Do you know this cartoon?
Something has never felt quite right about it to me. I know that it’s supposed to inspire us to never quit. But quitting can be an art form. Maybe Tunnel Guy has reached the last straw with his relationships or his health. Or is tired of breaking his back so some CEO can profit. There just aren’t enough diamonds to make up for that kind of metaphysical crisis. More objectively, Tunnel Guy seems to be stuck in a binary: grind or do not grind. If he can’t tell when he’s two inches from his goal, that says more about his process than his progress.
For me, there are two major things missing from this image:
- Implicit enjoyment
Why doesn’t Tunnel Guy have some kind of imaging technology—or even just a tool—like a fibre optic cable—to offer an easy view of the next few feet? “Well, Geoff, he’s a cartoon.” That is a fair answer. Yet, I can’t help but wonder what’s missing.
Tunnel Guy needs the ability to read signals, predict outcomes, and fine-tune the process is missing. He needs to elevate things beyond a guessing game. He needs some kind of signal to tell him to grind when he’s close and manage his pace intelligently when he’s not.
What happens when digging tunnels—or other hard things— don’t suck so much? We go farther. We also require less willpower to get there. And when the process itself has value, we don’t have to feel rushed or panicky. Instead, we periodically check in that our orientation is correct and move forward in a consistent way.
As a special note to Type-As, you can’t sprint through a marathon. However, when you run a marathon well, you have the opportunity to choose when to sprint. Your best times, of course, is when the treasure is close.
At Bang, our members tend to have a few things in common:
— Lifelong health is a top priority
— Competition with others is not a major motivator
— A process-oriented mindset—they are not trying to solve the lifelong puzzle of health and fitness in six weeks
We know the best practices to keep people safe, healthy, and moving forward. We also know what makes the process itself enjoyable and meaningful. So, while hard work will always be hard work, there is certainly a lot that can be done to make everything else easier—and provide clearer signals about how close you are to your goals.
Mindfulness, for us, is the art of learning to interpret—and respond to—signals in real-time. That’s our technology. It’s the habits and skills that keep you healthy and progressing, while keeping your whole brain engaged. Few things are more therapeutic, more energizing, and more valuable than this. Diamonds are forever but we’re just trying to get you into old age in the best mental and physical shape possible.