I Don’t Like It, But It Works

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Every night, at 7 PM, without fail, I check my phone. It’s at 7 PM that the Crossfit workout for the next day is posted online. The great reveal. It wasn’t always like this, though. Let me explain.

Some people choose to check out the workout the night before, to mentally ready themselves. Others prefer to not know ahead of time and find out what they’ll be doing by “surprise” the moment they arrive at the gym.

I can see the logic in both, really. I wasn’t always a “night before” checker. I started out in the second group, preferring to just arrive and find out what my surprise torture would be that day. (Continued Below…)

In Steven Pressfield’s book, “Do The Work”, he talks about a monster we all face daily. He says, “Pay no attention to those rambling, disjointed images and notions that drift across the movie screen of your mind. Those are not your thoughts. They are resistance.”

The only way I’ve found for me to beat the resistance to consistently working out is to just make myself go. Just get in the car. Just drive there. Just get out of the car. Just walk inside. Routine. Wash, rinse, repeat.

Steven Spielberg says the most difficult thing about directing a film is just getting out of the car. Spielberg, arguably the most accomplished director of all time, faces resistance, the same as all of us.

To be fair, I’ve tried to quit Crossfit and do it on my own. If you knew how much a Crossfit membership costs, you would understand. My garage contains the remnants of my failed attempt at a home gym. I’m sure some of you reading this have a similar situation going on in your house. A treadmill that collects laundry? A weight set that collects dust?

That was my resistance. Working out consistently is hard. But it’s the only thing I’ve found, done consistently, that really moves the needle for me. When I work out consistently, everything else falls into place. When I’m healthy, the rest of my life is healthy. When I start my day with difficult exercise, everything else is easier.

I don’t like it, but it works.

From time to time I’ll meet a client who has resistance about doing the work needed to sell their home. Take M*** & J***** for example. They reached out to me because I sold Terry and Alma’s house next door to them for full price, in one day. They figured I could do the same for them.

What they didn’t know was, Terry and Alma were given a specific list of items to complete before we could list their home. Without a single complaint, they completed every single item on the list, from new paint and carpet, to staging the home, and they were rewarded with a full price offer.

I gave M*** & J***** a similar list that, had they completed, would surely have fetched them a $450,000 offer on their home. By taking a value-driven approach, as opposed to the inferior price-driven approach taken by most agents, it’s not uncommon to see clients add up to $30,000 of additional profit.

In the end, M*** & J***** chose the easy, inexpensive route. Resistance set in. They listed their home as-is with another agent. Finally, some 63 days later, it sold for only $422,000. They left, by rough estimate, almost $30,000 on the table. And that’s ok. Everyone is free to make their own choice. My approach is certainly not for everyone. It’s hard work. That’s why I mention on page 74 of my book, “some homeowners are not accepted as clients.”

Most sellers don’t like it, but it works.

There’s a joke that goes something to the effect of, “How can you tell if someone does Crossfit?”

Answer: Don’t worry, they’ll tell you.

When you have a system that works, like Crossfit, people can’t help but talk about it. Take this Zillow review I received from Terry and Alma after selling their home:

“Josh was extremely knowledgeable and helped us at every phase of the selling process. By following his expert advise and guidance we were able to sell our home the first day it hit the market. We wouldn’t hesitate to buy or sell another home with Josh as our agent because we know how much pride he takes in helping his clients with the sale or purchase of a home. If you’re looking for an agent who has a wealth of experience, great communication skills, and will do everything to help his clients, then we highly recommend you give Josh a call. It’s the best decision we ever made when it came to selling our home.”

In his book “How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big”, Scott Adams writes: “Throughout my career, I’ve looked for examples of people who use systems as opposed to goals. As far as I can tell, the people who use systems do better. In other words, goal-oriented people exist in a state of nearly continuous failure that they hope will be temporary.”

He goes on to say that a system is “something you do on a regular basis”, whereas if you’re “waiting to achieve it someday in the future, it’s a goal.”

M*** & J***** had a goal of selling their home for $450,000. But what they lacked was a proven system/approach to get them there. They ignored all of my recommendations. They didn’t stage the home. Their agent took horrible photos. And they did nothing to maximize the perceived value. They had a “goal”, but failed to reach it.

I think this explains why after a few months of consistently just showing up to workout, I can now check the workout the night before on my phone without having to talk myself into it. I developed the system to turn exercising into a habit. I put my gym clothes on. I got in the car. I drove to the gym. I got out of the car. As Steven Spielberg says, I did the hardest part. I developed the system. It’s no longer just a goal.

I don’t like it. But it works.

That is to say, if you truly desire the best result, don’t fool yourself into thinking it can be achieved by taking the easiest path.

 

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