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Success is Built on Inconvenience!

Gary Ryan Blair 12-17

Instructions: Grab a beverage, print this lesson, and contemplate how it can be applied to your life.

Inconvenience: noun. The quality or increasing discomfort.

Success can be difficult to define, but having invested a large part of my adult life to performance related initiatives, I have witnessed first-hand, a strong understanding of all peak performers. This understanding, while unconventional and often unspoken can be best summarized in this statement:

All progress, change, and success is based on a foundation of inconvenience!

This truth applies to every definition of success, it applies to everyone and to every endeavor. In short, inconvenience is the one constant denominator of success.

Understanding the importance of behavioral inconvenience in relation to success is so big, so powerful, and so vitally important to your future and mine that I'm not going to mince words. In this lesson, I'm going to "cut to the chase" and present it in such a way that everyone can understand why becoming uncomfortable is not a nuisance, but a necessity!.

Inconvenience is part of the foundational building blocks of success. Every person who has ever been legitimately successful has formed the habit of doing things that others don't like to do. Our society has placed such a high premium on convenience and expediency that it has enabled weakness, while also creating an inability for many to perform at peak levels.

It's just as true as it sounds and it's just as simple as it seems. You can hold it up to the light, you can put it to the acid test, and you can beat the snot out of it until it's worn out, but when you are all through with it, it will still be the one constant denominator of success, whether you like it or not.

The acceptance of inconvenience and discomfort explains why people with every apparent qualification for success become disappointing failures, while others achieve outstanding success in spite of many obvious and discouraging handicaps.

Since your ability to embrace inconvenience and discomfort will help to create your future, it's a brilliant idea for you to use it in determining just what sort of a future you are going to have. In other words, let's take this big, all-embracing concept and boil it down to fit the individual you.

If true success lies in one's ability to understand and enforce inconvenience, let's start the boiling-down process by determining what are the things that most don't want to be inconvenienced by. The things that people don't like to be inconvenienced by are the very things that you and I, and other human beings, naturally don't like to do.

In other words, we've got to realize right from the start that success requires an unconventional approach and a much different philosophical view. True success is something which is achieved by the minority of people, and is therefore unnatural and not to be achieved by following our natural likes and dislikes nor by being guided by our natural preferences and prejudices.

The Inconvenience Factor

The list of things that most people don't want to be inconvenienced by is too long to permit specific discussion, but they can all be disposed of by saying that they all emanate from a willingness to embrace easy and convenient solutions to just about any situation.

The quest for convenience and expediency is like a drug that continually tempts people to avoid engaging in honorable and admirable behavior.

For the purpose of this lesson, I present the following as an exercise to spotlight inconvenience and expose behavioral convenience for the fraud it really is:


  • It's inconvenient to work out when you're tired. It's convenient and easy to make an excuse!
  • It's inconvenient to be forgiving when someone has hurt you or a family member. It's convenient and easy to hold a grudge!
  • It's inconvenient to be loving when someone has acted inappropriately. It's convenient and easy to be angry!
  • It's inconvenient to ask for help or assistance. It's convenient and easy to use guilt!
  • It's inconvenient to teach your child how to tie their shoes. It's convenient and easy to provide them with slip-ons.
  • It's inconvenient to be tranquil in a traffic jam. It's convenient and easy to get stressed out.
  • It's inconvenient to accept 100% responsibility for your behavior. It's convenient and easy to blame someone else.
  • It's inconvenient to tell the truth to ourselves and others. It's convenient and easy to lie or engage avoidance.
  • It's inconvenient to go the extra mile for a client. It's convenient and easy to say no, it can't be done.
  • It's inconvenient to prepare and practice. It's convenient and easy to be unprepared while offering a cop out.
  • It's inconvenient to confront problems head on. It's convenient and easy to pretend that they don't exist.
  • It's inconvenient to sacrifice and enforce self-discipline. It's convenient and easy to be lazy and procrastinate.
  • It's inconvenient to break free from a comfort zone. It's convenient and easy to stay where you are.
  • It's inconvenient to speak up when injustice occurs. It's convenient and easy to look the other way.
  • It's inconvenient to swallow your pride. It's convenient and easy to be stubborn.
  • It's inconvenient to be open minded and understanding. It's easy and convenient to be judgmental.
  • It's inconvenient to be empathetic and understanding. It's convenient and easy to be callous and cynical.
  • It's inconvenient to do the right thing. It's convenient and easy to be selfish!
  • It's inconvenient to be patient with a child who's crying at 3am. It's convenient and easy to get upset!
  • It's inconvenient to practice the golden rule. It's convenient and easy to be self-centered.
  • It's inconvenient to to tell people what they need to hear. It's convenient and easy to tell them what they want to hear.
  • It's inconvenient to put other peoples needs first. It's convenient and easy to focus only on our personal needs and wants.
  • It's inconvenient to deal with hard facts and differences of opinion. It's convenient and easy to view life through one paradigm - yours!


Perhaps you have been discouraged by a feeling that you were born subject to certain dislikes peculiar to you, with which the highly successful men and women in our society are not afflicted.

Perhaps you have wondered why it is that some people seem to like to do the things that you don't like to do.

Well, they don't and the truth is, no one likes being inconvenienced. It's just that high performers understand that the road to success is constantly filled with acts of discomfort. They choose to do what needs to be done.

But if they don't like be inconvenienced for whatever reason, then why do they embrace it? Because by doing the right things at the right time, they can accomplish the things they want to accomplish while feeling great about how victory was achieved.

Successful people are influenced by the desire for pleasing results. The overwhelming majority of people are influenced by the desire for pleasing methods and are inclined to be satisfied with such results as can be obtained by doing things they like to do or simply what they find to be convenient.

Why then are successful people able to accept inconvenience, discomfort, and sacrifice while most are not?

Because successful people have a purpose strong enough to make them form the habit of doing things they don't enjoy doing in order to accomplish the purpose they want to accomplish and become the person they they want to become.

Sometimes even the most disciplined opt for convenience. When someone goes for the easy way out, it simply means that they have reached a point at which, for the time being, convenience is more desirable an outcome than inconvenience.

And when this occurs you must focus on the bigger picture, on your purpose, and you will at the next opportunity behave properly and do the right thing.

Many clients and friends whom I have discussed this unconventional view of success have said at this point, "But how can I be expected to always embrace inconvenience when the temptation for convenience is so strong. Isn't wanting to be a good person a strong enough purpose?

No it isn't!

Simply wanting to be a good person isn't a sufficiently strong purpose to make you embrace the importance of behavioral inconvenience for the very simple reasons that it is easier to adjust ourselves to the hardships of a poor quality of life and low levels of peace of mind than it is to adjust ourselves to the hardships of making a much better one.

If you are still suspicious, just think of all the things you are willing to go without in order to avoid doing the things you don't want to be inconvenienced by. All of which seems to prove that the strength which holds you to your purpose is not your own strength but the strength of the purpose itself.

The Habit of Inconvenience

Every single qualification for success is acquired through the habit of inconvenience. People form habits and habits form futures. If you do not deliberately form good habits, then unconsciously you will form bad ones.

You are the kind of person you are because you have formed the habit of being that kind of person, and the only way you can change is through habit of inconvenience.

But before you decide to adopt the habit of inconvenience, let me warn you of the importance of habit to your decision. I have worked with and spoken to people throughout the world and have often wondered why, in spite of the fact that there is so much good in them, do so many people seem to get so little lasting good out of themselves.

Perhaps you have participated in a workshop or speech and have left determined to do the things that would make you successful or more successful only to find your decision or determination waning at just the time when it should be put into effect or practice.

Here's the reason why. Any resolution or decision you make is simply a promise to yourself, which is worthless unless you have formed the habit of making it and keeping it.

Impress this four-step philosophy on yourself, family, friends and associates:


  • If you set a goal, achieve it, even if it's inconvenient.
  • If you make a mistake, fix it, even if it's inconvenient.
  • If you start something, finish it, even if it's inconvenient.
  • If you make a promise, honor it, even if it's inconvenient
  • If you make a commitment, fulfill it, even if it's inconvenient.


It's important to take note that you won't form the habit of making and keeping commitments unless right at the start you link it with a definite purpose that can be accomplished by keeping it.

In other words, any resolution or decision you make today has to be made again tomorrow, and the next day, and the next, and the next, and so on. And it not only has to be made each day, but it has to be kept each day, for if you miss one day in the making or keeping of it, you've got to go back and begin all over again.

But if you continue the process of making it each morning and keeping it each day, you will finally wake up some morning a different person in a different world, and you will wonder what has happened to you and the world you used to live in.

As long as you live, don't ever forget that while you may succeed beyond your fondest hopes and your greatest expectations, you will never succeed beyond the purpose to which you are willing to surrender.

Furthermore, your surrender will not be complete until you adopt the winners philosophy that all progress, change, and success is based on a foundation of inconvenience!

Everything Counts!



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