This morning I started a 22-day pushup challenge to help raise awareness about the suicide rate among veterans (supposedly 22 former servicemembers kill themselves every day). I recorded myself doing the pushups on Facebook Live, and one of the comments left under my video really got me thinking about life and leadership.
The comment was from a friend from church, who said, “Those were some really well executed pushups!” Immediately I thought, Yeah, but it was a major struggle just to get through them all!
The more I thought about it the more I realized that good execution will always be a struggle, at least at first.
Think about it. We’ve all seen people doing “pushups” that really look more like head-bobs. Instead of moving their arms and working their chest muscles, these bobbers just move their heads up and down as they count, and while those “pushups” are much easier to do than those done in good form, they’re not nearly as beneficial.
But if you consistently push through the pain in order to do well-executed pushups (even if you do fewer of them), your muscles will eventually grow, allowing you to do more pushups more easily. High-level execution practiced consistently will, over time, enable you to do more than you may have ever thought possible.
As a youth pastor I recently organized a big Christmas party for the students at my church. I put a ton of effort, more than normal, into planning games, preparing a sermon, organizing the evening’s agenda, mobilizing volunteers, promoting the event, and executing all that we had put together. And you know what? I was exhausted afterward, but the party absolutely rocked.
I need to continue to execute at this high level, not only in the area of ministry, but also in my relationships, my writing, and my spiritual disciplines, because the prize that follows good execution is worth the pain.