I know that no matter what happens to me, I will be okay.
I’m not all that smart. I have a slightly above average intelligence I guess. I’m in good shape, but I’m not a super athlete. I’m not a Calvin Klein model. The one thing I have that I know 90% of the people I compete against don’t have is stamina.
All the people that I look up to, it’s the one thing they have in common. They just keep going, no matter what happens, they wake up every morning and they do what they have to do for the day.
Sprinting is easy. Distance is hard.
Short and fast looks good. It gives a good image. For a quick minute, it may actually look like you are accomplishing something. Eventually however, natural selection will weed out the sprinters. It will get rid of everyone and everything who can’t keep up.
I’ll say it again. I believe that my generation may very well become the greatest generation yet. We are informed and we speak the digital language, but we aren’t going to do shit until we toughen the fuck up a bit.
Everyone has dreams. Everyone sees the glam and the cameras. Everyone makes sure they put their best selfie faces on Instagram, but underneath we know it’s all bullshit. The real shit happens when no one is looking. The real shit happens when you’re tired, and you’re sick, and you’re sore but you get up and you do it anyway.
Whatever you want to achieve, you need stamina. If you want to be an athlete, or a singer, or a writer, or a successful business man or even a successful parent. It’s the most important quality. You need to be able to keep your shit together when you are in pain. You need to be able to remain patient when it seems like you are not getting anywhere. You need to build up a high pain tolerance, because the world is hard. If you don’t have endurance, you will get out worked. No doubt about it.
One Step At A Time
When I go running, sometimes I feel like I could run for hours. Other times I get a mile in, and I am sucking air. When those moments come when I want to quit, I tell myself that I can take one more step. I know I can always take another step, and then after I take that step, I can take another. I have had multiple runs where I finished when I wasn’t sure I could, just by taking one more step.
That mindset works for life as well. You can take things one hour at a time if you need. The days when you are tired, or your head is hurting, just keep at it for another hour. After that hour is done, do another hour. It breaks up the workload and huge intimidating tasks are no longer so frightening.
Before you know it, you got through an entire day and you’ve accomplished your goal all the while feeling like you couldn’t. The next time around, it won’t be as bad because you know that you can do it. You can do anything one minute, one inch, one step at a time.
That’s the trick. Finish strong.
You can’t fear pain. You can’t fear being uncomfortable. In fact, if something scares you, then you should seek it out. People with stamina have high pain tolerances. Pain builds character. The more pain you have gone through, the less the world will frighten you.
I’m not just talking about physical pain. Many would say that physical pain is the least frightening, myself included. Nothing is harder than getting out of bed and going to work after you have gotten your heart broken. That feeling when your gut hurts, and you can’t eat and you just want to be alone, those are the days when stamina matters most.
When we let that pain get to us, when we get down on ourselves for mistakes we have made or betrayals we have suffered, that’s the pain that keeps us in bed for weeks at a time. That’s the pain that brings us to the drink or the drug and crushes everything you wanted in your life. That’s the pain where your dreams die. You have to keep pushing forward, no matter how bad it hurts.
There’s no magic pill to this. You just have to decide that no matter what you are feeling, you won’t let it break you. You are bigger than your pain. You are stronger than your pain. After pain comes a reward.
Keep Your Eye On The Prize
Why are you doing what you’re doing? There has to be a reason, there has to be an endgame. If there is no benchmark, if there is no prize in sight, then you have no direction. If you have no goal then you will quit, because who wants to work so hard for nothing?
It’s important to know what you want. It’s only for you to decide what it is you want.
A lot of times most people define success as money, but it isn’t. My mother always told me that more than anything in life she wanted to be a good mom. That was her prize. My sister and I, we are my mom’s endgame.
My mother has endured more pain than anyone I know. It’s terrible what she has been through, but no matter what happens to her, her prize is worth more to her than anything. That’s what keeps her going, even when she wants to quit.
When you are hurting, when you want to quit, your prize will keep you going. Your prize will give you that little boost of adrenaline and that little kick of motivation to go just a little harder.
The question becomes… what are you willing to give?
Little Victories Count Too!
I’m a realist. I know that I can sit behind a computer screen and write a bunch of words but we have to face reality. It is not feasible that you can grind for hours and hours a day and maintain your sanity. You have relationships to nurture, hobbies to keep up with and everyone needs to sleep.
Balance is always a part of it. We are all just people, and we have to enjoy our lives.
I struggled with this for a while. I’ve spent the last few years working and working and eventually it hit me that I might turn into one of those men that has everything and nothing at the same time. My father said something to me that stuck with me.
“Son, just get one thing done every day.” – My Pop
That’s the meat and potatoes. You can’t work so hard that you burn out, yet you can’t relax so much that you fall behind. So, on days where the weight gets too heavy, just get one thing done.
Exercise for 15 minutes, write a rough draft of an article, reach out to a new relationship. Whatever it is, just keep it moving.
Eventually, all those little victories add up. All those inches that you have pieced together add up to miles over time.
BOOMSHAKALAKA!!!!! How beautiful is that? How rewarding to know that the secret is endurance. The X-Factor is stamina.
You Have Everything You Need
The playing field is perfectly level. No matter what you started off with, it’s up to you to decide how bad you want it. Do you want to sleep till noon on a Saturday? or do you want to wake up at 9 to earn that little victory? It all adds up! It really does.
This is what I believe. I believe this is the reason that so many millionaires come from dirt poor upbringings. This is why people like Martin Luther King and Helen Keller were able to do what they did. Against all odds, they were able to change the world because they were able to outlast those who opposed them.
Sure, we see plenty examples of one hit wonders or people who rise up quickly. How many of those examples have passed the ultimate test? How many of them have stood the test of time?
The laws of nature do not reward those who are strongest or fastest, nature rewards those who are willing to endure.