Most people that know me, know I run stairs. This is part of my training, whether it’s for climbing mountains or competitive bodybuilding or part of my “move to live” philosophy. This is not only great for leg muscles and glutes, but it is an excellent cardio routine. I won’t say it’s easy, but I will tell you it’s worth it! Likewise, in life, things rarely come easy. There is no elevator to success! Not only is “take the stairs, not the elevator” great advice for our physical well-being, it is actually a metaphor for other things in our life. The stairs represent a process or journey towards a worthy goal. When I climb mountains, there is no elevator to the summit. It is a long, difficult trek towards the top. If there were a quicker, less demanding way up, there would be no challenge. How would we ever know the limits of our physical and mental capabilities?
We live in a culture of instant gratification. We want the magic pill to get the great body or we want immediate success in building our business. Well, our muscles won’t respond if there is no resistance, and unless you have a rich uncle, building your business will take time, hard work and sacrifice. Any good thing in life comes from the blood, sweat and tears we put into creating something worthwhile. When you do the work yourself, the reward is much more gratifying. For example, we can all relate to the experience of getting our first car…whether it was gifted to us by our parents or we bought it ourselves. While there is a moment of pleasure with each, there is a difference in the feeling of having earned it versus being given it. There is a pride and satisfaction knowing you achieved a goal or a dream by putting in the work. You actually value it more.
Many times in life, we tend to take the path of least resistance, bypassing the stairs to take the elevator, so to speak. This approach usually doesn’t work – at least for very long. If we continue to take the elevator, we become soft and lazy and lose our passion for the things that matter. We should always be hungry to be better, to do more, to dream bigger.
So, if you have the choice, will it be the stairs or the elevator?