It Never Gets Easier, it Just ______

April 8th, 2008

I heard this phrase twice recently in completely different contexts, and I have been rolling it around in my head ever since.

The first time was in a yoga class. Yoga, for those who don’t practice it, can be described as a kind of moving meditation. In the process of breathing through the poses, one can learn to clear one’s mind. It’s really hard to do, though. I usually manage it for about 15 seconds at a time. Maybe that’s why this phrase stuck with me:

It never gets easier. The spaces [between thoughts] just get longer.

I then saw almost the same phrase in the chapter heading of coach Joe Friel’s book The Cyclist’s Training Bible. The quote there was from Greg Lemond, and read:

It [training] never gets easier. You just get faster.

So what does this mean? To me it means not just that many worthwhile things take a lot of effort; they require constant effort. You can never get to cruising speed and then just coast- you have to keep putting in the work.

This definitely applies to business as well. I think businesses hit spots where they can glide a little- when a network effect kicks in for a web company it doesn’t have to worry so much that month about generating traffic (and can focus on serving it)- but the smart ones know they need to start pedaling again pretty quick or they’ll end up getting dropped.

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