“The only thing that I see that is distinctly different about me is I’m not afraid to die on a treadmill. I will not be out-worked, period. You might have more talent than me, you might be smarter than me, you might be sexier than me, you might be all of those things you got it on me in nine categories. But if we get on the treadmill together, there’s two things: You’re getting off first, or I’m going to die. It’s really that simple, right? You’re not going to out-work me. It’s such a simple, basic concept. The guy who is willing to hustle the most is going to be the guy that just gets that loose ball. The majority of people who aren’t getting the places they want or aren’t achieving the things that they want in this business is strictly based on hustle. It’s strictly based on being out-worked; it’s strictly based on missing crucial opportunities. I say all the time if you stay ready, you ain’t gotta get ready. Will Smith
Well those are some pretty inspirational words eh? I agree. I actually get just as fired up listening to motivational speeches and writing inspirational articles as anyone. Nothing like a screaming Ray Lewis right before a training session or block of work. Pure motivation can be misleading sometimes though because its not sustainable. A mindset is, however…
In today’s article I want to bring awareness to our readers who may be embarking on a journey of some sort. I like the title “Hacking Your Offseason,” because that is where the bulk of your workload is going to take place. It doesn’t matter at all if you are preparing for a make or break spring training like myself, or simply trying to reach a goal of putting on 10 pounds of lean muscle in a few months. An offseason is your preparation time, and I feel there are certain obstacles that can be avoided and dominated with just a change in mindset.
Recently we talked a bit about nutrition, supplements, training, and effort. Today I’d like to dive into quitting. What it really means. How it begins. Why we all do it, and how to set your mind so that it never becomes an option whatsoever. Here are a few problems that end up leading to quitting, and some action steps to eliminate it from happening.
Quitting is more than just saying, “I quit”
One ah ha moment I had was when I watched the two videos of Navy Seal, Richard Machowicz, talking with the Oakland Raiders prior to their season. You can check them out in full here >>>Part One, Part Two.<<< In the speech he mentions first that quitting starts as a conversation either with yourself or with your peers who might be going through the same discomfort. It might go a little something like this…
“Man this running is bullshit.” or “I hate (insert hard working teammate). He’s only doing that to show us up and impress the coach.” or “Why is (insert teacher’s name) being such a dick today. I’m so screwed for this project.” or “Why is this workout so early? This sucks.”
Do you see what’s happening there? Although you haven’t actually “quit”, you started the conversation. You began the rationalization with your brain, or put it out there with your peers to see if everyone else was on board to take the easy way out.
I feel it is paramount that you are consciously aware of these conversations, which we alllll have, and we all battle with ourselves. But to those of you who haven’t battled back enough, realize that it’s because almost everyone can be convinced of the easy, more comfortable way of getting through. It’s the norm to be status quo as Seth Godin put’s it.
Mediocrity is in fact the norm, and that will never, ever change. Great things don’t happen, great stories don’t exist, and great lives aren’t lived in the mediocre though. Quitting is for the average. All of them do it on a daily basis. We don’t want to be that way, and I know that deep down, you don’t either.
Focus hard on every move that requires a decision you have make over the course of the day. It could be as minor as cleaning the dishes, or as major as finishing a project. Are you doing it right, taking the tougher, but greater way, or are you choosing the path of least resistance so it gets done quicker and you avoid pain? Start nipping the easy way in the butt one small decision at a time.
It’s real and it’s called “The Resistance.”
Steven Pressfield wrote in the book, “War of Art,” the “resistance” is a naturally occurring phenomenon that lies within everyone of us. It is the negative force we can’t see or physically feel that pushes us in the direction of comfortable, easy, and away from our true calling or goals.
So brilliant. One of the best writers of our generation. A man who has published some incredible reads over the years, has the same battle within that we all struggle with. What makes him different? He knows the resistance is sneaky. He knows when and where it comes out to play. It could come when he might not feel like getting out of bed, or when he wants to take an unscheduled day off from writing. Steven succeeds because he knows that his enemy is putting up its fight, so he battles back and kills it by doing the work he set forth to do.
Label your enemy “The Resistance,” or make up another word your inner enemy trying to get you to quit. Realize it will appear nice and friendly at first, but later when your work is less than stellar, you know now what caused it. Act harsh and aggressively when this resistance to work rears it head. Know what it is even though you can’t see it. Crush it with taking the high road.
I’m not dead, therefore, I cannot quit.
At then end of the day, when I really need to get something done, and can’t seem to battle through the sheer accumulation of workload. After a long training session when I’d really like to just skip my stretching or shoulder work. On a run up to a mountain peak that I’m not sure if I’ll reach without collapsing. In an ice bath that my best friends and I do to test mental fortitude. In an inning where every pitch I seem to throw gets crushed or called a ball. In a relationship I value with a friend or family member suffering and in need of my support….Any and everything I do, I always remember a valuable phrase made popular by the Navy Seals. “Im not dead, therefore I can’t quit.” If there is something left to give, give it. As long as you are still alive and have a pulse, have a breath, you have a chance, you’re still in the fight, you cannot quit.” Richard Machowicz
Quitting is the ultimate failure. In life, sports, relationships, work, anything. Make it plain as day to yourself next time you are involved in a battle of your own where quitting seems so reasonable, to never give up unless you are dead..as extreme as it may sound. Make it known however you must that not under any circumstances will you shut it down or succumb to the resistance. Tell people, write it on a piece of paper, tell yourself over and over and over again…I’m not dead. I’m not gonna quit.
Hopefully you’ve gotten a better grasp today on how quitting actually gets started. When I finally understood what it meant, I became acutely aware of situations that started to head the wrong way. The little voice inside my head trying to coward out of something hard. This deeper understanding really changed my life, and I’m battling resistance every single day, but coming out on top way more often than I used to.
Make the decision today to acknowledge when quitting pops up and looks so tempting, to fight back hard and immediately. Your offseason will be much more productive as a result..