On a dark morning on my way to my nine-to-five job, at 5:50 a.m. on the bus, a striking thought hit my brain: I’m capable of pretty much everything, more than I ever dreamed of, and this isn’t my privilege; the human capacity is limitless. This liberating truth hit me like a tsunami, “No question here, this will be the subject of my next blog post,” I thought.
Okay, here it is…
I borrowed the term “Pain, Time, and Glory” from the American rapper Capone, because I think it perfectly aligns with what I’ll discuss here. When it comes to achievement, it’s really about pain, time, and glory.
This post is a personal reflection with the hope that it will inspire you to achieve your goals.
Pain, time, and glory (PTG): Productivity95 was b
I’ve flirted with the idea of launching a blog for over a year or two but simply couldn’t build the courage to start. I didn’t know much about blogs, I didn’t know what the heck WordPress is, let alone GDPR compliance, either. Over time I realized that writing along with productivity is that I’m ultimately passionate about, and I definitely should give it a try.
So I reached out five influential bloggers, three of whom I was a complete stranger. All five bloggers shared some good practice and increased my motivation to build my blog. Thank you, guys!
(I want to give a big shout-out to Sally Miller, the blogger behind sallyannmiller.com; Michael Sliwinski, author of sliwinski.com and CEO of Nozbe; Paul Minors, author of paulminors.com; Tomi Mester, author of data36; and Prof. Peter Csermely, the blogger behind csermelyblog.)
I re-read the timeless Strunk & White book, The Elements of Style, just to polish my English style a little bit.
I read three books on blogging (see references), consumed tons of blog posts, and listened to podcast episodes as to how to build a blog. (If you happened to read The 4-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss, you might notice that I simply followed Tim’s strategy on becoming an expert in the shortest time possible.)
Armed with this knowledge, I was ready to buy my domain name and hosting. It was a real pain to brainstorm my blog’s name and logo, and I immersed way too much into the nitty-gritty technical details. Even though I consider myself a tech-savvy, I can say that launching a blog was a typical PTG experience in technical terms.
But nevertheless I enjoyed the whole process and finally, Productivity95 was born. I don’t know yet where I’m heading off, but it already feels so good!
Pain, time, and glory: from zero to intermediate programming (SQL) skills in two m
Although I’m a scientist, at least I’m supposed to be by degree, I always looked at programming as a superhuman skill available to the privileged geeks.
Obviously, SQL (Structured Query Language) is only a stepping stone to more sophisticated languages, it requires that you think differently: Your brain gets hacked and hijacked. And this is a very useful experience.
I scheduled learning SQL as my ONE thing (more on that in another blog post) and completed two courses via the Coursera platform, which allows one to gain access to materials from elite universities: Videos, programming assignments, final assessment. Done!
On top of my nine-to-five job―which is the subject of this blog, by the way―I’ve built my blog with virtually zero skills. It was only a dream for me a couple of months ago. I also learned SQL from zero: Another myth that programming is for the privileged elite only.
My achievements are far from extraordinary, nor am I, it’s just for illustrating the point: We’re capable of everything, more than we think, but it takes time, dedication, passion, and, yes, pain to achieve our goals and desires. I think that passion and taking deliberate action are key components to success.
I now know that we humans are capable of pretty much everything that seems extraordinary from a past perspective. Important to note that under “everything” I mean everything that we’re passionate about: It’s not about becoming a billionaire or a Hall of Fame author. It’s about becoming the greatest version of ourselves.
What do you think? If you’ve had a similar experience recently, share it in the comments.
Your one takeaway: Take action now, however small it is, to achieve your long-awaited goal or secret dream.
Ferriss, Timothy. The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich. Harmony, 2009.
Miller, Sally. The Essential Habits Of 6-Figure Bloggers: Secrets of 17 Successful Bloggers You Can Use to Build a Six-Figure Online Business. 2018.
Rowse, Darren, and Chris Garrett. ProBlogger: Secrets for Blogging Your Way to a Six-Figure Income. Wiley, 2012.
Strunk, William, and E. B. White. The Elements of Style. Pearson, 1999.
Tanner, Lisa, and Sally Miller. Make Money From Blogging: How To Start A Blog While Raising A Family. 2018.