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Leader, Athlete, Professional…Life can be a Struggle - Enjoy the Grind!

A couple of weeks ago I had the opportunity to hear a talk by Kaleb Dahlgren, a young man who was a member of the Humboldt Broncos Hockey team that was hit by a bus in 2018. Sixteen of the twenty eight people on the bus died. Kaleb survived and despite a serious brain injury has gone on to live a life dedicated to serving others. One of his messages was that life can be a grind, however when we embrace the grind, the hard work, the struggle and look for opportunities to lift the burden of others, life can be very rewarding.

“So what”, you might be saying…. “I have heard it all before!” What can a hockey player know about the grind of a business leader? Yet the struggle, the challenges and the grind of an athlete are not as different as you might think.

Having had the opportunity to coach high level athletes, I have seen the struggles they face when things are not going their way. While they might not have to worry about how to ensure that there is money in the bank to pay employee wages or suppliers. Athletes do deal with the drama in the dressing rooms, just as you worry about dealing with the drama in the office, they do stress about their performance and understand that a lack of performance has an effect on their teammates and ultimately their career just as you might.

When we look back on our lives, our careers, the days blend together. We remember times of happiness or sorrow, good times and bad, the struggles and the successes. Oftentimes those intense moments in our lives, whether they be months, weeks, days, hours or sometimes just a few minutes or moments bore holes in our memories and our psyche and we focus on these events, we relive them. In many cases we agonize over our words, actions and our regrets. We replay over and over the moments of our glory or intense joy.

Too often we forget the grind. We think our success and the success of others has come easy. Yet so often it's the hours we spent in school, in the gym, with our customers or on the shop floor trying to learn new concepts that eventually led to our success. We fail to remember the hard work and persistence it took us to overcome our challenges and climb that mountain of success. The blood, sweat and tears. Unfortunately, we only seem to focus on our success or failure and let that define us.

The reality is that for most of us, life is a grind. We are not always performing at our best, our teams don’t always win, our companies don’t always have the best week, month or year. Our families aren’t always perfect. Many times, we feel mediocre, we don’t see the change, the results, the difference that we are making in the ordinary everyday. However, as Kaleb Dahlgren repeated last week and others have said before. Enjoy the grind!

It's in the grind that we live our daily lives. The grind is where we mingle with our family, our co-workers, and our customers. The grind is where we make the most difference and can fully be alive. If we only focus on our successes or our failures we miss out so much. Embrace the grind today and throughout the rest of the week - Enjoy the grind!

Dave Fuller, MBA is an Award Winning Business Coach and the author of the books “Profit Yourself Healthy” and “Pivotal Performance”. Grind out an email to with your comments or questions.


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