I know about rats. Not a lot, but a fair amount. I never endeavored to learn about them, not within 100 miles of my goal list, but life forced me to. In the processing of doing some renovations on my house last year, I had opened up a wall in the stair well. As I was clearing out trash out of the attic one day, I came down the stairs at midnight to see a huge fucking rat standing on a tool box. Caught that guy in a trap that my buddy set, but a week later I found three rats just chilling in my open stair well. 30 feet from my room where I sleep. It was upsetting. More upsetting than you would think.
I am a creature of momentum. I crave progress. The lack of it is the feeling I avoid at all costs. Seeing rats in the house I was trying to make cozy was not just an inconvenience. It felt like an emotional assault on my dreams.
After I calmed down, did more research, talked to experts, I made a new plan.
I bought a “rodent cafe” which is basically like a food truck for rats that you fill with poison and put under your house. I bought a huge bucket of this peanut butter poison blocks for the rodent cafe. After a week I checked on it, and the damn thing was EMPTY. Insane. So I filled it up again. Week later, empty again. Eventually though, there was less and less action at my little murder box. Which was great.
Now, when I go anywhere, I see other people’s rodent cafes. Every building and restaurant has them outside. You probably never noticed them because why would you, it wasn’t your problem.
This is obstacle learning, and let me tell you it sucks. Its usually things in your blindside. Its your non-dominant hand. Its your least favorite subject. But hidden in everything you hate doing, is a weakness of yours waiting to become a strength.
Gary V talks a lot about tripping down on your strength. I think that is valid and helpful. But whatever your game is, real estate to Jiu Jitsu to being a good parent, you have to address your weaknesses.
I love learning. And yet I hate learning when it is forced upon me. At times like this, I love to think of the phrase hate fucking. Its an ugly phrase when it comes to people, but a great way to describe getting the job done in something you want to run from.
I hate rats, I hate hanging up mirrors, I hate making follow up calls to the window company because they don’t give a fuck. But I know that I don’t have to change forever and love these things, I just have to get them done.
Over 2000 years ago Marcus Aurelius famously said “the obstacle in the path, becomes the path. Never forget, within every obstacle is an opportunity to improve our condition.”
Now that I know about rats, I can be a better friend to people I love who have the same problem. So in affect, every hour you spend working on shit you hate can become a benefit not just to you, but to those around you.
Focus on what you’re good at, but hate fuck your way through the petty tasks that try to steal your momentum.
Your frustration can one day be someone else’s good fortune that they have you as a friend.