Just one excuse will do the trick.
On a daily basis, sometimes moment-by-moment, I have to fight against taking the easy path, the fun path or the irresponsible path, I know I’m not alone in this struggle, as such a mindset has given life to countless billions (maybe trillions) of annual dollars across a variety of industries. So much of our national and global economies are built around fixing those things that we have allowed to get broken, one seemingly harmless excuse at a time.
Just a few of those industries that come to mind: Big Pharma, weight-loss programs, consolidate-your-debt plans, marriage counseling, and high-tech gadgets that promise to spare us actual effort.
But there’s another way. And though it’s tougher in the moment, it is ultimately more satisfying and rewarding: play injured.
That expression first came into my consciousness about six years ago, around the time that Tracey and Kimberly Eaton attained the Diamond level in the Amway business. An undersized guy (at least for football), Tracey had personalized the saying throughout a career that took him all the way to the National Football League.
Kimberly herself was a Division I track and field scholarship athlete in college, so she’s no stranger to self-discipline, goal-setting, not allowing emotions to dictate effort, and persevering through injuries.
So when it came to building their Amway business, working within the World Wide DreamBuilders (WWDB) organization, Tracey and Kimberly applied the same “play injured” mantra from their athletic past. Instead of overcoming physical struggle, as they had to do in earlier years, they resolved to get through the everyday stuff of life.
That “stuff” is the relentless onslaught of things that can cause all of us to live by default and not by design: juggling children, a job or business, marriage dynamics, interpersonal conflicts, illness, extended family dysfunction. Any one of these, among numerous other issues, can be enough to call it quits as we go after our dreams.
While it’s critical to know what you want, to set goals, and to have a work habit to achieve such goals, the ingredient that separates folks is their willingness to “play injured.”
While I’ve never played injured in sports, the personal parallel for me is as a mom.
No matter how crummy I may be feeling physically or mentally, I can’t call in sick and say, “Sorry, kids. Mommy is taking the day off.” That is just not an option.
So over the years, as I’ve grown as a mom, I’ve also grown in this attitude to “play injured” in all areas of my life. And to play injured without being a martyr about it. If you’ve got to do it, you might as well have a good attitude about it, because in the grand scheme of things, it pays off.