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  • Colin Jonov

The Uncomfortable Path: Confronting the Cost of Greatness

The more I study, talk to people, and learn about the mind, the more obsessed I become with the concept of what separates the elite from everyone else. What makes people world conquerors? If you’re looking for a feel-good story, this probably isn’t the post for you. I apologize in advance. To be honest, the deeper I go down this path, the less I want to be around mediocre people. Mediocre people do average work and expect exceptional results. Exceptional people do exceptional work, achieve exceptional results, and feel as if they aren’t working hard enough, believing there’s more work to be done. Average people think, “Oh, once I achieve the expected outcome, then I’ll be happy.” Conquerors think, “Once I achieve the expected outcome, then I’ll do it again and again and again.” There’s no shouting false affirmations in the mirror, “You’re worthy!” It’s either you did, or you didn’t. You’re only worthy of being a champion if you are one. If you weren’t, then you weren’t worthy of being a champion. I have to accept this truth too. I wasn’t worthy of being a champion. I’m still not worthy.

An entrepreneur I’m deeply studying, Alex Hormozi, provides some of the best “brute force” ideology concepts I believe there are. He believes in sheer volume. Volume negates luck. He believes that, in its simplest form, the more work we do, the better we become. Man, do I enjoy studying him. There’s no B.S., no fluff; just simply do the work and cut everything else out of your life. He’s harsh but real. Whatever you’re not willing to sacrifice from your life — and you can make a list — the person who is willing to sacrifice those things is the one who will beat you. The joy we seek in life is at the equilibrium of the goals we want and the work we are willing to put in. If you want to be an Olympic champion, look at what it takes and determine if you are willing to pay that price. If you’re consciously making the choice that you are not willing to pay that price, then you can move on with your life in much more contentment than if you convinced yourself you were committed to the goal and then half-assed your training and failed to achieve your goal.

As athletes, and as people, we often lie to ourselves. We don’t hold ourselves accountable for the work we do and the things we can control. This neglect leaves an emptiness inside of us, a feeling of deep resentment towards ourselves that we can’t seem to resolve. We spend our days wondering, “Why am I so mad at the world?” I am familiar with this feeling because I lived it. I despised looking at myself in the mirror, unable to stand the sight of the person staring back at me. He was lazy, a liar, and an underachiever. I believed I was elite and worked hard. Sure, I may have worked harder than most regular people, but I wasn’t competing against regulars; I was in the league of the world’s elite. For years, I made excuses. The truth was, I gave up when it got hard. Facing the reality that I quit brings me more peace than pretending I earned my place and deserved to be in the NFL. Now, I understand the power lies within me. No matter how challenging it gets with my business, I won’t quit. I am aware of what I’m committed to.

There’s a quote by Alex Hormozi that I adore: “Everything worth doing is hard. The more worth doing it is, the harder it is. The greater the payoff the greater the hardship. If it’s hard, good. It means no one else will do it. More for you. Train yourself on how you respond to hard. I get happier about the harder it gets because I know less people are willing to do this. Switch your perspective from ‘Oh this is hard’ to ‘No one else is willing to do this.’ ‘Oh poor me’ to “Oh poor everyone else who’s going to try.’” — I keep playing this on repeat in my mind. As I tell my athletes, it’s not those with the greatest talent who succeed; it’s those who can endure the most adversity and keep pushing forward. People talk about lacking confidence. This is just one powerful anecdote to show one way to never lack confidence again, by knowing that you relentlessly fought through the hard times when others quit. The harder it gets for you, you should smile, knowing that you’re growing, getting better, and willing to do what others aren’t. You’re slowly but surely becoming a conqueror, never losing focus. The absolute elite are those who can show up every single day and never get bored. You are becoming the master of boredom, showing up every single day with relentless effort.

This is just the beginning of this tone of writing as I aim to unpack and explore the conquerors mindset. This is the most excited I’ve been on my endeavor yet.

Best Regards,

Colin Jonov, Founder & CEO Athletic Fortitude

P.S. Want to share your experiences or challenges with us? Reply to this newsletter or connect with me on social media @ColkyJonov10. I’m here to support you on your journey!

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