The Law of Doing the Fucking Work

Standard

I teach people about health. In a normal week, I get at least a few emails asking questions like:

How do I get a fighter’s body?

What kind of workout should I do to look like a gymnast?

My answers are usually very simple. If you want to be a fighter, train to fight. A gymnast? Take up gymnastics. Olympic sprinter? Lace ‘em up tight and get to work.

There are no secret techniques for looking as if you’ve done something when you haven’t done it. You can approximate, and you can cheat. You can even fake a few people (most notably, yourself) out a certain percentage of the time. But if you really want something, the path to getting it is most likely direct and well-known.

 

The Law of Doing the Fucking Work

This is important. So important, it gets a fancy box around it:

The surest method of becoming anything is to do the things that thing does.

It seems pretty obvious when we’re talking about athletes, but obvious logic can escape us when the conversation turns to other personal goals.

How can I afford a nicer car? Make more money or spend less money on non-car things.

The Law of Doing the Fucking Work is a reminder that, though shortcuts may exist in some cases, most worthy goals require consistent and deliberate work. Perhaps even more importantly: doing the work is often faster and easier in the long run than searching for shortcuts or waiting for a new method to appear.

This brings us to Corollary A…

Corollary A: The shortest path between two points is a straight line.

  • If you want pecs, bench.
  • If you want bad breath, eat garlic.
  • If you want a girlfriend, be nice to girls.
  • If you want more money, do more valuable work.

Sure, there may be other ways to get similar results, but the simple answer is almost always the most direct.

Corollary B: Choosing anything always means giving up something else.

  • If you want pecs, be prepared for shoulder pain.
  • If you want bad breath, please prepare a breath mint.
  • If you want a girlfriend, be prepared to not date other girls.
  • If you want more money, be prepared to have less time or energy for things you do now.

If you want something, be sure you also want to side effects of having it and doing what it takes to get it. This is what choice is.

Option A or Option B.

Tastes Great or Less Filling.

Chicken or Fish.

In a perfect world, we would never have to choose, and we could always get the best of all possible options. This world is not perfect – it’s a world driven by decision.

Decide what you want your world to look like, then do the fucking work by making those decisions (even the hard ones) which will create that world for you.