Oftentimes in life or at work, we are faced with difficult tasks or big hurdles that we have to power through because it’s necessary for our growth or for getting to the next level. In this episode, host John Laurito shares how you can persevere through such tasks no matter how difficult they are, whether it’s for your health, career, wealth, or just life in general.
[5:22] Think about the after point
[6:33] Don’t over-measure
[8:21] Do it with someone else
John Over the last two decades, I’ve been in an insatiable quest to learn everything I can about leadership, what makes the best leaders so good after running companies small and large over the last 20 years. Today, I speak on stages all across the world to audiences who are interested in that same question. My name’s John Laurito. I’m your host, and I invite you to join me on this journey as we explore this very topic and what makes the best leader so good. Welcome to tomorrow’s leader!
John All right, welcome to today’s episode of Tomorrow’s Leader, where we dove deep on all things leader-related, related to leading yourself and leading others, I’m John Laurito, your host. All right. So I got to tell you a story about a wow, horrific Lee painful workout experience I’ve got. So as you know, I work out with my brother-in-law, Jeff, and we work out five days a week. That’s the goal. At least for most weeks. We hit that and we do this. We typically have this routine where we do working out with weights on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and then we do spin class Tuesday and Thursday. So our two other friends, Tommy and Kevin, are also workout partners, and they do a different type of workout.
John They have a trainer that leads them through these timed workouts. And it’s a very different style if you’ve ever done it. She’s drawn a blank. Um. Oh, wow, CrossFit. It’s similar to that, where it’s a lot of different exercises thrown in and it’s time-based and rep-based and all this kind of stuff. So it’s a different style of workouts. And when you do those and you do them right, they are killer. I mean, absolutely killer. So they had done a workout that they shared with us, which was a series of three different movements, and it was done in four rounds. So you had to do these three things. Four times you had to do that round four times and they had times to it. So Tommy and Kevin did this and they sent us the routine and then they sent us their time.
John So it was kind of like, All right, hey, challenge. And sure enough, Jeff and I were OK. Challenge accepted. So we went in. This was last Friday, and we did get ready for this. But here is a workout. It was basically a combination of doing 25 single-arm dumbbell presses and overhead presses. So think about a 45-pound dumbbell you had to have hold held up by your shoulder and you had to press it all the way overhead, extend it all the way overhead, and you had to do that 25 times with each arm. So a 45 pound bound dumbbell now. So I’ve been working out for most of my life, and that’s not easy. Forty-five pounds a big dumbbell. So you can have a lot of strength and stamina with this and you’re doing that basically four times.
John So you’re doing 100 reps with each arm. Twenty-four, I’m forty-five-pound dumbbell unreal. So anyway, you do the dumbbell single-arm dumbbell presses, followed by 50 air squats, which I love the word error squats like, you know, like your squatting air. Whoa. Hey, well, you did air squats today, dude. That’s impressive, man. Wow, how much air did you actually squat? Wow, that’s amazing that you did that. Well, yeah, I get it. But air squats, actually, when you do 50 of them, it’s not easy. And when you weigh 245 pounds as I do, it’s not easy. OK, so all you naysayers out there, you try it 50 years squats and you’ve got to do it four times and you’re in the middle of this routine. It’s like a really fast pace.
John You’re out of breath crazy. But then just for laughs and giggles, the third exercise in this is the rowing machine. Now, if you’ve rowed before or been on a rowing machine, you know how this can just fire up your lungs like crazy. So you have to do 500 meters now. This is a race. It’s a time to think so. You’re not just, you know, lollygagging and just doing the Sunday stroll. You’re pushing it right 500 meters. You’re really pushing hard to get through this thing. And typically, you know, under two minutes, there’s a really good time for 500 meters. So again, you’ve got the twenty-five dump, about forty-five-pound dumbbell, twenty-five, and each arm. That’s the first movement. The second is the air squats, 50 reps. And then you’ve got this 500 meters in the row and you’ve got to do that whole thing four times. So I got to tell you, we were on our way to the gym. This was like I just had the worst attitude ever. I’m thinking and Jeff’s thinking, and we’re just thinking, like, what are we sure that that’s the workout?
John The forty-five-pound dumbbell thing got me totally talked up. I’m thinking, that’s no way. And we got we did a little pre-workout, you know, cardio and stuff. And I think it’s just on my mind. Then I’m just I’m realizing I’m going in this thing with the worst attitude, absolutely worst out or through thinking about the pain this is going to be and my time is going to be above everybody else’s. I’m going to come in last place. I’m going to be, you know, I’m not going to finish it because you had twenty-seven minutes to do it. if you didn’t, it didn’t. They had to do it. The game, so to speak, was you had to do it under twenty-seven minutes. So anyways, Jeff and I, you know, stretched out, we get to the point. And bottom line is, uh, part of this part of facing something that’s painful is you just have to go into robot mode and you’ve just got to do it. You’ve literally got to just do it. So we just said three to one, OK, begin.
John So sometimes we think so much about the task we’re prepping mentally. We’re getting ourselves psyched up, psyched out, and it becomes even harder and harder and harder to just start. Once you start, you’re typically not going to stop, you’re already going. So the hardest part is just getting started. But what I was thinking about so much leading up to it was the pain of the actual moment of being in there for 20 minutes or whatever was going to be in going through this. My mind was fixated on the pain and instead, I had kind of an aha moment. I said, Alright, I’m not going to. I’m not going to. Think about this when I’m going to think about is that the 25-minute mark when I’m done for 30-minute mark, whatever, and I’m resting and I’m done and it’s over.
John And twenty 25 minutes from now, it will be over. It’s done. And then I can enjoy the rest of the day feeling accomplished. And I just re-centered my focus to that and that helped dramatically. So sometimes when we’re facing that ugly task, we’re going to make or do repeatedly, whatever it is, the thing we don’t want to do. We’ve just got to think about the after a point, not the daring, but the after point. Okay. That’s number one. That’s less than number one. Here’s the second thing that I learned out of this I had my phone set up so I could see the timer and keep track of my time. As I’m going to do this thing for the first six minutes, I’m fixated on it. You know, I’m trying to do this dumbbell thing. I’m looking at the time and trying to figure out and piece myself and everything like that. And then my screen shut out. It went dark and I’m like, Oh jeez, I forgot to set the thing so it doesn’t do the thingy, whatever. And um, and so I had no time for the rest of this. I had no idea I was kind of going blind. I had no idea.
John That proved to be a great thing. Lesson number two is sometimes we measure so frequently now, you know, I’m big on measuring and checkpoints and everything like that as a leader, but sometimes we do it too much. If you do it too much, it takes your eye off the ball while you’re trying to do it. I remember taking a driving class. I truly remember this when I was 17 years old and I was in the car with a kid who was also taking it, and it was his turn to drive. And I remember his. I just kept looking at him. His eyes kept going down, up, down, up, down, up. He’d look at the speedometer, he’d look at the St. Louis phenomena or look at the street, look at this speedometer, look at the street, look speedometer, go straight and I’m thinking, Oh my God, we’re going to crash.
John Like, I haven’t even got my license and I’m going to be in an accident. I’m not even driving. This is ridiculous running, having lived through this thing. The point is, and the instructor finally saw him and is like, Listen, stop watching the speedometer. You’re guy, you’re fine. Just keep driving. The bottom line is, the more you look at that, you drive yourself crazy. You forget the task, sometimes the objective of the task. If I was looking so much at the clock, I’m not focusing on what I’m actually doing. I might lose count of my reps. I might not be focused on the form. Whatever it is, I’m not going in as good of a workout. So sometimes you have to stop with the measuring for this purpose that actually worked out very well for me. Here’s the third thing that I realize I would never have done this if it was by myself, I never would have come up with the idea to do this challenge. I never, even if it was posed to me, I wouldn’t have done it had Jeff not done it with me.
John It’s just so much easier to do painful things when you have other people doing it with you. So why do something that you know you have to do or you want to do or for a long-term goal? But that’s painful. Why do it on your own? If you’re training for a marathon, why run and train on your own? Why not have a partner do something? That’s why Peloton is so successful, right? You’ve got a community of people that are doing it with you any time, something painful that they make a little bit more pleasurable because you’ve got the relationships of pain and the pleasure from the community aspect. So those were the three things I learned when all was said and done. I got done. My time actually was really better than I would have thought it would have been. I ended up beating the other guys and felt great about that man in any name. You’re sorry, guys. So but you know what? In reality, it was awesome.
John We all won. I mean, it wasn’t what was fun. It was fun to have done it. Not fun while we were doing it. But it was kind of this cool, competitive thing. And the bottom line is we all won because we did it. We all did it. We all did it under twenty-seven minutes. But those three things were big lessons for me. One is don’t focus on all the pain. Don’t be thinking about all the pain before you do it. A painful task. Think about the aftermath and how are you going to feel? That’s what you got to be thinking about. Secondly, don’t over the measure. Take your eye off the speedometer.
John What’s the road that you’re driving on? Enjoy the scenery. Get more out of the experience. Don’t be measuring too much. And third, when you’ve got a painful task, do it with somebody else. Don’t do it by yourself. I promise you, it’s dramatically easier. Your chances of doing it and sticking to it are significantly higher if you get somebody else involved in it, too. So I just figured I’d share my workout story as a leadership lesson leader yourself and leading other people.
John So hope that was helpful. Valuable, interesting time. If you want some ideas on workouts. They can give you a couple. Let me know, as always, appreciate your ideas for future guests and content and all that kind of good stuff like share. Subscribe with them below. Give a five-star review and I will see you next time. Thanks, everybody. Bye.
Thanks for joining us on today’s episode of Tomorrow’s Leader for suggestions or inquiries about having me at your next event or personal coaching. reach me at John@johnlaurito.com. Thanks, lead on!