the class,” so to speak, by having others come to you or simply punching the time clock. That’s not enough. You need to not only welcome resistance but seek it out. It’s true that the challenge you need doesn’t always come your way. Sometimes, you have to carve out those challenges that keep you on your toes and force you out of your comfort zone.

Specifically, keep your eyes open for new opportunities to spread your wings. Find additional responsibilities or assignments, and then, ask for them. Contribute, learn and | or serve in new, more complex or difficult ways.

Push yourself. Challenge your fears and limitations. And stretch past what you think is possible.

It will pay off — just as it did for my client. He started in the mailroom and volunteered himself to take on a job no one else wanted to do. The initiative shown by taking on that task resulted in opportunities for my client to shine. He advanced, and today he’s the president of the bank.

Those who accomplish great things aren’t content to fly under the radar. Likewise, they don’t wait for challenges to present themselves. They are driven and ambitious and they look for ways to push themselves out of what’s comfortable, knowing that the short-term discomfort that comes with such resistance results in long-term success, be it in the gym or the boardroom.

 

 

 

 

 

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