The alarm sounds, wrenching you out of a pleasant dream. Your brain acknowledges the present environment behind a thick fog. Immediately the voices begin their seductive whispers. Calmly but persistently they entreat you to close your eyes and return to sleep. They know which arguments to use and the best way to persuade you because they are a part of you. The desire to remain in the warm confines of the bed is strong. ‘Why not?’ you ask yourself. ‘It’ll just be for today. One day won’t hurt your mission, won’t affect your course much. You make your own schedule, you can sleep more if you want. You train every day, you need the sleep.’ Except that’s what you told yourself all those other countless times you listened to the voices and allowed yourself to be duped–to forsake excellence for comfort.
And what were the results of that route? You got nothing you desired. You’re far behind where you want to be, and you know it. You’ve been stuck in the same cycle of mediocrity, relying on a hope and a prayer to get you out. But it’s time to face the facts. None are forthcoming. It’s on you and you alone to pilot your ship, to set and guide and steer your trajectory even while you’re beset by the disorder and chaos and ease and lethargy of the waters around you. It’s time to set your rudder true and hold it fast no matter the tides and currents that beset it.
So you get up, you get out of the bed and you take some vitamins with water, the first of the morning rituals. And you know what, you don’t feel good, but you do it anyway. You set the water to boil for the coffee and pour it into the press so it’s ready for you after the cold shower does its part to bring you out of that disgusting morning torpor.
You write in your journal of the previous days events, feeling the caffeine beginning to kick in and finally starting to feel like you’re in a mental state good enough to begin the first of the days work.
And then something strange happens. After you actually put your head down and begin you find yourself in a state of flow, which persists for a few hours uninterrupted. You are focused and engaged on your work and time passes without notice. Time is precious yes, but it feels good and natural to pass it in this state–to let it slide off of you while engaged in something meaningful. This is the feeling you’ve been looking for, a subtle and deep feeling of contentment for having disobeyed ones monkey impulses to sleep, to masturbate, to scroll through an Instagram feed full of #blessed bikini babes selling water ionizing machines at a 5X mark-up.
Today you embraced the suck, and you thank yourself for having the self-discipline, the foresight to not give in. Because you did what needed to get done, and tomorrow you’ll do it again, and when you stack enough of those days one on top of the other you’ll finally finished that project you’ve been putting off for years. Because you’ve learned. You know about that worst of enemies: the self. He’s picked you up and thrashed you more than a few times. But even in defeat you remained observant. Seeking, searching for the chinks in that familiar enemy’s armor. What you’ve learned is there’s no negotiating with him. He’ll take whatever excuses you proffer and use it to bend you to his will. Nothing but sheer will and determination will get you past his pernicious grasp and on the path to reaching your potential.
So you’re prepared. You’ve already begun a new project before the last one is finished, because you know if you take a rest in between it’ll go on and on indefinitely, until once again you decide to ‘get serious’–but only for a few weeks until you lapse back into sloth, procrastination, lethargy, and bad habits. Not this time. This time you’re not leaving anything to chance. You know there is never a ‘right time.’ There’s only the here and now. You either work with what you got or you don’t work at all and you’ve done the not working part enough to know its a losing bargain. It didn’t get you anywhere except feeling weak and sick of yourself.
No, not this time. This time you’ll sleep when you’re dead.