If you don’t get what you want, it’s a sign either that you did not seriously want it, or that you tried to bargain over the price.

(Rudyard Kipling)

I love and I hate this quote. I love it because of how true it is, and then I hate it because it forces me to admit that it’s all entirely my fault. My fault is too accusatory a word, but it’s definitely on me whether or not I got where I wanted to go.

There’s two parts to the quote. The first one mainly concerns with whether we’re trying to skimp on something that’s really important. If you had a heart attack would you look for the lowest cost surgeon, or the best one? Kind of a no brainer, right? So why do we look for the lowest cost option on the thing that can prevent it?

I understand there’s a resource element to this, and that the above example is over simplified. You’ve a limited amount of resources, and after you pay for your rent/mortgage, your petrol, and your food bill, there mightn’t be as much left as you’d like to devote to your health and fitness.

The second part to me explains that if you didn’t reach the result you wanted, you didn’t put the work in. It’s a hard pill to swallow, because we always believe we did put the necessary work in.

(I’ll add the caveat here that we’re talking about things that are in your control.)

I need to accept that if my body fat isn’t where I want it to be, it’s because I didn’t train enough, or at the right intensity, or eat as consistently, or get enough sleep. Same is true if you didn’t get that first pull up, bodyweight deadlift, or weren’t able to pay for that holiday you wanted, etc. etc.

This might all seem like a downer but there is a great revelation in this. It means that we do have the power to control the outcome in the things we like. It means we can see what extra work needs to be done, and make the decision to put in the effort.

Whenever I personally feel like I haven’t gotten enough results for the work put it, invariably this comment comes back to me. And the choice I have is to get disheartened or reaffirm my resolve to put the work in.