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You are not good enough to be disappointed

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Dan John is a weightlifting coach. He is known in the fitness world for keeping things simple. As regular readers know, simplicity aligns well with my training philosophy. (Dan John also has two first names. And you should always be afraid of a man with two first names).

Anyway, I recently heard Dan John say,

I often tell my new athletes, "I'm sorry, you're just not good enough to be disappointed."
In other words, in the beginning, you have to accept feeling stupid, insecure, and unskilled. You can't be disappointed in your amateur performance because you haven't yet developed the skills of a professional. Only professionals are allowed to be disappointed because they have worked hard to get better.

J.K. Rowling is allowed to be disappointed when she writes a bad book because she worked for 20 years to get good.
Kobe Bryant is allowed to be disappointed when he makes a bad play because he worked for 20 years to become great.
When he was alive, Jack LaLanne was allowed to be disappointed about a bad practice because he trained for 60 years to stay fit.
But you and me? We're not good enough yet to be disappointed. We're bad enough to get to work.

Bad enough to go to work

In the beginning, you're still learning. You are still developing. You haven't yet developed enough competence to be disappointed in your performance. You are made to feel foolish and unskilled.

Of course, it's easy to forget to give yourself some time when you start a journey that's important to you. Usually, the people who have the least reason to feel disappointed are the ones who put themselves down the most.

We are disappointed when we start a new job and don't do it as well as we would like.
We are disappointed when we set fitness goals and don't meet them.
We are disappointed when we finally muster the courage to start our first business and it fails.
We are disappointed when we write our first book and no one reads it.
We're disappointed when we pitch our great idea to someone and they're not interested.
But the beginning is supposed to be a struggle. Actually, everything is supposed to be a struggle. The approach of professionals is an indication of how strongly the struggle is linked to success. The Richard Bransons, Jerry Seinfeld, and Tom Clancys of this world see failure as a signal to rededicate themselves to the process, not as a reason to wallow in disappointment.

And if that's how the best in the world approach their craft, then that's how you and I should approach our goals.

You're not good enough to be disappointed. You're bad enough to get to work.

A bit of life advice by Icehrm.Com, the promising HR digital platform.

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