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The Lonely Road to the Top

“The impediment to action advances action. What stands in the way becomes the way.”

Marcus Aurelius

Most Won’t Even Try. Success is like a pyramid – there’s only one spot at the top that everyone wants. They hear about the incredible views from those who’ve made it and think they want it too. Yet most people don’t even start climbing, deterred by the difficult early stages. Excuses abound on why it’s not worth the effort.

The Bottom Breaks the Weak. Of those who do start the ascent, many quit quickly, realizing how arduous those first steps are. The bottom of the pyramid requires intense perseverance that not all possess. 

The Middle Teems with Failure. In the middle, people start falling away, brought down by injuries, mistakes, burnout, and the sheer time needed. They see the massive effort is not worth it for them.

Near the Top, Things Get Ruthless. Less than 1% make it near the top. Here, the available space shrinks, forcing fierce competition. You must zealously defend your hard-earned position because the summit only has room for so many. Those you battle have sacrificed too much to back down. Like them, you must be relentless to reach the pinnacle. There are no allies here, only obstacles.

The Climb Isolates You. The ascent is isolating. No one below understands the trials you’ve faced or the view from your hard-won vantage. Your life becomes solely about the climb, obsessed with reaching the top.

Resentment Festers Below. Resentment brews amongst those left behind. Some supporters still cheer you on but cannot truly comprehend your experience from their distant perspective.

Persevere Through Sheer Will. Each step gets more difficult, but you grow stronger. Trust in your vision. The path requires self-reliance and determination no one can grant you. Let go of unnecessary weights, even some relationships if needed. Ruthlessly clearing space is required for progress.

The Summit Changes You. The person who summits is irrevocably hardened by the climb. Forged through adversity into someone capable of reaching that coveted peak. After two painful years building my business, I stand upon my own summit, taking in the view. My community is stronger for the sacrifices made. But this path is not for everyone. The climb isolates and hardens you. Only the most relentless reach the top.

“Everything comes at the right time, but if the right time is too late to be patient, go earlier and it will still be on time.”

Naval Ravikant

Do you want to learn more? Check out:

The Series: The Philosophy of Flow

The Book: Be Relentless: If the obstacle is the way, then we must be WayMakers.

The Podcast: “Be Relentless Podcast”!

The Fuel: Sisu Stamina, Performance Evolved

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