Have you ever noticed that almost every motivational clip features athletes? You see athletes training in the gym, disabled athletes pushing beyond limits, and athletes almost giving up but moving beyond.
You also hear the mantras, “Don’t quit,” and, “Pick yourself up,” and, “Do it when you don’t feel like it.”
Controlling our physical beings is a big part of overcoming. When we master our bodies, we better master other areas of our lives.
When I joined the university wrestling team for a short stint, I had went from anorexic couch potato with a belly, barely able to run ten steps, to a muscular and lean being. But what I want to convey is the turning point. It’s difficult to express, but it’s like going from an exercise atheist to spending every free moment in the gym. The more you focus on exercise, the more it becomes a raging desire. And, at some point, resistance morphs into passion, like waking up from a lifetime of blindness to see a cherry-colored sunrise.
And that goes for most anything in life. But it doesn’t have to be physical exercise. It can be academic ability or career growth.
Consider the academic who never studied, always joking in class, expected to drop out, but, who later in life, became focused on school, taking night classes and studying every free moment. The student achieves more than even his closest friends thought possible. His secret was fixating on a goal until it skyrocketed into momentum.
Or consider me, the disabled high school dropout. I gained a master’s degree and a high paying career, although I now, more than ever, need to keep my thoughts purely positive.
That’s the thing about the subconscious. You’ve got to be really selective with your thinking. You’ve got to condition yourself for success. You’ve got to train your mind to repel self-doubt and insecurity.
And never give up. That’s why Buddhist monks do so much meditation. They train and tame their mind to surrender always to the light.
Anything worthwhile takes intense discipline and constant vigilance, requiring we watch and correct our every thought. With constant discipline, we can take comfort in the knowledge that we are morphing into our ideal selves. We have no limitations except the limitations we place on ourselves.
When you reflect back on your successes, the thought of that momentum will still shock you, even though you walked those steps until you ran the sprint. Sports, academics, careers—it doesn’t matter. Forging a positive path always exceeds the cost of being stuck in neutral or reverse. Don’t let those little slivers of doubt plant seeds. The only thing that can defeat you is your thinking.
Remember, J.K. Rowling, who wrote Harry Potter, was on the dole in England. Using her brain, creativity, and persistence, she now may be wealthier than the queen. So every day, think, “I’ve got to get a thimble of water.” At the end of week, you’ll have a cup of water. But, as humans, we are already mostly water. So, we’ve already got within us what we seek.
To discover that momentum, don’t think of the end result, just think of that thimble of water.