Thursday 23rd March 2017

I came to a bit of an epiphany today doing my social media work.
My Instagram has been going well and I’m slowly but steadily building up my followers.   My diverse use of hashtags has connected me a number of really interesting people.  I’ve got an inspirational one-armed guy who jury-rigs gym equipment so he can work out.  I’ve got a guy who posts funny things with swords and unicorns.
The thing they all have in common is that they all seem to be working towards their goals, taking baby steps as they also grow their personal brands.  Because of my interest in pattern recognition I’ve been following a lot of the interesting ones, trying to find patterns that might help me understand what my next move should be in my own writing career.
There are also a lot of wannabe entrepreneurs, mostly young guys in their late teens and early twenties.  Some have built incredible, successful companies, and some… well I get that being an entrepreneur is what being a rock star or actor was when I was their age.
So I got followed by one guy yesterday.  I’m not exactly sure what his business is, but he makes some interesting videos and I’m on a bit of a youtube kick whilst doing the day job at the moment.  So I follow him back.
Yet today I note that he’s unfollowed me.  Now it could be that he’s dived a little deeper into my content, doesn’t like what he sees and has unfollowed.  But I suspect, that it’s some marketing ploy to grow followers… follow someone, get them to follow back and then unfollow.
That’s a pretty douche move, I think.  Now he has miles more followers than I do and I’ve seen the tactic used to great success on twitter.  So perhaps that is the “tactic”.
But then I decide, that I don’t care if it’s a tactic, it won’t be mine.  I might not always follow back, but those I do will be because I genuinely find them interesting, not because I want something from them.
And in that I had a moment.
I need to trust myself more.
Because, whilst this guy might have tons more followers than me and therefore probably more social media experience, I have better moral judgement.
Success is all about hard work and honesty.  It’s not about cheap tricks and short cuts.  And if I hold to those values of honesty and hard work, I’m going to win.
I do feel a bit lost with social media most of the time.  I feel I’m doing something wrong.  But you know what?  If I trust myself and keep to my values, I know I’ll work it out eventually.
That was an incredibly reassuring thought and put me in a good mood for the rest of the day.
Despite an incredibly late night last night (I went to bed at something like 3:30am) I haven’t been too tired today.  This proved itself when I went to the gym this evening.  After feeling ill for the past few weeks, my progress has seemed to stall and even go backwards.  My best times last week were more than 10% down on average and I couldn’t lift anywhere near the weights I usually do.  I’ve also managed to put on weight.
But I felt good today and managed to equal my best on the cross trainer.  I then went on the bench press and despite it feeling a challenge to begin with, I broke my personal best.  I can now bench press 67.5kg.  It’s only a 2.5kg increase but after weeks of feeling like I’ve been making no progress, any gain is welcome.
However, my big victory today was with the deadlifts.  I’ve been plateaued for months.  I got to 116kg pretty rapidly but then I sat there.  I got to 121kg but then I found my grip starting to go.  We dropped back down did more reps, and I managed to just get to 126kg a few weeks ago.  But then I was ill and still I struggled with grip.
And then today I smashed my PB with a 136kg over 2 sets of 5 reps.  My grip was going towards the end but this is such a huge gain, I’m really pleased with myself.  Breaking one PB is a delight, breaking two, including one by a huge margin, is fantastic.
Using calculations to work out the single rep equivalent, it means I’m nearly up there with the badass people.  And given that my squats were already well above others… I feel that I’m back being a contender for our little friendly lifting rivalry.
I watch videos of really ripped people, and whilst I know they are training for different goals to me, it’s actually quite gratifying seeing them lifting a fuck-ton of weights only to then realise that I’m already doing more.  It makes the struggle all seem so much more worthwhile.
I suppose this is going to become very common this year.  I push myself and I push myself hard.  Most of the time I feel like I’m failing, whether it be with word count or weights or swordfighting.  But I keep on struggling, making micro improvements until by the end of the year I look back and see just how much all those micro improvements have added up.
This is what the Year of the Offensive is all about.  It’s not about it being easy.  I hope that anyone who reads The Climb sees that whatever I’m trying to accomplish is a struggle.  And rather than see that as a negative, that they see it’s about those micro improvements and picking yourself up and moving forward.
Doing anything worthwhile is tough.
I got to work on the new chapter tonight.  I was really late starting.  I can’t blame anything other than procrastination.  I played a bit of Star Wars The Old Republic before eating late but even with that I reckon I could have started a couple of hours earlier.
However, not only did I get 1600 words written when it was gone midnight and I feared I would get no new words down at all, I also finished the entire chapter in a single sitting.
Part of me worries that the chapter is too short.  There probably needs to be more description and less nodding and sighing but even then it might still come in at around 2000 words.  I tell myself that I shouldn’t worry, that it will all get fixed in the rewrite, but I still do.
I guess I just need to trust myself and know that it will all get fixed.  All I can do is continue to struggle and move forward so that one day I can look back and see that I accomplished everything I set out to do.
If you want to follow more of my journey, then be sure to check me on my social channels.  Likewise, if you’d like me to expand on any point mentioned above, please say so in the comments.
Twitter: @figures
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