“Nothing in the world is worth having or worth doing unless it means effort, pain, difficulty… I have never in my life envied a human being who led an easy life. I have envied a great many people who led difficult lives and led them well.” -Theodore Roosevelt
Most of us have heard some variation on that quote at some point in our life. Most of us have probably offered that little tidbit of wisdom to ourselves, friends, or kids, as well. But! (There is always a but, isn’t there?) I am willing to bet that at some other point, we’ve realized that it is all fine and dandy to say that, right up until you’re standing head to head with that effort, pain and difficulty and having a serious moment of ‘Is this even worth it?’. What’s really difficult about that moment is that often, the more you want something, the more of those things you are going to encounter.
It really does not matter what the ‘thing’ in question is, most everything we set out to do or obtain, is going to require some level of sacrifice and/or difficulty. Whether you want to lose weight, become an awesome martial artist, achieve your next stripe or belt, or get that promotion at work, there is going to be some level of effort required. Most days, we buckle down, get through the grind and celebrate when we manage success.
On other days… Well, other days it just never seems to end. You’re tired, you’re frustrated, and you feel like you’re running in place and getting nowhere. You may not even be physically hurt but your mental fatigue FEELS like a wound. And nothing sounds quite so good as throwing in the towel and walking away because you can no longer see the end game.
The bad news is.. Those days are real and they are rough.
BUT! (There’s always a ‘but’.) If you take a moment to stop. To breathe deeply. To go back to where you started, you will see that you are making progress, you are moving forward, you absolutely are capable of doing it, and if you stop now how are you ever going to know how much more you could accomplish?
It may sound trite and on those days when you battle with frustration and fatigue it is so easy to say ‘But I have not made any progress, I am not not moving forward!’ That is a very dangerous way of thinking. Every day you get up, gear up, and go at the world with that determination blazing, you are moving forward. You may not be moving as fast as you like, or along the path you originally planned, but it is so much more progress than you can ever make by giving up and sitting down on the sidelines.
I have been there and somehow, some way, I have managed to come out on the other side, rediscover my drive and throw myself back at the world with all the energy my tiny frame can muster, because I want to live a life worthy of the time, energy, effort, and even the frustration that is going to come along regardless of what I do, because that is what life is.
What I am saying is: DON’T GIVE UP! Take those deep breaths. Take a step back if you need to. Relax. Remember it is not a race. Recenter. You do what you need to do but, please don’t stop. You are capable of so much if you can just take the time to get past the frustration.