Ask a rich man how he has made his millions. The politically correct and therefore most common answer is hard work. Cool, but this is not a morning show.
Hard work means nothing by itself. It won’t produce wealth unless it’s put in the right context. People forced to endure endless shifts in factories are without a doubt working hard. Where’s their money? Well, you can ask the same rich man.
Unless you are in a position where your “hard work” is appreciated, it will not make you richer. This is a very sad fact of life which illustrates how unfair and evil the system is.
The same principle of effort appreciation can be found in lifting. Its presence becomes obvious when you realize the difference between working out and training. Exercising will tire you but does fatigue always equal progress? Is your hard work leading you where you want to go?
Just going through the motions until you are fatigued is not as beneficial as having a systematic approach designed to produce the results that you are after in the long run. That’s what training is – trying to reach measurable progress through specific effort and skill development.
When you train, you are no longer spending your energy for the sake of it. You are walking in a direction that you have chosen. That’s when the machine starts to work in your favor.
The term dead-end job contains a lot of wisdom. Knowing that nothing will change despite how hard you try is not exactly enjoyable. I’ve done my fair share of dead-end jobs and ironically continue to do so.
One the first things that you learn after accumulating a decent amount experience at a similar position is that progress stops quickly. What is the difference between the current and the previous year? Usually, the only difference is that today there is more work – one of the very few variables that actually change when you are stuck in a job with no future.
A dead-end job is essentially the equivalent of bench pressing the same weight every workout for years. The weight does not change, only the number of sets and reps do. Consequently, your strength stagnates too sooner or later.
This is where training saves the day.
Goals are the heart of training. Having a specific mission makes the difference between training and exercising.
That’s what gets you out of a dead-end job, at least when it comes to the lifting game. You are no longer working out because you have seen a training scene in a movie. You do it because you want to acquire a skill.