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What’s The Alternative? 

By: Michael Blankenship |

“It is not because things are difficult that we do not dare; it is because we do not dare that they are difficult.”

– Seneca

If you’re anything like me, one of the main questions you ask yourself is a bit existential… 

Why am I doing this? 

I ask myself this question a LOT. 

It took me one hour and 26 minutes to run 9 miles yesterday (in training for a marathon) and I wondered this multiple times during the 86-minute stretch. Why am I doing this? 

This is a question I definitely asked myself when I moved my family to Portugal — before we got here and for several days after we arrived. If I’m being honest, I still ask myself sometimes. Why did I do this?

Heck, I even ask myself this question about The Tonic. It’s not always easy to write these emails and build something that I deeply care about. What’s the point? 

But there’s another question I ask myself in response to these questions. It’s a bit sassy. But it reminds me WHY I’m doing these things and gives me clarity when I’m in a valley. 

What’s the alternative? 

The answer scares me. 

I could stop trying to run a marathon and quit on a goal that I’ve always wanted to accomplish. 

I could stop living a life of adventure and move back to our hometown where it feels more safe and familiar. 

I could quit on The Tonic and stop building things that I care deeply about.

This reminds me that I’m not only doing hard things because I care about them… but because living the alternative is so shockingly unappealing to me. 

Maybe you’re doing some hard stuff right now. 

Stuff you really care about. 

Stuff that makes you afraid and insecure.

Stuff that makes you wonder if you have what it takes.

Ask yourself: What’s the alternative?

Because giving up on things you care about and not living a life of adventure is always worse than today’s challenges would have you believe.

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