"Hard work beats talent when talent doesn't work hard." - a quote many of us have heard before and many can resonate with throughout various experiences in life.
But which should we really being focusing our efforts on the most?
Option #1 - Work hard at something we're not naturally talented at? OR
Option #2 - Discover our talents and work to improve them further?
What if I told you both were irrelevant from what you should really be focusing on?
Now, I'm not saying you shouldn't pursue the career of your dreams, attempt a marathon run without training, or even hang your washing without a little enthusiasm. I'm talking about what really matters most.
Let's strip the onion right back:
Who are you?
What defines you as your own unique self?
A one-in-seven-billion human being on this Earth...
Maybe you're an athlete. Maybe you're a mum. Or maybe you're a free spirit travelling the globe, whilst living off two minute noodles and other people's couches. True, all of those things might be relevant to the person you've lived and grown to be over the years, but it doesn't really define who you are.
"So then, how do I find out who I am, and what does this have to do with working hard and being talented?" - you might ask.
Well, once upon a time there was a young girl named Sarah, who's story many of us might be able to associate with. Sarah had a issue. An issue that's not often spoken about, but is a part of almost all women's lives in modern day society.
Sarah suffered from a case of identity crisis - the result of some serious approval addiction.
It all started in primary school - she wasn't too great at maths, she always came second in any school sports, and the only "friends" she had were really the friends of her younger sister. Sarah didn't know what she was naturally talented at, but she did know one thing; and that was she wanted the best. The best for herself. The best for her family and friends. The best for everyone and anything on this planet called Earth. But with that in mind there also came competitiveness, constant striving, failure to meet expectation, lack of balance and overall, un-fulfillment in her life. Sarah's thoughts were grossly distorted. Her drive to achieve and succeed were not motivated by healthy beliefs. As she grew over the years and entered into high school, Sarah became selfish. She was ignorant. And in Sarah's constant striving for the best, she always believed she knew best.
But what was it all for?
Why was Sarah still left feeling unfulfilled and unsatisfied despite all of her hard work and achievements?
All Sarah wanted her whole life was to fit in.
She was willing to work hard, get good, and do whatever it took to get the approval of others, but lost her identity under the label she was trying to be.
After leaving school, a shift began to take place in Sarah's life and her “perfectionist” mentality didn’t align with what she believed to be true anymore. Sarah had discovered that in striving for perfection and gaining the approval of others it had effected her own authenticity. Sarah would often question who she was, and why she so desperately wanted to be accepted. Sarah was trying to be something that wasn’t real. It wasn’t who she was born to be. So she decided to make a change.
No more striving to attain a certain title. No more striving to look a certain way. And no more worrying about what other people thought of her. Sarah made a deal with herself that she was just going to be... Sarah. Wow, what a load off! She gave herself full permission to just simply "be". As she let go and allowed herself the freedom to be her full natural self, something amazing happened. Sarah felt content. She got a job promotion. She became Captain of the netball team. And she made more friends than she could count on her own two hands. The things she once strived to attain, were instead now drawing close to her - and it was all because Sarah decided she was just going to work hard at being Sarah.
Sometimes we focus too much on the "human" - the label and name we place ourselves under, and not enough on just "being" - learning to love and grow as the person we were born to be.
Yes it's great to develop a natural talent, and I take my hat off to those who work hard to get to where they are today. But we don't measure people by how many hours they do at the office everyday.
People determine success by their performance and the amount of effort it took to get there. But how many of us really consider making the effort to succeed and perform at being our full best beautiful selves?
Many people work hard or are naturally gifted to get them somewhere, but they don't have enough character to keep them there when they do get there.
Let me ask you a question...
What happens to the "who" when you lose the "what" you've attached your identity under?
Wanting to look and do your best is good. But it's a big mistake to dwell on the appearance of outward things and neglect your character on the inside.
What is more important to you in your everyday life? Would you rather be identified as a "Successful Business Owner"? Or a "Game Changer" in the lives of others? - Made possible simply by just being yourself and setting the example for others to do the same. Find out who you are, pull up a seat, get comfortable with being your full beautiful self and everything else will come! But don't get lazy, because you were put on this Earth to live out your own unique purpose and you were born to do it courageously.
You were born for so much more.
What is your opinion on the "Hard Work vs Talent" debate?
Could you relate to Sarah's story?
Write your comments below.
SallyGabriellaFit is a 23 year old lawyer, vlogger and lover of the health and fitness life. If you haven't already heard of this mega brainy babe on her social media channels, you should probably grab a bowl of organic, gluten-free, non-GMO popcorn and check out some of her YouTube vids (link below).
I sat down with Sally to get an insight into the "why she does what she does", how she plans on taking things to the next level with her own health + fitness, and why her vegetarian scramble recipe is the easiest any-meal-of-the-day dish you'll ever need to master.
Q1. What got you into starting your YouTube channel, and why have you chosen to inspire women everywhere with your knowledge of the health, fitness and nutrition lifestyle?
I used to (and still do) watch many female “fitness YouTubers”, who share their workouts, meal ideas, and just in general, their lives and knowledge. They all had a huge following of subscribers, and it excited me to know that I could potentially be like “one of them”. But it was never about how many subscribers I could and would get, it was about connecting with people. I wanted to connect, educate, and inspire people from around the world, and the only way possible was through YouTube. Also, with a journalism background, I wanted to put my skills and knowledge into practice. I had the passion and the drive, and all I needed to do was to take action.
My health and fitness journey was never smooth. I went through a lot, made many mistakes, and even put my health at risk. But I have learnt so much from those experiences. Everything happens for a reason, and we are all placed on this earth for a reason. I believe my reason is to help women (and men) to become their best selves. Many people lack the knowledge to live a healthier lifestyle, and it’s not their fault. So it’s my job to reach and teach as many people as possible on how to live happily and healthily, because we all deserve the very best.
While I have taken some time off from YouTube, I would definitely love to get back into it.
Q2. How do you intend on taking things to the next level with your own health and fitness?
Since I am at a stage where my diet and training are on track, I want to dig a little deeper, and take it up a notch. I want to start focusing on my internal health (i.e. hormones, gut health and organs), to ensure that everything is functioning at its optimum, and to become more mentally healthy.
For me, being “healthy and fit” does not simply mean achieving a certain physique, or eating a certain diet, but rather I view it as a holistic thing – it is how we look, feel, think, and function.
Q3. You mention following “flexible dieting” and base this around specific macros that you count. What are "macros" and why do you eat based on this “flexible dieting” approach?
Simply put, “macros” is short for macronutrients – fats, protein and carbohydrates. All the food and liquid (excluding water) we consume is made up of one or a combination of these macronutrients. So instead of counting “calories”, I have specific macros that I hit, based on my body weight, activity levels and goal. But essentially, these macros equate to calories. 1 gram of fat equals 9 calories, while 1 gram of protein or 1 gram of carbohydrate equals 4 calories.
I choose to follow flexible dieting because it gives me the freedom to eat what I want (within reason), so long as I “hit” my daily macros. For example, if I wanted to, and my macros permitted, I could eat pop tarts and candy all day. However, I choose to fill 80-90% of my macros with nutrient dense foods (like vegetables and eggs), simply because they make me feel better, they nourish my body, and also because they allow me to feel fuller for longer (“processed” foods tend to be more calorie dense while vegetables are more voluminous). However, I am only human, and enjoy sneaking in a bowl of ice-cream every night!
Q4. So Sally, we have a few other readers who are vegetarian like you. What suggestions would you give them to help take small steps in overcoming any signs of "vegetarian/vegan fatigue" and still maintain a well-balanced nutrient-dense diet?
Just a little disclaimer before I get started, I am not a medical professional, dietician or nutritionist. So please do seek professional advice if you have any concerns about your health or diet.
Here are my tips:
Q5. Not only are you a mega YouTube fitness fanatic, but you're also a mega brainy solicitor babe! How do you manage juggling your career in law, your YouTube channel, and still keep on top of a healthy lifestyle?
Well, to be fair, I only worked in a law firm for a few months, but with anything in life, if it’s important to you, makes you happy, or makes you feel fulfilled, you will FIND or MAKE time.
As regards to keeping on top of a healthy lifestyle, I have always loved starting my day off with a solid training session, and so I had to make time – I simply woke up earlier.
A typical weekday morning would look like this:
4:00am: Wake up
4:15am – 4:30am: Arrive to the gym
5:30am – 6:00am: Get home
7:00am – 8:00am: Arrive to work
As with my YouTube channel, it was a hobby which I enjoyed, so I would make sure to set aside time.
Keeping up with a busy life can be tough. My biggest tip is to plan out your week, and even your days – even go to the extent of breaking your day into hours, and scheduling in everything that needs to be done for that day.
Plan ahead, stay organised, and prioritise your tasks.
Q6. What advice would you give to busy mums, business owners, and women everywhere who really struggle to find the time and energy to maintain a healthy diet and active life every day?
Make yourself a priority – a happier, healthier and more energetic you, means a more productive you.
Schedule in morning exercise – wake up 30 minutes earlier if you need to. You are more likely to find excuses or run out of time if you plan exercise for later on during the day.
Make Sunday your “plan and prep day” – write up a menu, do your groceries and prep your meals in advance so that you have more time during the week. This will also make sure you keep on track with your diet.
Write daily “to-do” lists the night before – this will also help to give you a better night sleep because you know that what needs to be done, will get done.
Q7. Now, I believe you have a sneaky recipe for us? An all-time favourite dish - your Vegetarian Rainbow Scramble recipe!
Well, I do warn you, this meal isn’t the most aesthetically looking dish, but it is low carb, low calorie, high protein, very satiating, and most of all, delicious!
What you’ll need:
Coconut oil spray
200g egg whites
250g zucchini (sliced or cubed)
200g raw jap pumpkin (cubed)
Seasonings and spices: Himalayan pink salt, cracked pepper, chilli powder and turmeric powder.
Step 1: Pre-cook your cubed pumpkin. You can do this by baking it or steaming it, but I choose to microwave my pumpkin in a bowl for 5-6 minutes (for convenience and to speed up the process).
Step 2: Pre-heat your pan and spray it with coconut oil. Once your pan is hot enough, add your zucchini and sauté until golden brown.
Step 3: Add your pre-cooked pumpkin to the pan and season with salt, pepper and spices.
Step 4: Continue to sauté your vegetables for 1-2 minutes before adding your egg whites.
Step 5: Scramble the vegetables and egg whites together until fully cooked. This should only take a few minutes.
Step 6 (optional): Top your scramble with some crumbled feta, yellow mustard and an extra crack of pepper.
Turn your own health + fitness up a notch by following Sally on her YouTube and social media pages (links below). You might want to take that iPad for a walk though - one video and you'll be hooked.
You were born for so much more.
As the season of 14-hour bikini days, Christmas pudding, and festive family photos approaches us faster than any year before, a few of us ladies might be wondering what last minute options we have left to "shape up" in time.
It's often we can intentionally neglect the "Summer bodies are made in Winter" approach, with the colder months spent mostly rugged up inside, with a little Netflix and chill, consuming that seventh slice of pizza heaven. You know you can get that bod to bounce right back, but first, you need to bounce right off that booty-molded couch.
Before I competed in the fitness competition earlier this year, I despised the look of the treadmill at my gym. It was big, bulky and boring looking, and the last thing I wanted to do was stare blankly at a wall for 45 minutes thinking about pizza and cookie dough. I didn't enjoy cardio because it made me hot and sweaty. Lifting weights and doing flips in the air during my usual aerial silk classes were a much easier option. But having to lean up for a competition that was only four weeks away, my coach prescribed me a weekly schedule of seven days fasted cardio, on top of my six days of weight training and crazy circus activities.
"What the heck is fasted cardio?"
This was the first question that popped into my head as I confidentially nodded and smiled, pretending to know exactly what my coach was talking about. No biggie. I can do flips and tricks in the air. This "fast" stuff will be quick and easy.
Ohhhh was I in for a treat!
I was to get up an hour earlier, head to the gym on an empty stomach, and jump on one of the cardio machines for 45 minutes. I had to go hard enough to work up a sweat, but not too hard that I couldn't hold a conversation. Rugging up in several jumpers and leaving the fans in the gym switched off definitely contributed to the 16 litres of sweat my sports bra accumulated every morning.
The 28 days of fasted cardio for my comp preparation proved to be a challenge, both physically and mentally for me. But the results I got from switching up my usual routine were amazing! The prescribed fasted cardio worked a treat and I began to shed fat in even the most stubborn areas of my body.
The idea of doing a cardio workout in a fasted state (no food in the tum), is with the focus being that the body is forced to turn to its stubborn fat stores for energy rather than the glucose left in your system after having something to eat.
It's generally suggested 30-60 minutes is all you need to fire up that fat burning wheel and if you can stick to it consistently over a period of time, chances are you will be saying "goodbye" to those love handles and mini muffin tops in no time at all!
Now, of course you would need to first consider your individual fitness goals and what it is you are physically capable of doing. But by incorporating a new workout routine even just a couple of days a week, just about anyone's health and well being is going to be affected in a positive way.
As I learned and experimented with this new found way to drench my body head to toe without even stepping foot inside a shower, I grew to love fasted cardio. The results were evident, "fast" (pun intended) and so much greater than just the physical.
My findings waking up an hour earlier everyday and doing fasted cardio included:
- greater sense of accomplishment & achievement
- fat being burnt in the most stubborn of places
- meeting & making new friends at the gym
- increased energy, endurance & stamina
- happier & healthier mind & body
- mentally stronger & more focused
- positive tone set for the rest of the day
- 45 minutes of pure selfish "me time" bliss
- ability to learn something new from a podcast
- pretending to be an athlete & feeling like a boss
Keep in mind though, your fat loss and the achievement of your goals are still largely dependent upon the foods you eat as well.
"You can't out-train a bad diet."
(and if you've read my story in the "Your Best Life" FREE eBook you'll know I'm living proof of that - see direct link to download a copy below).
Months on since the competition, and I still maintain a routine with a couple of days of fasted cardio throughout the week. The mental and physical benefits remain evident and fasted cardio has now become an enjoyable habit of my lifestyle. A few bad habits and over-indulgence in those greasy pizzas are now a thing of the past as my body gets much more satisfaction from a fast-paced walk along the Gold Coast Broadwater instead.
So, Ladies! If you're still defrosting from those Winter couch lazing months, why not live with a little "Morning Glory".
1. Wake up an hour earlier.
2. Drink a glass of lemon water.
3. Head to the gym or outside.
4. Get your body moving.
5. Get sexy! Pronto.
But if you're going to get your sexy back, you need to start right now, and you need to commit to it 110%.
Even when it's cold and raining outside.
Even when sleeping in sounds like a better idea.
Even when you've slipped up and consumed a whole block of Cadbury the night before.
You're human. I get it. But there's a part of you that's SUPER-HUMAN and you were born to unleash that side of yourself every single day. So get moving, feel funky, and look amazing just in time for those festive family snaps. Love yourself enough to live a healthy lifestyle!
You truly deserve it and everyone else deserves to see that best version of you around town.
You were born for so much more.
CLICK BELOW FOR AN INSTANT DOWNLOAD OF MY FREE EBOOK
How has fasted cardio changed the way you look and feel about yourself?
I would LOVE to hear your story!