"That must be nice."

“You’re so lucky!”, “ohh must be nice to be you” they say, I smile and in my head reply with "lol, if only you knew.."

Some people have more finesse and grace than others and have the ability to make their successes look effortless. "Yeah but they work hard," is another one. What does that even mean?! Hang on. Let me get this right, they work hard for their physique or to get into the sports team, run a business, to become fluent in another language, get the top academic grades, whatever, as do I... but when I do it, it's not because of hard work? "Yeah, it's nice" I reply, meanwhile, the narrative in my head is more like, "Stop talking" (PG version). We don't know what people have had to do or not do to get what they have, to be where they are in life based on the photos they post up or what we see as spectators. Our perceptions of "hard work" range but its majorly blurred by ignorance, prejudice, bias, a whole range of reasons we won't get into here. Back into it.

An entrepreneur on the streets in Hoi An Ancient Town, Vietnam.

We all know of people who represent national sports teams, some who own their own businesses, those who live off the land, some who have time and financial freedom, people with their dream jobs... So here's what I struggle with; the fact it's a surprise to many that hard work, discipline, good choices and behaviours yield success (achieving set goals).

Heck yeah, getting what you've been working hard towards, is nice.  Do you wanna know what isn't nice? Hours or years of time and effort invested into the craft and trying to become a master of it. Behind the scenes meetings, disagreements and fall outs with people along the way. The conversations late into the night with a friend or partner trying to come up with different ways to develop ideas. The breakdowns and battles between the rational/realistic self and the ambitious/set goals so high you'll become a whole different person when you achieve them self on whether or not to keep going, if the goal is worth it, or if you're better off putting your dreams on hold. And everything else in between.

It's not nice. The grind isn't nice. The grind chews you up and spits you right back out. The grind is waking up early every morning for your 5am training, staying up all night studying, cutting Nutella from your food intake, sacrificing valuable time with those you love, the list goes on but all of those things, they aren't nice. They are necessary. They are some of the small steps, the minor differences, the subtle distinctions between people who achieve what they set out to achieve and those who don't. The people who define their purpose, their cause, their why; the something that drives and excites them; they choose to make sacrifices because it's worth it. It's fulfilling, it's contributing to something, being part of a greater cause, it's happiness and enjoyment, it's liberating! it's leaving a legacy, adding value to the world, it's learning, it's utilising the skills and talents we have and.. PLOT TWIST: it can be anything you choose!

You don't just end up at the top of the mountain. You climb, one foot in front of the other and the other.. Next thing you know, you've made it to the top. Koko Crater track, Oahu.

Each of us came into the world with gifts and special in our own way; great voice, legs for the catwalk, mind like Einstein, 'lovely personality', understanding and patient, ridiculously good looking... figure out what yours are and you're on your way to a purpose. Then pair them up with what you enjoy doing and go on your way, make some magic happen. Dare you to.

The 'successful' ones own their goal. They take responsibility for it (not blaming others, circumstance or anything else). They invest and commit to it.

There are people who will see the successful moments, the highlights of your life and say ‘gee, must be nice,' without considering the windy road and pot holes you've manoeuvred to get to where you are. It can be a way for people to be ok with or to justify their not having the same level of success as you. For all you know, you're just doing what must be done to achieve the goal. Or maybe you make those comments and judgements about others upon examining their awesome IG life or other platforms (a reason I try to be as real as possible with my posts. Heck yeah I do cool stuff but there are not so cool days too. It's a process and that's where I see the beauty). 

Successful people work hard, and they work smart. They make good choices and they produce results. They may have been born into the right family or the right gender and skin colour, so what*. Go try get born again. . . welcome back. All that external noise and the circumstances or this and that, what's it got to do with you? Can you control those things or can you control how you behave, the decisions you make, the company you keep etc. Focus on yourself, invest in yourself, and stop comparing your feature film of a life to someone else's highlights trailer. You know what had a cool trailer? Suicide Squad. And that movie sucked. 

Rice field workers in Sapa, Vietnam. Now these people know how to work hard.

Enough with the hating on other people for making their dreams a reality. Don't think they work hard enough for it? Ask to join them for a week in their lifestyle and see how you feel afterwards. Or better yet, STAY IN YOUR LANE. Reflect on yourself and your habits. Focus on your development and growth, examine how you spend your time; with who and doing what. Refine your skill set and work your butt off to see your goals achieved. Get to know the people you admire rather than tear them down with backhanded compliments like 'must be nice to be you.' Get outta here with that bs. Be productive. Research the people doing what you want to be doing, find out why and how they've made it and why you're still on your way. Encourage others to succeed and do well, there's enough room at the top of the mountain for everyone, because guess what? We're all climbing our own mountains.

Kia ora rawa atu,


*so what - not meant to disrespect or dismiss the reality of how these factors affect lives but to highlight that you woke up as you are and unless you undergo medical procedures you will wake up like that again tomorrow. Rock it. Control what you can control, beautiful human.