This weekend my wife and I went to the driving range. We split a bucket of balls and started working on our golf swings. I finished before my wife, who was having trouble correcting a slice. Because this was a problem I had been working on recently, I decided to give her a couple pointers (husbands out there, please note that this is a very risky thing to do and will more often than not result in arguments). I told her a few things to look for, and I gave her a couple exercises that improved my golf swing. After one tip on rotation, I told her, “you know you’re doing it right, when you feel a little bit of pain on the lower right part of your back.” After a couple tries, her slice was gone and she looked up and said, “Huh, you’re right. It does hurt a little.” I joked that my next golf instruction book will be titled YOU KNOW YOU’RE DOING IT RIGHT WHEN IT HURTS.
Now, this wasn’t any big, life-changing experience. It was a golf swing. But there’s something to the idea of “You know you’re learning something when you’re uncomfortable, when things get hard, and you feel some pain.” If you keep pushing though that pain, that’s when the big changes come because you’ve pushed through your comfort zone and challenged yourself. If you’re a fan of Steven Pressfield and his idea of “resistance” from his book THE WAR OF ART, you’re familiar with this concept of seeking out those moments of pain and difficulty and pushing forward when things get hard. It’s also a part of a new book by Jeff Goins, WRECKED. Sometimes, you need to do the hard thing.
I’m still making my way through the book, so a full review is on the way, but you can get a bit more information on WRECKED by going here. Trust me, Jeff Goins covers things far more important than improving your golf swing (I know, I know, the idea is blasphemy to some). It’s about challenging yourself to do the hard thing, to face the pain, to make commitments, and to stick to them even when the initial zeal begins to fade. In other words, it’s about growing up and learning to lead a full life.
So check out the website. The book comes out in early August, so I’ll post some things between now and then. If you’re a writer or an artist or simply someone who is thinking about making a big commitment, check out the book and the other stuff Jeff Goins has put out (Website, Twitter). I’ve been a fan of the stuff Jeff Goins has written about the writing life for some time, and I’m glad to see him taking on bigger issues. I hope you will too.