Choose Your Grind

Photo by Dinker Gulati @dinker

Often difficulty lies not within the task or struggle itself but is a function of the inability to select the time, place, and duration of that struggle. Nearly any task, even the most benign, becomes a significantly greater struggle when done at an unpredictable time in the middle of the night. Running 5 miles in the cool of the morning or jogging along the water as the sun sinks below the horizon are radically different experiences than being pushed out of bed and forced to run any distance in the middle of the night. The former is good fun and enjoyed by millions daily, the later usually reserved for training camps. 

There are times in life during which a good hard grind is requisite, when there is nothing else that can be done but to put ones head down and push.  Scenarios in which no previous effort or planning would have lessened or removed the necessary grind. Yet for most scenarios in life, the grind is fungible, that is the grind is transferable, interchangeable, both in duration and form, for another grind. The simplest exchange is that of duration. Some grinds, such as writing documents, performing experiments, and preparing presentations can have the high intensity deadline grind, sometimes all of the unpleasantness altogether, removed simply by planning early and working diligently- the very principle that parents and teachers attempted to imbue from the early years of schooling. Other grinds can be exchanged completely. 

Money is the medium by which the world exchanges grinds on a daily basis. Instead of spending time working on a variety of tasks such as growing food, making clothing, building a house, and inventing new things, these very different grinds are exchanged through the medium of currency for whatever grind suits ones fancy and expertise. This specialization allows one to pick something they find relatively enjoyable and attempt to trade the grinds that they either find unpleasant or for which they lack the technical skills or expertise. 

While this exchange certainly works for the common things such as food, clothing, and houses, the same exchange can be used for many of the other grinds including cleaning, transportation, working out, home repairs, moving services, and errands among many others. The struggle often lies within the inability to choose the grind, not the grind itself. 

The ability to choose the time, place, and type of the grind is an enormous privilege, one that historically has been available only to a small number of elite. The grinds previously were fixed, difficult to switch, and often required for survival. With specialization, the ability to hone and perfect a grind, came with it a newfound pleasure in that grind. There is a joy to excellence, in a job well done. There is an enjoyment that comes with mastery, with the fine craftsmanship that is only found with experience and repetition, the natural outcome from being able to choose a grind.

Choose your grind.
Perfect your grind.
Enjoy your grind. 

Published by JR Stanley

I am an MD, PhD student, training to be a physician scientist, with a deep interest in science, faith, and living life as an adventure. Join me as I entertain ideas from new findings in science, evolving interpretations of faith, and experience life one day and one adventure at a time.

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