A Long Pursuit in the Same Direction
When it comes to achieving a goal, it more often than not takes years of perseverance doing the same or similar tasks. While there are now many resources on the quick-fix or tricks to success, the truth is, it just doesn’t come that quickly. This is true across many avenues. Relationships, business, personal finance, health and fitness etc., they all take time. When it comes to achieving goals it may often feel like we are not making any progress at all or we are just doing the same old mundane tasks. But it seems the best things come from time and energy placed in moving forward.
We’ll use sports as it is a great example and practical application for the rest of life. The people we know to be great in a sport, Michael Jordan, Derek Jeter, Muhammad Ali, Venus Williams and many more, did not just show up one day as top performers in the field. They didn’t even read a short book describing how to be the best in their given sport. They spent years upon years doing the same thing over and over and over. While what they do on the court or field may look flawless or perfect, I can guarantee the practice they took to get there was not. I’m sure each would tell you that they did the mundane most boring things for hours on end before they ever got to the complex things. And in many cases they likely went back to the basics regularly to keep their foundation strong. To be great you must be willing to do the most boring of tasks on a regular basis to keep your foundation strong. A strong foundation is the only way to reach high heights.
In the same way, those great athletes did not do everything right the first time. Chances are they failed hundreds, if not thousands of times before becoming successful. Perhaps the most important aspect of wanting to be successful is being ready and willing to fail. Setting yourself up to be successful means being humble enough to recognize where you’re at and being ready to fail on the way to getting better. If there was no struggle the success would not be nearly as sweet. Have you ever set out to do something and very quickly accomplished it with no struggle? If you have you likely felt as if it was not enough, or that you set your goal too low. The struggle is what makes us better, and it is an absolutely necessary part of life.
In terms of fitness we get to see this on a daily basis. Workouts challenge us, specific movements cause us to fail, the weight just gets too heavy. Failure is an option, and in many cases is the option with the best results. Fitness is an interesting context for so many lessons that are applicable to the rest of life. It provides us with a struggle, lets you set and attain goals, keeps you humble and wanting more. Literally dozens of ways to grow as we are challenged.
For example, maybe the goal is getting a single strict pull up. While simple to some, not simple to others. For those with this goal, you must struggle with it for a long time. You must do the boring scapular retractions and seemingly hundreds of negatives to build the strength. You must listen to coaches suggestions and encouragements, and you absolutely must fail first. Be willing to keep the long pursuit in the same direction.
Short takeaways for success:
1) Be willing to do the basics to build your foundation. No matter how good you are at a task, be willing to do the basics to keep you base big and growing.
2) Be willing to fail. Often. It takes failing to get better. The best things in life don’t come easy, to get better you must fail.
3) Stay the course. When you think you’re in a rut and not making any progress, stay the course. Giving up when things get hard or boring is a sure fire way to let your goals and success stay the same distance away from you.
Take examples from those at the top. The things in life with the most value come at risk and take time to achieve or attain. Apply these things to all areas of life; relationships, health, business, personal endeavors. Enjoy the process and the struggle.
Stay the course. Stay Humble. Stay Hungry.