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Suffer Now, Live Forever As A Champion

The title is part of a quote by Muhammad Ali which I used during some work I recently did in a school which had asked me to help with revision sessions.

Working with the students, we looked ahead, and assessed what would be required of them in the coming weeks, in terms of revision and dedication.

It looked like this:

  • 2 weeks Half Term
  • 4 Weeks School
  • 4 Weeks Exams
  • 8 weeks Off

By drawing this up on a board as a timeline, we discussed how much time was required to make their exams as successful as possible in order for them to enjoy the long holidays as a reward.

Thinking about this way of looking at things in terms of your business, could be helpful.

For instance think about a project you’re working on that has stalled, or one you’ve fallen out of love for or is just becoming a drag.

What does the timeline look like?

Write it down.

I developed a new framework to look at this and now use it a lot when I am lacking motivation or focus.

I call it SSAA

  • Schedule
  • Sacrifice
  • Adapt
  • Attitude

Here’s how it works:


Make a realistic timetable and stick to it. Review it if the plans weren’t being stuck to, to help yourself to feel successful.

Schedule each hour – 45 mins work / 15 mins your time and don’t try and block-book 4 or 5 hours of the same content.

Focus on the one thing in front of you – avoid distractions.


You are going to have to make some sacrifices in the next few weeks, but you will enjoy yourself once you’ve earned the time to rest.

Ways to manage time better include less phone time and even apps to monitor and control your use of phone time.

Leave the phone in another room for 45 mins when working and use it for 15 minutes when on a break.


Clearly none of the above actions can take place without adapting to changes.

Be honest with yourself and talk about the things that make you unhappy and which made you happy.

Moving towards happiness will mean changes from your current lifestyles and approaches, so set some goals and targets.


As you know, I am a big fan of using attitude to help change things – starting with your mindset and vision, attitude can help you in many many ways.

By looking at work or personal projects as a gateway into the future you can see the work required now will build towards something to be proud of in years to come.

Once you work through the SSAA elements, it’s worth spending 10 minutes considering the changes you are going to make to improve

There you go – Suffer Now, Live Forever as a Champion!

Andrew ‘Bernie’ Bernard

Andrew ‘Bernie’ Bernard

Professional Speaker, MC, Educational Workshop Deliverer and Developer, Enterprise and Manufacturing Champion.

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