Be Willing to Die on the Treadmill

Adrian S. Potter
2 min readMar 4, 2019

Putting In Work with Will Smith (The Secondhand Inspiration Project)

Photo by chuttersnap on Unsplash

The Secondhand Inspiration Project begins with a motivational quote and ventures wherever the creative path meanders.

“The only thing that I see that is distinctly different about me is I’m not afraid to die on a treadmill. I will not be out-worked, period. You might have more talent than me, you might be smarter than me, you might be sexier than me, you might be all of those things you got it on me in nine categories. But if we get on the treadmill together, there’s two things: You’re getting off first, or I’m going to die. It’s really that simple.” — Will Smith

Dreams without labor are just good intentions. Many people chirp on about all their lofty aspirations, but those folks don’t always show up when it’s time to slog toward achieving them.

Countless novelists don’t even have a partial manuscript to their name — they’re attention-seeking poseurs, peacocking and loitering in coffee shops with their laptops, wanting to be noticed. Plenty of coworkers claim they want a promotion or a huge raise, yet they’re also the first ones to sneak out early on Fridays. We all have friends and relatives who hope to improve their fitness yet rarely ever show up at the gym.

Most people aren’t willing to work hard enough to get what they want. I’m not saying there aren’t systematic challenges that put certain folks at a disadvantage when it comes to reaching specific goals. But that doesn’t negate the fact that people often shy away from pushing through roadblocks with grit. This presents you with a valuable opportunity. If you put in an abundance of effort, then you’re likely doing more than your peers — even those who possess superior talent and resources.

Never get outworked. Hustle hard and your dynamic actions will stand out in a world filled with static background players.

Adrian S. Potter is an author, engineer, consultant, and public speaker. He writes poetry, short fiction, and articles on a variety of subjects including creativity and personal growth. He is the author of the poetry collection Everything Wrong Feels Right and the prose chapbook The Alter Ego Handbook. Visit him online at



Adrian S. Potter

Antisocial Extrovert · Writer and Poet, Engineer, Consultant, Public Speaker · Writing about self-improvement, gratitude, and creativity ·