We’ve all been there.
You set your iPhone alarm to go off 90 minutes before you actually need to get out of bed, sternly deciding the night before that in that hour you’ll go make yourself sweat in an aerobics classroom at the gym down the street.
You’ll shower, taking extra care with your wing-tipped eyeliner or learn a new way to tie your tie. You’ll make scrambled eggs, adding in a little sharp cheddar and topping it with a chipotle salsa that your neighbor gave you in return for an old framed photograph of the first launch into space last time you had a yard sale. (You managed to clean out your kitchen junk drawer, and make $54.25–all in quarters.)
And adding just the right amount of cold-brew coffee to your travel mug whose color just so happens to match your starched and ironed outfit, you lovingly stir in a dash of skim milk and two sugar cubes, stacked high on a silver platter that you grab delicately with a matching set of dainty tongs.
Looking in the mirror in your foyer one last time before stepping into the world, you smile at your reflection. Offer up a little wink. And sashay out of your doorway ready to give it your all and always do your best.
But now let’s talk about what usually happens.
The iPhone, which you set while having the best intentions, continues to blare for two minutes as you bolt up in bed, unsure of where that deeply offensive noise is screaming from. Finding that wily sumbitch, you swipe, silencing the squawk for five-minute increments before the horn starts blaring again.
Bemoaning the mornings and resolving to work out tomorrow, you hit snooze again. And again. And again.
You sacrifice your eggs for a stale granola bar that you’ll scarf down in the car.
And you don’t really need to shower. After all, that whole boho-chic thing is sure to come back into style, and washing your hair every day is actually bad for it.
So stumbling out of bed, scraping the crusties out of the inner corner of your eyes and realizing you have a whopping fifteen minutes before it’s time to leave, you brush your teeth, put on roughly seventeen layers of deodorant, swipe a baby wipe around your naughty bits, (just to freshen up), and have just enough time to spill cold-brew coffee all over the counter before dashing out, stumbling over the pile of shoes by the door that you’ve been meaning to move for weeks, and finally make it to work.
The rest of the day trudges by. Phone calls where you feign enthusiasm, and spreadsheets opened and closed and opened and closed in between guiltily perusing Pinterest for mason jar chandeliers you’ll never make and four-course dinners you’ll probably never cook.
Skating by. Flying under the radar. Going through the motions.
Whatever you want to call it, it’s all too easy to get sucked into the trap of doing just enough. Of squeaking by on the merits of the (genetically-inherited and strangely long and coarse dark black) hairs on your chinny chin chin. Of tuning out and letting the world blaze by while you sit back.
Because working hard is, (you guess it), hard.
But it’s not just about earning your keep.
It’s about earning your sleep.
Falling into relatively clean sheets each night knowing you’ve done something you can be supremely proud of. About needing to recharge because you’ve spent yourself, invested your intelligence in witty quips and beating deadlines and taking some time to look up at the stars.
It’s about buying fresh flowers for the sake of having them in your hands.
About giving your all, all of the time.
Because when you put in the extra effort? Eventually, success becomes effortless.