GritMindset Strategies

Why I choose to have surgery

By May 3, 201838 Comments

Hey champ,

I had a pretty major (and pretty cool), nose operation last month. I won’t go into too much detail, because the gore factor is high, but basically, the doctors took cartilage from my right ear and used it to re-shape my nose. Amazing, huh?!

It all went well, and I’m stoked to report that I can breathe through my nostrils for the first time in 5 years!

I didn’t *need* to have this surgery.

I chose to have it. Why? Well, because I wanted to breathe through my nose again. But on a wider level, I believe life is all about continual improvement, and my body’s strength, health and function are things I want to keep improving.

And you can’t improve without doing the work.

In this case, “doing the work” means accepting that I’m going to be in a bit of pain, recognising that I’m not going to be able to do the things I enjoy for a while (running/surfing/being active), taking time off from work and other projects, and trusting the process.

That last part is important.

When it comes to surgery like this, I can never be 100% sure what the end result will be.
(In this case, I’m stoked that my ear doesn’t look “totally disfigured” as my doctor warned – he’s nothing if not blunt! ?).

But isn’t that kind of the same with most things we try to improve?

Not the disfigured ear, haha, the fact that we can never be 100% certain how things will turn out. That’s true whether you’re starting a new business, moving overseas, starting a weight loss regime or training for an Ironman.

But here’s what I do know:
Putting in the work always pays off. Always.

You’ve just gotta do the work, and trust the process.

So often, I meet people who tell me they tried to lose weight or grow their business but gave up after a month because they weren’t seeing results.

Sorry, but it doesn’t work that way.

If you want results, you need to put in the work. Consistently. Day in, and day out.

That’s what being gritty is. It’s sticking with your future, day in and day out, not just for a day or a week, but for months (and sometimes even years), and doing the work to make that future a reality.

It’s not glamorous, it’s not quick.

But it works. It’s the only thing that really does.

So, if you’ve been waiting for a sign or looking for a wake-up call, this is it.

If you really want to improve something in your life, if you want to see results, you’ve gotta do the work and you’ve gotta trust the process. – Tweet it!

That’s my message for you this week.
Now, I wanna hear from you. What are you working on? Let me know in the comments below.

Next week, I’m gonna share a tip for keeping the faith and staying committed, even when you’re not seeing progress.

Turia xx

PS – New Zealand! I know we’ve been trying this long-distance thing for a while now, but I wanna take things to the next level with you! I’m getting on a plane and coming to see you this June. Maybe we can catch up in real life? I’ll be talking all things grit and resilience at the Courage, Connection & Badassery event in Auckland on June 2nd, so grab a ticket and come and say hi! All the info is here.


  • Laura Crowley says:

    Just saw this in my feed. I need to lose a lot of weight, start eating better and start exercising to get stronger. My mom just found out she has severe osteoporosis and her only treatment option is to get a monthly shot which has quite a few possible side effects. She is very nervous and told me she doesn’t want this to happen to me. She wants me to lose about 60lbs (at least) and start doing weight bearing exercises. I also need to get my life organized because it’s a fucking mess. I am married and have a daughter whom I take care of, but that’s about it. I just feel so stuck and unhappy and like such a train wreck of a failure. Thanks for the practical message/advice which I really need to heed. Glad you can breathe through your nose again! Nasal breathing cannot be overrated! No idea if you’ll see this, but it was good to vent.

  • This is awesome Turia.
    We (hubby & me) have been thrown a bit of a curve ball in our lives whereby we have to relocate out business of 11 years. The type of business it is, makes this quite a huge task! We are struggling to find a suitable place, and are contemplating throwing in this business and starting anew. It terrifies us both! We are quite torn between feeling sad for letting our old business go, and scared at the thought of starting anew…
    Thank you for your words of inspiration.

  • Lindy Anne Scanlen says:

    Thanks Turia for this email re your surgery! you truly areu inspiration .
    My champie is to do the Gold Coast marathon in July by I’ve had a few hiccups along the way I.e a torn left knee meniscus (slowly healing great!) & just this a.m I had surgery to remove 2 skin cancers on my back (not malignant yayyyyyyyy!!!) so I’ve been in a little discomfort this afternoon & thinking when can I ever get out there & go for my beloved runs in the fresh air & train!!!’ & I so want to create a magnificent life for myself but I’ve got to deal with these things a.t.m etc) I actually had a little cry (sooky me but I think just a reaction from this a.m’s ordeal . Then I pulled myself together & said to myself I really am very very lucky & checked my emails…,& there was your wonderful email!!!’
    We do have to put in the work to get the results we want as you say. I now feel so much more relaxed, happier & focused for a wonderful future. Thank you so much Turia ?

  • Sarah says:

    My 2yr old daughter had a scald burn last year that resulted in a 4 week hospital stay, 4 skin grafts and now 2 laser treatments. My daughter is as resilient and as head strong as they come, I wish I could say the same for me as her mum. But the words in your post struck me… trust the process, put the work in now to help my daughter… and have faith in an outcome where I have no idea how it will result or when it will result. So simple yet so hard. I work on staying the course, being grateful, having perspective and always taking the next step by putting one foot in front of the other.

  • Vanessa Lopez says:

    Hello Turia,

    I’ve been following you for a few months now. I can’t remember how I came across your Instagram but I now know it was all faith. You see my mom burned 60% of her body in a house explosion caused by a gas leak 2 months ago. She came close to death but she is much better now. Through all this, you’ve been an inspiration. I can’t emphasize it enough. God bless you!

  • Jacqueline Landry says:

    You are my role model!
    Tu es un exemple de détermination et d’accomplissement!
    Merci d’être là pour nous!

  • Heather Urie says:

    Have begun meditating again as part of Mindful in May. Hoping to continue after doing this every day. So far all good!

  • Michelle says:

    Thanks Turia, just what I needed as I too have just been told by my doctor that I have to have more surgery a sort of “tune up ” after my last big surgery.
    Funnily , the subjects of your posts every week seem to coincide with what is happening in my life!! Either a really big coincidence or something bigger than us at play.
    I will remember your positive attitude when I am going into theater to help me.
    Thanks Michelle ?

    • Claire says:

      Turia I am
      Just reading your second book and your focus on mental
      Strength inspires me daily ! Your love with Micheal inspires me ! I lost the other half of me a year ago today my beautiful mum and the mental struggle has been immense ! You have helped so much in me digging deep ! I am unable to nurse due to losing mum as I can’t be around sadness – I am slowing turning my grief into growing my business and believing I can – your posts books are helping me – thankyou! Ps I hope you have Moana one day ?

  • Laura says:

    Hi Turia! Thank you so much for this letter – I desperately needed it. I’m 3 and a quarter years into my 4 year degree and I’m tired of putting in the work, day in, day out and feeling like I’m not making progress. However, I need to trust the process and know that every little bit counts. Thank you for reminding me of that, at a time where I wanted to turn away and give up as it simply felt as though it was becoming too much.

  • Jenny says:

    Thanks Turia,
    Love how positive you are..I need to go in and have a tendon transfer for my thumb,as I have nerve damage and haven’t been able to use it for a while,it’s my right hand which is my dominant So my left has been getting a work out..I’ve been thinking of the weeks of physio I’ll need to have and it kinda scares me and I keep putting it off..But after reading your story today it’s made me go “why” not! So thank you once again for your courage…Jenny ???

  • Julie says:

    Great post Turia. Thank you, it was just what I needed to hear today x

  • Claire says:

    Oh yes indeedy! 4 years ago I had a brain injury, the day before my injury I was really fit, the day after I couldn’t even lift a leg. In the months that followed I started walking again then shuffling but as I pushed myself harder I ended up falling down steps, running into walls and instead of feeling better I was in more pain than ever. My mindset was “I’ll do this even if it kills me”. A year ago the penny dropped big time and I decided to be kind to myself. I’ve gone back to basics improving flexibility, core strength so I totally get this blog – trusting in the process, love it 🙂

  • Amanda says:

    Thanks Turia, my husband and I are seriously considering starting our own business, it’s pretty daunting and I’m worried about how it will all go.
    Reading your email today has confirmed for me that we have to jump in with both feet, have faith ,be committed and try our very best. Otherwise , we will never know.
    Thank you for being a constant source of inspiration . U really are an amazing human being. ?

  • Tom TERRIFIC Hamilton says:

    Fantastic, Turia! You consistently “deal” with life, and instruct us all how to deal as well, without whining, unreasonable self-badgering, or less than our best. I so needed this today. I have tended to quit too easily, all through my life, now that I look back and assess where I might have done far better in many instances. Here’s what I have learned: hope does spring eternal by using our own rigorous honesty to carve out new paths, at any age, and in any circumstance. We can attain so much beyond our limited expectation, this by supporting one another, believing without fail, and working our tails off consistently and in focused efforts.

    After securing a lifelong dream of certifying to train and race on a Velodrome recently as my gift to myself for turning 60, I now set my sights on returning to triathlon, as I have 60 finishes at all distances over the course of my “career”; I want to keep or exceed the pace of my age as I go on. The wild ultimate goal is to keep a promise to myself and the contest between my older buddy alive: to be the oldest Kona finisher one day (which as you know stands now at 83 – bonzai!). Competing in Ironman Kona in 2005 was certainly a personal pinnacle, and I am so honored to be part of the “ohana” of Hawaiian finishers. Too, I focus on eventually being part of a team that does the RAAM (the bike race across America). All the above is in memory of my lady love, who I lost to cancer 3 years ago. An avid and incredible athlete, Kenna’s initials were on my arm at the Velodrome, and she was so exuberant about doing RAAM one day (we saw the finish line in Annapolis MD back in 2011), as well as long distance swims and runs, and climbing/hiking. Her life and sports passion was the greatest incentive always for me, and losing her broke my heart, my spirit, and soul. I owe it to her to keep getting back on my feet, to move forward, and do my best to help others through their grief to attain significance in life, and most importantly, to give back the gifts we are given, and to be better persons, the very best we can be. As Steve Prefontaine said, “to give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the Gift”. I try to let this, and many other inspirations, guide me as I move on, stumbling, yes, at times, but proceeding as best I can and improving, if only incrementally, each day.

    Thank you, Turia, for the most incredible courage, passion, and dedication to helping all of us attain the sweetest and hardest won lessons in life. You are cherished, loved, and admired, and are a truly gifted, humble, and empowering coach. Carpe diem, dear friend. Peace to you and yours.



  • Neen says:

    Thanks for another great post.
    Much needed & well received.
    Enjoy New Zealand ?

  • On the 8th April 2018 I achieved one of my greatest achievement. The 5 Dams Challenge ride. I would not of been able to o this ride in less than 8 an half hour if I did not know how to draft. I have learned drafted from a riding group that I am proud to be a member of Ride From Youth. We are based in Perth Western Australia. I have all the respect in the would for this group. Sometimes when I try to teach others about drafting it doesn’t always work. My biggest aim is and will always be to inspire other people to take up these challenged.

  • Felicity O'Brien says:

    Great message! This is helpful for job searching!

  • Catherine says:

    OMG Turia I have no words to say how you help me to get my life to other level, Thanks for sharing your amazing words, I know you are help many people over the worl. I send to you my love since Venezuela. PD: Excuse my english 🙂

  • Turia, you are wonder woman to me. I am just starting out with my new enrolment for Naturopath along with raising my 3 year old and 23 month old 🙂 64 days clean of marijuana and completely off spirits. My next goal is kicking smoking. Seeing your emails puts things into perspective not as in comparison but I love hearing of your sheer strength and beauty. Keep it up as will I. Xo

  • Liv says:

    Thank you so much for your recent blog post- I read it on my way to the office this morning and it felt like it spoke to me personally ?I too am in the process of having surgeries, and right now I am so tired of it. The ones I’ve already had have not been very successful, so I have been thinking about whether I should just stop and not continue with the two next ones. Your e-mail reminded me why I do it and why I need to persevere. Thank you. I wish you a speedy, painless and successful recovery, and look forward to your next post. Thanks again!

  • Samantha King says:

    Thanks Turia !
    Your regular emails are always helpful , motivating and inspiring !!
    As I do my last round of Chemo for Brain Cancer your email was perfectly timed to keep me going along this challenging path. It is especially helpful to be reminded to keep at it ! It’s definitely an ongoing process !!
    Thank You !!
    All the best with the nose surgery recovery you amazing Woman !!
    Sam ✌???

  • Taresha says:

    Exams are in a couple days to be honest. I’m revising but not hard enough if you know what I mean. Thanks for the boost!!?

  • Cherie says:

    Thanks Turia. My mental health is something for which I am constantly doing the work. I know that I by taking time for myself, doing some stretching, eating good food and doing something fun each day is how I tick. You are so right – it’s not always pleasant but it is so rewarding. Thanks for the reminder. Love Cherie

  • Joanne J. Santana says:

    Congratulations on surgery! I’m working on weight loss, being healthier, and changing careers.

  • Debbie says:

    So needed to read this today. I have MS and have always worked hard with great success to keep my mobility as good as it has been. But the disease process has meant I haven’t been able to walk more than a kilometre or two ( as apppsrd to 6-7 each day)
    Your post has inspired me not to accept this as my new normal… if I put in the work I really can improve on it. My Son’s cricket coach is always urging the kids to ‘Find a way’ So I am going to ‘find a way ‘to work harder…. now where did I leave those walking poles?

  • Jason says:

    What I am working on? As a Husband, Father, Business Manager, Leader… What am I not working on.
    I’d say my parenting habits and my focus to trust the process and consistently do the work at work even when the results aren’t there after a week or even a month. This is what hit me so well about this week’s email and when I totally plagiarised it all through then next several weeks in my work diary to help remind myself of the message. Do the work, trust the process, be consistent and hungry for the result.

    Thanks Turia. Hope your nose heals up super quick!

  • B-J says:

    Turia Thank u for making your messages so “ gettable “ they make sense to me . I’m loving working through your ebook . You make things achievable and not overwhelming. I’m so appreciative of this . You are are truly beautiful women inside and out .

  • Jessie says:

    Thanks Turia, for your constant positive and necessary realness! This week, I’m working on “being assertive”. Doctor’s orders. It’s not pleasant, but I needed that boost to remember to trust the process!

  • Linda says:

    Thanks Turia. Your messages are always so inspiring. When I read them, they lift me up, as sometimes I tend to get a bit down. You level me and give me the jolt I need. Working on putting in the hard work!

  • Julie Possingham says:

    Turia, thank you. I moved from Perth to Adelaide last year and have been doubting my decision since. My problem is my expectations are sometimes too unrealistic and I beat myself up for it. Your comments have helped, thank you. Wishing your nose a speedy recovery. Cheers Julie

  • Danica says:

    Your letter has as always encouraged me again. I feel kinda upset about things not getting better as I expected. Now, I know, it takes times. All I need to do is keep on working it out. I will keep striving as you always do !! Thank you.

  • Alison Whitehead says:

    I needed to hear that this morning – just spent a weekend learning Vertical Rescue techniques. Ropework and abseiling is all so new to me and I need to do lots of work to get this right. This learning curve I am on is steep, but the results will be worth it.

  • Hi Turia it’s Julie Randall here I love this post. It is so bloody true. I launched my book Patient 71 last July and have had so much amazing feedback from people many and varied thanking me for sharing my story of hope and inspiration which makes my heart sing. I am passionate about getting it in to the hands of as many people in need as I can. This is not an easy task but I work hard every single day to make sure it happens. I needed to read this to remind me to keep working hard day in and day out. Thanks Turia the timing is perfect. Julie Randall aka Patient 71 ?

  • Francesca says:

    Ciao Turia,
    I would like to win a Marie Skłodowska Curie fellowship (MSCF). I am a researcher and this award will really improve my knowledge and I will share my knowledge with all my colleagues and with people that need it. What am I studying? The impact of exercise in children with severe diseases. So, I have just gotta do the work to win the MSCF and trust the process. I am in it!

    PS I tried not to breath from my nostrils for few minutes and it was so frustrating… Happy to know you can do it again!!!! Hugs (big)

  • Alicia says:

    Turia, you are so inspiring. Your resilience, your intelligence, grit and raw humanness is so refreshing in a world (and more so recent generations) full of people who are of the “woe is me” school of thought, refuse to do the work and want all the good stuff to fall in their lap.

    Your email last week was very timely…. Perfect, actually. My partner and I have experienced a few setbacks and are facing significant upheaval in our lives in the coming months and were feeling very overwhelmed by all of it. I printed it, took it home, read it to him and then stuck it on the fridge. We fist bumped and said “we can do this, we will get through this” and all was well in our world again.

    I admire you so much. Take care, legend.
    Also – Hak is so cute xx

  • Stephanie says:

    Loved this! So simple but it’s so true, and we know it is. Time goes by fast, and if we look back, we’ll realize how soon we could have achieved our goals if we didn’t give up so soon. I’m planning to move to Spain soon and find a job out there. I’ve been putting in a lot of work every single day with the visa process, job applications, 6am job interviews via Skype, selling my furniture, etc, but I’ve been reminding myself that it is all working out. Thanks for the reminder. You’re a beautiful soul and I love your sense of humor ♥️

  • Cristina Rodriguez says:

    Hi Turia! I got inspired by your words!
    I want so badly a master degree in psychology from an USA university and after 2 years and a half as a student in the USA, I just got an associate degree. I already have a bachelor degree from my home country. But for many reasons I didn’t enroll two years ago to a master program. Now, I have became to a point of my life where I could keep studying in the USA and pursuing my master or going back to my home country. But here are a few things that make me doubt, I haven’t seen my family in 4 years and I am 31 years old.
    I know never it’s to late for achieving something but I don’t know if it is worthy keep sacrificing my family for studies. And I know, you may be asking, why I don’t go back and get a visa from my home country, so I can go back and forth to visit my family while pursuing my goals? I haven’t done because I have been so scared of taking the risk of being denied for the visa and not being able to come back to study. I just want that! I want to study! Get my master and go back to my home country! But it seems that it will take me longer than expected!