Get Dirty


I like going to the beach, but at the end of the day, I’m disgusted by all of the sand that I find in my bathing suit (ew!) I love camping, but I hate getting dirt under my fingernails and the fact that even if you’re lucky enough to find a campground with shower stalls, you’ll still be showering in a place where other people have splashed their dirt and dead skin cells all over the walls.

It makes me cringe just thinking about it, yet if I ever plan on enjoying any part of life, I have to get use to the idea that sometimes you have to get a little (or a lot) dirty. Every situation won’t be comfortable.

Whether or not you succeed will depend on how well you can handle the dirt and discomfort. How much crap could you endure?

Dirty Scenario #1

One of my favorite, yet most disgusting scenes from SlumDog Millionaire begins with young Jamal struggling to take a crap in an outhouse. Because he causes his brother to lose money, he ends up getting locked in that raggedy outhouse, just as his favorite movie star is arriving in town. He can’t get out, but he wants an autograph more than anything. There’s only one other way out. He pinches his nose and takes a dive into what I imagine to be the raunchiest and funkiest collection of human waste.

Covered from head to toe in crap with only the prized photo remaining unstained, he runs at top speed to the front of the crowd and secures an autograph.

Could you handle being covered in human feces if it meant achieving success?

Dirty Scenario #2

What if, in order to fully realize your dream of starting your own business, in order to make time, you had to quit your job, sell all your stuff and live in a camper with no air conditioning because it’s all you could afford? Would you be able to handle living one step up from a cardboard box in order to get the ball rolling towards financial freedom? Or would the opinions and the verbal dirt your aquaintances might throw at you keep you locked in the virtual treadmill of 9-5 existence: get up, go to work, get paid, give all the money to bill collectors, go to bed, repeat for 52 weeks x 30 – 40 years!

Could you handle the discomforts that would come with living in a small space, in cramped quarters, in a less than socially acceptable standard of living if it meant success in the end?

Dirty Scenario #3

One year when my husband and I first got married, we were so broke that we ate Ramen Noodles every day for like a month straight. Somedays when we could afford it, we’d add a little cheese or cut up a slice of ham to add protein or anything else we could find to make the meal more appealing. What if, in order to survive the financial pinch you might have to endure as a result of transitioning from employee to entrepreneur, you had to eat those same noodles everyday for two months?

Could you handle it, or would you go bonkers in the first week and turn into a crazed cannibal?

These dirty and uncomfortable scenarios are not my way of saying that this is what will certainly happen if you try to free yourself from 9-5 slavery – I’m only asking if you are willing to go through the less pleasant phases in order to get to the good part.

Almost every person that has ever made it big has had to endure periods like this. Tyler Perry had to endure a period of homelessness while he was trying to write his plays and build his career. But you wouldn’t know that today by looking at him and his successful line of plays and movies.

But what about you? Are you willing to get dirty for your dreams? Don’t forget to hold your nose :)

If you’ve missed my other posts, take a moment to view them >HERE<

Kiesha is the author of We Blog Better and Christian Blog: Highly Favored. She’s a technical Writer, former writing instructor, and blogging consultant for small business owners. If you’d like to know more, read her extended bio. Connect with her on Twitter, Google and subscribe to her feed for blogging tips & tricks.

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  1. Hey Kiesha,

    I especially luv the Slumdog Millionaire and your personal example.
    When your goal is high, there are a lot of things you have to endure and go through. I think it’s your personal faith that keeps you going – the believe that you will do it – no matter what.

    I simply ignore the “dirt” by only concentrating on my goals. It sharpens your focus and keeps you going, even if the world’s breaking down on you.
    .-= Mars Dorian´s last blog ..The real reason why some Brands are AWESOME (and have super-loyal fans) =-.

  2. I’m not sure what to answer. Regarding the noodles, we went through a period where we had a miniscule food budget and boy was it hard. There were no luxuries, it was all about making the most of offers, eating lots of baked potato and so on. Could I do that again? Sure. Could I live in a cardboard box with my wife and daughter? Nope! I guess for everyone there is a line, and for me the food budget is above the line, but living in a a camper is below it!
    .-= Mo “Mad Dog” Stoneskin´s last blog ..The Fury of the Porcelain Gods =-.

  3. Hi Keisha,

    Hah! I’ve been down the ramen noodle path before also. I’m glad to hear you were able to splurge and add some cheese or ham, also.

    I truly think that is these difficult situations that push us to prevail. We have a NEED for improvement, versus folks who are just happy with life, they don’t see the need for change. so, they continue on their lives living UN-extraordinarily.

    .-= BrandonBurgh´s last blog ..Warrior’s Stumble – Breaking Through Barriers =-.

  4. Wow, Kiesha, the whole time I was reading this I was thinking if I could be able to do it. I’m not sure. When I was younger, maybe – but now that I’ve gone soft with all my creature comforts, I’m not sure.

    The outhouse story reminded me of Survivor where they have to eat the weird and gross foods – I’ve always thought that if I had a million dollars on the line, hell yeah, I would eat the worm or grasshopper or other gross item. But, what’s the difference between that and some of the other hardships we’d have to endure before becoming successful? I guess it’s a just a matter of motivation. I know that my survival isn’t on the line, if it was, I would gladly eat ramen noodles for as long as it takes. But once I didn’t have that motivation, believe me, I’d be eating steak again ASAP. :-)

    Interesting topic and discussion!

    .-= Karen´s last blog ..The First Step In Finding Meaning For Your Life =-.

  5. Keisha,

    Enjoyed your post and recommended it on StumbleUpon: “Blogging success might mean getting down and dirty – what are you willing to sacrifice or put up with in order to succeed – this is not a post questioning integrity but about digging deep inside to find out what you’re made of.” I like these kind of questions myself, my quest for personal development is all about what lengths I will go to for inner health. I’ve also asked myself the integrity questions – how would I behave in _________ (fill in the blank) situation. Interesting to reflect on, but you never really know ’til it happens.


  6. Keisha,
    Interesting article. Read it this morning, but let it percolate a bit before commenting.
    What I find interesting is the personal example you give. Its more or less the story of many portions of my life, which I am sick of repeating. Its WHY I am taking my blog to the next level one step at at time. Within the next one to two years, I want to be living a more comfortable life style . In five years, I want to be well off in my mind (which, for me, means the bills are paid without having to juggle them and still having money left over for some fun).
    I will not, for any reason, ever swim through feces and urine…..I know what they are composed of and the scent turns my stomach very easily! Pretty much anything else is game as long as it doesn’t affect those I love….I will do without for my passions, but I won’t ask my family to do the same.
    .-= Gurl´s last blog ..Recipe: Peanut Butter Candy =-.

  7. Keisha,

    I absolutely loved your post and if things worked out right, I wouldn’t mind living in a trailer knowing that one day I would be able to afford a much larger house and pay cash. In fact, if I had everything to do all over again, I definitely would go that route.

    This post definitely put things into perspective for me.

    Thank you,
    .-= Bcarter @ Making Money Online´s last blog ..Sometimes It’s Best To Go Back To Basics =-.

  8. Interesting post. 😉

    I lived in a caravan for a while and loved it! :)

    I have limits unlike most people I know, I don’t care in many ways really, because they are MY limits and as long as I stay on or above them all is well.

    The thing I realise is if you don’t get down and dirty anytime in life, you haven’t lived, it’s the crap that makes the good times better. :)
    .-= rob sellen´s last blog ..Work to live or live to work =-.

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