You mistake joining for belonging.

It’s easy to join. You go to a website, fill in a form and pay your monthly fees.

Some people love being associated with brands, and that, I suppose, is the power if the industry. Surely though, it’s more powerful – more meaningful – to be associated with people?

To belong.

If you want to be happy, here’s some sage advice;

Pick a group you want to belong to and do the work necessary to earn their respect and trust. A true sense of belonging gives you confidence, especially during tough times.”

Belonging to a place can’t be bought. It’s not for sale, either. It must be earned. You may buy your way in, but once you’re there, you need to earn the right to belong.

At Roark this belonging isn’t meant to be some intimidating test. For us, it’s about effort, because effort isn’t subjective. Some people are stonger, bigger, thinner, quicker – but every person is blessed with the ability to put in effort.

Through consistent effort, you can belong.

Belonging to this place isn’t a one-way street either. You need to want to belong here too. You need to be prepared to work harder than you have before – to actually make those changes you’ve promised yourself you would. No one’s forcing you into it – it’s your choice. It always will be.

So if you want to belong, then cut away those things that are stopping you from achieving what you want.

Be surgical, especially when it comes to excuses. There’s no room for that on the path you’re going to walk. Be honest with yourself. If you trip up, that’s ok. Fix it and move on.

Remember, though, that work isn’t an excuse. Neither is darkness, comfort food nor a warm bed. You’ve got the same number of hours in your day as all the great people who have come before you had.

So stop waiting for a sign or for next week. Pick something and stick to it until you’re done.