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Suffering isn’t difficult

As people, we can really act strange sometimes when we set ourselves goals and targets.

Instead of focusing on the task at hand, on the process for making progress, we forget about our original goal and convince ourselves how hard it all feels.

We convince ourselves its so hard.

We want to be healthy and in better shape.

We start by making healthier dietary choices, moving a little more, beginning exercise programmes and developing better, more rewarding habits.

But then we seemingly put a spoke in the wheels and try to cause issues for ourselves.

We want to be a professional athlete. We desire to be the greatest there is. But as we do this, the days of getting up and putting ourselves through the adversity we seem to convince ourselves that it is a struggle.

‘Embrace the grind’ is what you see all over the inspirational quotes on social media.

The grind. If you’re seeing your path to your dreams and goals as a grind then i can probably say, if you ever get there, none of it is going to be enjoyable.

The image of a grind to me is slow. It’s painful. It’s seemingly not meant to be.

Now i am not saying for one minute that your path should be smooth and simple and easy, i can honestly say that it will be far from the sort. Any path you take toward changing yourself or the world, will not be a path already walked and cleared.

You will face adversity and you will have hard days.

Days filled with doubt, filled with anguish, filled with fear.

But you will also have those days filled with the most exceptional rewards, clear and concise instruction and progress, feedback letting you know you’re doing exactly as the universe intended.

Remember you have chosen what you desire. You can stay comfortable if you wish.

Getting something like a black belt in Brazilian jiu jitsu is no easy feat. Getting a black belt in any martial art worth its salt is never easy but its a goal that anyone can achieve. It just takes consistency.

Turn up X times a week and eventually, a decade or so, the belt will be yours.

Enjoy it as you go.

Embrace the adversity for sure, it provides us the opportunity and resistance to grow and become stronger,better, but be sure to embrace the highs too, they’re just as important.

Accepting our peaks are key to continuing to push through our hard times.

But the way we speak to ourselves is extremely important in how we approach and achieve our goals.

If we are to convince ourselves that something is difficult, something is hard, something is a ‘grind’ then that is what we will find.

If we understand that something is challenging, but also rewarding whilst we are in its pursuit we will approach it with a much more growth orientated mindset. Focusing on the process, not the outcome.

Remember, You made the decision to achieve a goal, to take the steps to achieve something that you deemed worthwhile.

If you are fortunate enough that you have found your purpose, your reason to overcome adversity, your cause, then it can’t be seen as a struggle to achieve it.

You can’t allow self pity to enter your main train of thought when things appear a little difficult or demanding or else you are going to be derailed and sent off track, away from your goal.

Suffering isn’t difficult when it is in purpose of something.

Being a professional athlete is a calling not many have the pleasure to call their own.

Doing what you love day in day out. Getting better at the sport and profession you have chosen to pursue and become an expert in.

I remember the days of hating being a fighter.

Understandably, it was a different world, it wasn’t sone for likes and comments, it was done because I liked, no I loved, martial arts and combat sports, but I’d made it a chore.

A chore to get to training.

A task to travel to the gym.

A burden to be strict with my nutrition.

I’d fell in to the complaining and self pity void that can engulf us all if we let it.

This is why one of my favourite Marcus Aurelius quotes, one that I use frequently, not only daily with myself, but with many I coach and in my writing is

“Never be overheard complaining, not even to yourself”

I’d lost track that I had chosen to be a fighter

I was the one, empowered by being a fighter, that asked for this.

Those struggles I faced, those hardships. The injuries, the discipline, the ups and downs of competition, the friendships, the rivalries, all what rewarded me later in life I had asked for, I just let myself forget it sometimes.

And it was only self pity

Feeling sorry for myself.

And it isn’t just me who is capable of it, we all are very culpable of sitting there, time to time asking “why me?”

It isn’t just athletes who can feel like they’re suffering.

All of us when chasing something can feel that way.

When we choose to go on a diet plan to lose weight and make healthier choices, we can’t make it feel like a hardship, we have set a target or a goal for a reason.

We choose.

You aren’t sacrificing when its your goal or desire.

The way we frame things to ourselves is key.

I’m not saying it’s easy to achieve the goals we set out. To think that way, or for me to pretend it is always simple would be a fallacy and unfair for me to pretend it’s like that.

It’s a few disciplined steps each day that make all the difference.

The habits.

And knowing that I chose to chase this.

It’s my goal.

My desire.

I’m not forced to do any of it.

I am empowered because I’m choosing.

I’m choosing to be greater.

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