“If you can go through this pain period, you make it to be a champion. If you can’t go through, forget it. That’s what most people lack.”
- Arnold Schwarzenegger
“I’m convinced that about half of what separates the successful entrepreneurs from the non-successful ones is pure perseverance. It is so hard.”
- Steve Jobs
When we do something that we don't particularly enjoy, but is potentially rewarding, we keep doing it as long as we see even tiny incremental improvements in the output. We run again the next day and the next if we are working towards a time under which to finish a certain distance and we are making daily improvements towards that goal.
We continue going to the gym if we continue to lose (or gain) weight and keep moving towards a goal. We persevere with our startup idea if we continue to grow our user base, however slowly.
But, at some point, we give up. Depending on our threshold for what we can and are willing to endure, we give up.
So, a lot of people talk about staying disciplined, staying committed, enduring the pain and sticking it out until we turn the situation into exactly how we'd like it to be. As Arnold Schwarzenegger and Steve Jobs quote, we need to keep going and not quit and persevere until we reach our goal.
But maybe we don't need to endure and persevere. Maybe all we need to do is love and to enjoy. If we love what it is that we're doing, then we do not need the tiny increments to keep us motivated, we do not need to endure the pain, because we now embrace it as par for the course.
The emphasis on perseverance and endurance make it seem like we have an element of control over the way things are working out and we will eventually shape it in a different and more favourable way.
Instead, when we love, we are already in control. We would do things irrespective of the outcome because this is what we want to be doing. There is no question of quitting, because quitting is now the same as changing our core beliefs, redefining what we enjoy.
And this is the highest level we can reach.
Enduring and persevering is the lowermost level where we are doing something because of the potential of rewards and returns. The next level is when we do things with a sense of duty, where we don't love what we do but do it anyway because we believe it is the right thing to do.
And loving what you do tops it all.