We all know how important it is to finish. Finish your office work, your homework, that last episode in the season, your kid’s diaper, and even all of your dinner. We know how important it is to take care of ourselves, how important it is for us to exercise and push forward to become the person we want to be. So why is it that we always seem to fall just short of actually finishing every day? Why is it when we exercise we quit half way into it? Because it’s too hard?
You can almost always do more than you think you can. You can always run a little farther, swim a little faster, or do one more rep. You can always finish strong. And that ladies and gents is our topic for today. The beauty of this concept is that it can be applied to anything. The beauty of this concept is that we know it works. We know it works because our idols have been saying these exact words for years. And that’s why they are where they are now.
Some days are simply going to be better than others. That’s just a fact. But we can’t go into each day thinking like that. I’d be a liar if I said I’ve never given up. I have. A lot. And giving up never gets any easier; it stings just as much the one-hundredth time as it did the first. But there can no longer be any more of: Tomorrow I’ll do better. I will work harder. I will work smarter. I will be better. I’ll do it all tomorrow. It doesn’t work like that. Thinking like that is a trap, a vicious cycle that will have you going in the same negative direction forever. If you’re not willing to step up today, when will you be? Because some other person is more than willing to do today what you are not. This is what separates the winners from the losers.
Often it’s easy to find your mind working hard to convince yourself, “I’m done. I’m tapped out. It’s over.” But it isn’t over. And you’re not done. In those moments it’s important to remember your self worth. I find that it is always helpful to ask, “Am I worth it? Am I worth finishing this, and finishing strong?” I think if you ask yourself these questions, you’re going to almost always find that the answer is “yes.” Finishing is the only way you’ll come out of it feeling proud, feeling like you’ve taken a step in the right direction.
It’s when your clothes are soaked, face pouring with sweat, you’re out of breath, and your muscles are burning, that that one last rep matters more than ever. It’s also when your mind is at its weakest. That’s when you look into your eyes (in one of your gym’s many conveniently placed mirrors) and remind yourself, “I want to be the best. I will be the best. But I won’t like this, not if I give up now.”
When I’m in this situation, I remind myself of my many life goals I wish to achieve, and of all of the hard work and many hours I, and several others, have already put into my dreams trying to make them become a reality.
It’s not over until you win. You win over the negative thoughts, the I can’t do it, the everyone is staring at me, the I didn’t even want to do this in the first place. It’s not over until you win the day. The people who win are the ones who acknowledge these fears, but are still chasing after their dreams. They know that the only way they’re going to become who they know they’re meant to be is to not give up. Ever.
Here’s a good rule of thumb for anything we set out to do: Whatever it is that you don’t want to be doing, like running, weightlifting, eating right, dishes, home work, go ahead and do it. Right now. Get it done. Train your mind to push through all of those negative, self-defeating thoughts and do what you don’t want to do anyways. Because I guarantee those men and women on your posters, the ones set as your screen savers, whose articles you’ve saved, they did.
We give up because we are prepared to stop at a certain point, not to fight through it. If you want your dreams — whatever they may be — to come true, then you have to have it in your mind that you can’t quit. Every little movement you make is building up to your end goal. This morning in the gym, this afternoon in your living room, tomorrow evening on the track, every single moment is building up to that point when you are able to say, “I’ve made it.”
When the time comes, you can’t psych yourself out with, “I don’t feel like it today. I don’t want this to interfere with X, Y, or Z. I’m okay missing today because one day doesn’t matter anyways.” Whether you set out to become a healthier, fitter version of yourself, an all-A student, to start your own company, whatever, it’s up to you to tell yourself, “I will not fail, I will not Lose.” You are the only thing standing in your way. You’re your own worst enemy.
Whatever you do, whatever personal goals you have set for yourself, you should know you will be knocked down. Over and over and over again. But it all begins right now, it all starts in your mind. “I. can’t. quit.” You owe it to yourself, and you are definitely worth it.
I hope you took something away from this post other than, “Who let her out of the loony-bin?” You should know you are much stronger than you think you are. And that if you want to be the best at anything you do in life, you must apply the ‘one more’ mentality. You cannot put off what needs to be done now, because that path will only lead to regret and failure.
Start thinking this way right now: “I don’t want to be average. I want to be the best I can be. I want to conquer my fears and achieve my dreams. And then go on to crush some more. I want to be extraordinary.” And you already are. You just have to believe it.