anthony trucks

In a world where change and challenges are constant, how do we adapt and optimize our identity for peak performance? Anthony Trucks, former NFL, three-time American ninja warrior, author, and international keynote speaker, offers compelling insights into this question. 

In an empowering chat, Anthony offers his message of hope and tactical strategies for handling life’s transitions, leading us to excellence in defining moments. As we dive into his teachings, let’s commit to looking for a microstep from Anthony that we can integrate into our life immediately that will compound over time.

For the full interview, listen to our ‘Evolving with Gratitude’ podcast episode, embedded in this article (above) and also available on your favorite podcast platform.

A Commitment to Greatness

Anthony’s philosophy on excellence centers around a profound dedication to effort without the certainty of rewards. Reflecting on his past experiences he recalls, “It was a commitment to doing what it took to be great without a promised return of actually being great.” This mindset advocates for embracing the process over the outcome, encouraging us to find fulfillment in our daily work rather than just the final achievements. This is a throughline you can see in all aspects of Anthony’s speaking, writing, and coaching. 

It was a commitment to doing what it took to be great without a promised return of actually being great.

—Anthony Trucks

Embracing the Journey Through Dark Work

Explaining why it is essential to honor each day’s efforts, Anthony shares, “I believe individuals need to fall in love with the day and not just the destination.” He warns of the common pitfall: “What’s it gonna be like when I win, when I have, when I get, when I attain, when I achieve, and it goes great? The problem is every day when you wake up and you have that as a goal and you go to sleep and don’t have it as an achievement, you start to feel a certain way that’s not always positive.” 

Anthony offers, “You’re going to spend more time climbing the mountain than at the peak of the mountain. If you hate the climb, you’re not going to reach the peak.” By focusing on the journey itself, including what he calls “dark work,”—the challenging, often overlooked tasks—we avoid discouragement and cultivate resilience. Anthony describes “dark work” as loving “the dirty, dark, gritty part of the work,” which propels us toward our goals, making us stronger and more confident. 

I believe individuals need to fall in love with the day and not just the destination.

—Anthony Trucks

The H.A.R.D. Approach: Cultivating Sustainable Change

Anthony introduces the H.A.R.D approach in his Shift Method, a foundational framework designed to facilitate significant personal changes and align our identity with our aspirations. 

This method includes:

  • Habits: Developing consistent, positive behaviors that become part of our daily routine. Anthony says that these are “active, small, simple things you do that compound over time.”
  • Actions: Taking deliberate steps that propel us towards our goals. These may be scary, but along the way some big actions have to be taken.
  • Reactions: Learning to respond constructively to our challenges and setbacks as well as our wins is critical.
  • Drivers: Understanding and harnessing our “why” fuels persistence and resilience. When things get hard, we can go back to this. 

Trucks extends this philosophy in his reflections on effort, sharing, “My identity is not tied to what I create, it’s tied to my efforts to create,” again highlighting the importance of effort over results. This tactical approach shifts our focus from mere achievements to how we engage with our work and life, fostering more meaningful and sustainable growth.

My identity is not tied to what I create, it’s tied to my efforts to create.

—Anthony Trucks

4 Actionable Steps to Apply Anthony’s Insights

  1. Love the Process: Start each day committed to great effort, focusing on the intrinsic value of our work rather than the final outcome or the promise of returns. This is about embracing each moment and finding fulfillment in the hard.
  2. Plan for Flexibility: Prepare for both expected and unexpected scenarios. We need adaptability and resilience in the face of life’s unpredictability.
  3. Embrace ‘Dark Work’: Recognize and appreciate the challenging, often overlooked tasks that shape our character and success. By engaging deeply with these tasks, as in loving the “dirty, dark, gritty part of the work,” we cultivate a stronger, more confident self.
  4. Set Personal Success Metrics: Define personal success metrics that resonate with our “why” and long-term aspirations, ensuring our goals reflect our true values and driving forces, fostering sustainable growth and meaningful achievements.

Anthony’s journey and insights remind us that identity is not something fixed but something we can continually develop through our actions and choices. His life, marked by personal responsibility, resilience, and a commitment to embracing each day’s challenges, illustrates that through consistent effort and honoring the journey, no matter how daunting, we can achieve greatness beyond our expectations. As we reflect on Trucks’ profound advice, let’s each find at least one piece of wisdom to integrate into our lives. This practical roadmap offers not just inspiration but actionable steps for all of us looking to make significant shifts.

With gratitude,

Connect with and learn from Anthony Trucks


Identity Shift: Upgrade How You Operate to Elevate Your Life by Anthony Trucks