All progress begins with telling the truth  — Dan Sullivan

One of my most profound discoveries is Grant Cardone’s 10X Rule.

The 10X Rule states that any worthwhile goal will be 10 times harder to achieve than you initially thought. 

Actually, ’10 times harder’ maybe a little conservative — some goals may seem 100 times harder. The point is the vast majority of people underestimate what it takes to successfully reach a goal.

Examples are plentiful that illustrate the far reaching depth and merit of this rule. When was the last time you heard a construction project finished ahead of schedule…or even on time? How about marriages? We all know the divorce numbers…think some people underestimate the effort required there? Same goes with small business success (I can personally speak volumes about this one) and even large corporate growth. Underestimating the effort required for success is so common that it is the norm.

In your own life I’m sure you can attest to this too. Big goals always take more effort than initially thought and usually by a lot.

And fitness is no different.

Losing weight is 10 times harder than most people think. I don’t care if the goal is losing 5 pounds or 100 pounds, it’s all the same. Ditto with keeping weight off. Once a person achieves their goal weight it will be at least 10 times harder than they initially thought to remain at that weight. Same goes with strength training. After the honeymoon period is over and the excitement wears off on a new strength training program, it’s a special person that can keep showing up week after week, month after month, year after year.

But does the need for strength training ever diminish? Does there come a time when you can just kick back and relax a little? Of course not! Strength training is as necessary as brushing your teeth because age related muscle loss (sarcopenia) is as real and destructive as tooth decay.

You may not have considered this, but your strength is the rate limiter that determines your ability to participate in an active life. In many ways, strength is the driving force behind quality of life, while weakness undermines it.

And yet people stop strength training. Why? Because they grossly underestimated the effort required to do it, do it well, and to keep doing it well.

The point of the 10X Rule is not to be pessimistic; the point is to be prepared. Know first hand that whatever your goal, successfully meeting it will require you to put forth a 10X effort. Anything less will most likely leave you disillusioned and disappointed.

And if by some chance you meet your goal with a little less effort, consider yourself damn lucky. There will always be outlier examples, but 10X is the norm.

So what does understanding the 10X Rule really mean?

It means no longer placing blame on others or comparing yourself to others. Their advantages or disadvantages are not relevant to you. The only thing that should matter to you is how much effort you are putting into it. It also means the end to lame duck excuses. If your results don’t add up, it forces you to get creative and look for new solutions, coaching, or help. By the same token, the 10X rule is embedded in the old ‘grass is always greener’ adage. The grass is not greener. Once you get to the other side, you will quickly realize it will only stay green if you give it a 10X effort.

In essence, the 10X Rule illustrates the single biggest difference between achieving success and failure and why increasing your efforts…in whatever form or shape that takes…is the always the correct answer.