First Things First—Hard Things First

When it comes to personal development and being a leader and entrepreneur, it is important to use your Adversity Quotient (AQ). Like many others I have been fascinated by the concept of mental toughness. More recently I have been introduced to the AQ which is much the same concept. The concept of AQ is a spinoff of IQ (Intelligent Quotient). In fact, the formula for Adversity Quotient is AQ = IQ (Intelligent Quotient) + EQ (Emotional Quotient) x WQ (Will Quotient).  Your ability to be mentally tough in the face of adversity is related to your level of intelligence and your ability to handle your emotions with a willingness to push on.  

Developing this state of different types of quotients may take many avenues to develop, but here is one thing you can do right now in this moment to work on developing your AQ.

First Things First—Hard Things First 

hard thingsBy doing hard things first you can develop, as Vince Lambardi famous NFL coach, put it the “disciplined will refuses to give in.” It is human nature to avoid hard things. I do not believe I need to provide much evidence for you to know that statement is true. However, there are rewards or reinforcements for avoiding hard things. In fact, when I was in school, the culture taught that success was defined by doing the least amount of schoolwork for the highest grade. (yep, in high school I was ignorant enough to buy into that idea). Doing hard things first will help you break out of the bounds of normalcy, what seems natural, and/or the mediocrity of human nature. In fact, the ironic thing is those who avoid the hard things end up under more pressure and stress. On the other hand, when you do hard things first it motivates you, and you feel like you have accomplished great things. That sense of achievement will help you as you take on the next hard thing and before you know it you will have a “snowball effect” on your hands. At first when you start to roll a snowball it starts out small but the more ground it covers the bigger it gets and the more snow collects on it.

snowApplication: Make a list of things you need to accomplish tomorrow or for the week, pick the hard thing and rank the rest of the tasks you need to do in order of hardness and then start at the top of list and work on down. You will begin to see the snowball effect. When going to workout, start with the hardest workout first—target your weaknesses. Remember the words of Fred Devito “If it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you.” When doing the hard things first you will begin to improve your AQ.


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