You wake up already tired.
The cold mountain air hits hard as you climb out of the tent. Your feet, still sore from yesterday’s hike, beg for a day off. Your shoulders, tired from carrying the heavy pack, agree with your feet. But there are no days off on this climb.
Not if you want to make it to the peak before those clouds come in.
Back at work
You think back to your office job.
A job you didn’t enjoy but that had one nice perk – no one cared if you took a long lunch. They had nothing for you to do anyway, so who cares if you’re gone an extra 20? And an extra 20 you took.
You’d sit in your car atop the parking structure, looking out across the landscape. All the while you’d eat your peanut butter sandwich with celery on the side. You’d have a podcast going and, depending on the day, you might’ve leaned the seat back and closed your eyes for a moment or two.
But not often. Because most days after finishing your meal, you’d read.
The key rule to getting things done
You wouldn’t always want to read; those naps would frequently call to you. Yet, you knew the key rule to getting things done:
Some is better than none.
Well, at least when it comes to good things. Some food poisoning is obviously not better than no food poisoning. But good things? Particularly in terms of your goals? Yes, some is always better than none. And that’s exactly what you’d tell yourself on those long, boring days.
Those days where your motivation was nil.
Some is better than none.
One page at a time
That mantra wouldn’t always work, mind you. Some days you really did require that nap. But often it was just the thing you needed to hear. And at that, you’d pick up your book and read as best you could.
You may only get through a page or two before needing to head back, but that was a page or two you hadn’t read before. And it was a page or two closer to finishing that book and accomplishing your reading goal for the month.
It was a page or two more than not reading any at all.
Climb that mountain (even when you don’t want to)
You think about that job from time to time. Not necessarily the job itself, but that inner voice that urged you forward. That reminded you to go forth, even if just a little bit. That said some is better than none.
And it’s the same voice that you hear now, urging you forward as you look to the top of the mountain.
You take one step. Then another. Your sore muscles begin to loosen, warming up to the new day. Progress is yours for the taking. You know that you can always stop early if your body becomes truly exhausted. But until then, you press on doing the best you can.
You read a lot during those lunch breaks of the past, and now, climbing this mountain, you remind yourself of just how much you can do by putting in small increments of work.
One foot in front of the other.
Doing the work moving forward
In your own life, you may not always have the desire to do the work – by all means, if you need a break, take it – but when you have energy to spare yet lack the urge to get going, remind yourself: some is better than none.
Walking for five minutes is better than not walking at all. Eating somewhat healthy is better than not eating healthy at all. Writing a short article is better than not writing at all.
You won’t always have the motivation to climb the mountain. When you find yourself in that position, listen to the inner voice that says some is better than none.