As hard as it is to obtain, focus is even harder to maintain. Most people can recognize the feeling of having opposite forces attracting them, pulling at them from opposite directions almost mentally splitting them into two separate pieces. One piece longs to do the thing that is risky and exciting because it makes them feel alive, and the other piece feels obligated to do the thing that is safe and sound even though it makes them feel like they’re stuck.
Over these last few weeks that is exactly what I have felt. Right now I am two and a half years into a Physical Therapy study at university – what some people would call my future – but, at the same time, I’m trying to build and run a side-hustle – a side-hustle that I want to be my future.
It’s all about focus and patience, but focus and patience are the hardest things you could possibly try to maintain. Luckily, I was able to maintain these two over the last few weeks, as I was trying to balance the act of running my side-hustle, all the while attempting to get ready for my semester exams. Yesterday, I completed and passed those semester exams as a culmination of what has probably been the hardest I’ve ever worked in my entire life. The thing is though, as much as the long days were extremely hard and tiring physically, they were even more tiring mentally. When your BODY is tired physically and you just can’t go no more, it is the strength of your MIND that determines whether you’ll hit the breaks or floor the pedal to the metal. Having prioritized building my side-hustle, bodymindmanagement, over school most of the semester, I’ve had to floor the pedal to the metal extra hard leading up to the exams and I’ve certainly had to stay mentally strong to keep that pedal floored. Patience and focus are tough because our passion persuades our attention, and my passion is with my side-hustle.
But I also know that I’ll need to finish my studies. I have too many people to disappoint, including myself. At least that’s what I think. To be honest I don’t really know. One part of me wants to devote all my daily 24 hours to my side-hustle, whereas the other part of me feels the need to finish what I started in my studies. I don’t see myself as a physical therapist at all and even just writing that makes me wonder why I then feel the urge to finish it? I like to think that part of it is my values and belief. I believe that the harder the body and mind is pushed, the stronger we grow. I have always drifted towards the challenge and strived to come out on top. Whether working out in the gym, whether fasting until noon every day and training fasted in the morning, whether taking cold showers – I always strive to push myself so far that I almost feel like I won’t come back. I feel it is at that very point I prove myself, and I always come back. Whatever the situation, I want it to feel as if I am fighting for my very survival. And that is exactly what I have felt over these last few weeks of exam preparation and side-hustle work.
How easy would it just be to give up? How easy would it just be to skip morning cardio at 6 am, skip creating content for my podcast and social media? Exactly, it would be easy, and that is what I don’t want. I want the hustle. I want the grind. My mind is strong, but there have been times where it has been close to failing and giving in. In these situations, what has kept me focused and patient has been e-n-c-o-u-r-a-g-e-m-e-n-t from people around me. Both people close and far. Offline and online. Recently, I talked to a person via Skype that has become one of my greatest supporters and just a lovely human being – Amanda De Santis. Interviewing her for my podcast about her 40kg (88lbs) weight loss, I learned something myself. I learned a lot actually, about resilience, determination and pure dedication to push through mentally at a point where even the strongest of minds might be on the brink of breaking. Amanda said one thing in particular during the interview that really stuck with me, a sentence I’ve been returning to each time I felt like giving up over these last two weeks. I asked her what was going through her mind at that exact point of the crossroad that leads to either giving up or pushing on. What did she say?
…“just suck it up princess and move the f*ck on” – Amanda De Santis
So, whether man or woman, young or old, next time you feel like giving up on your dream, just suck it up princess, okay? And move the f*ck on…
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