Endurance is a discipline worth mastering. Those who do are often the same ones who succeed in life. Most of us have experienced the battle between the inner voice and the physical body. Take jogging for example. At some point in your life you had made the decision that you needed to get in better shape. Perhaps you drove down to the local sporting goods store and bought some running shoes and a fancy jogging suit. You may have even purchased some sort of timer or distance calculator because you are committed to reaching your newly developed fitness goals. The next morning you woke up ready to tackle the day so you went down to the local track, stretched out, and started running at a leisurely pace. You felt great for the first three minutes; however, at about the five minute mark you realized how out of shape you actually were. Your heart started to resemble an escalating drum roll, droplets of sweat began rolling down your forehead, and a slight but troubling cramp decided to reside in your left hamstring. You were certain that you could deal with all of those issues because you had made a commitment, but then came the most unexpected problem of them all – self-pity.
That’s the make or break point for all of us. The fact is your mind will quit 100 times before your body does. Deep down inside you know you can push through that initial mild wave of defeatism and continue running, but most people allow self-doubt to infiltrate their thinking to a point where it cripples their ability. This is why so many pairs of running shoes are only worn once or twice. This is also why gyms sell unlimited memberships even though they have a limited amount of square feet. When things get tough, most people quit.
One of the biggest challenges you will encounter in your life is the struggle to defeat that increasingly insistent voice inside of your head that wants to keep you tucked warmly inside of that place known as your comfort zone – or what I like to refer to it as the average zone. Have you ever found yourself struggling with thoughts like, “I’m not fast enough. I’m not smart enough. I’m not strong enough. I can’t do it. I’m too late, I’m too fat, I’m too scared, I’m too skinny, I‘m too ugly, I’m too lazy, or It’s just too damn hard”? That’s the voice you have to beat. When you conquer fear, self-doubt, and self-induced negativity, you will master your life. When you surround yourself with others who have done the same, you will have a team that is capable of achieving anything. Defeating that voice requires endurance. Endurance requires discipline.
Every truly great success story has three components – the Dream, the Struggle and the Prize. Everybody wants something, but without a resilient work ethic and perseverance, nothing happens. You have to have the intestinal fortitude to keep running when that voice is telling you that it’s too hard. You have to learn to embrace the struggle. Raw talent is a wonderful thing, but the world is full of talented underachievers who lack determination. Successful people train themselves to resist the urge to want to give up every time things become difficult.
Become a person who exemplifies the ability to persist and persevere. You don’t have to be able to go forever. You just have to be willing to go a little harder and a little further than your competition. The number one reason people give up so fast is that they focus on how much further they have to go instead of how far they have come. They take their eyes off the prize and focus on the struggle. The struggle will be part of your journey. You can’t escape it. Embrace it because your successes and failures will be directly connected to your ability to persist and overcome when others would give up.