The Power of Powering Through

I’ve started five different blog posts today. There was the one about Open Mic Nights. Another about expertise. A third about religion. A fourth about…well, it doesn’t matter. None of them are going to get published.

Normally by now, Monday Views is posted and I’ve started obsessing about the stats. (That’s a whole different post that needs to be written.) For whatever reason, however, none of these posts were working. None of the thoughts were clear. None of the concepts particularly thought provoking. While I don’t ever set out to write anything earth shattering, I do expect to write something that at the very least makes me think (and hopefully, one or two of you, also!).

There are any number of excuses reasons for my “failure to communicate.” Doubt creeps in. Does anyone really want to read this stuff? Most notably, however, I’ve just spent the last three days in the Colorado backcountry. Fortunately, as we snowshoed, hiked and did a bit of impromptu bouldering, there weren’t any near death experiences on this trip. But, without any distractions, a few days in the wilderness allows for the brain to slow down to a near standstill. For me, being out in the woods is a kind of conscious meditation; I’m awake and aware, but not thinking about anything. As the sun came up on Saturday morning, I watched a bird for 30 minutes. Just watched. It was an amazing experience.

But that’s not why those other five posts weren’t working. The fact is, sometimes, you just don’t have it. We all know the feeling. We all have those days when you’re just not feeling it during a workout. There are days when work just isn’t happening. There are days when the goals you’ve set just seem too far out of reach. Or worse, out of focus. On this day, I didn’t have the focus or writing mojo to make any of those five posts work. However, these moments are important, as it’s during these times when we learn just how badly we want whatever it is that we’ve set out to accomplish.

My goal when I started this site was to publish a blog at least once a week. And, though the five other posts weren’t working (and, you might feel this one isn’t working either!), I knew that I had to get this post done. I wanted to get this done. I knew that at some point today, I was going to write and publish Monday Views. These may not be the most significant thoughts I’ve ever written. They may not be the most thought provoking, or the most read, but I will have done what I set out to do. And there’s significant power in that.

The Power of Powering Through.

I can’t count the number of times I’ve “thrown in the towel” just because something “isn’t working.” I can’t count the number of times I’ve cut short a workout (or didn’t do it at all) because I was too tired. I can’t count the number of times I’ve started to write something, got distracted when my thoughts weren’t clear and quit. That’s what’s happening, after all. In each of these instances, I simply quit. What I set out to accomplish by working out or writing wasn’t important enough to me to power through. So, I quit. And, quitting sucks. It feels terrible. It makes me feel horrible. And even though it makes me feel horrible, the more I quit…the easier it gets.

But…When I do power through? You know what that feels like. The workouts that we finish when we ARE too tired are the best. As much as I love a good run that’s easy from start to finish, I get a far greater sense of accomplishment when I power through a run that is a struggle each and every step.

If quitting makes me feel terrible, powering through makes me feel like I’ve just won the lottery. Because, when we do power through, we discover that the goals we have for ourselves are right. We want them. We’ll do anything to achieve them. We’ll even power through when we didn’t think we could.

Yes, there will be times when we truly just don’t have it. There will be days when we need to take a step back and re-evaluate if we’re on the right track. If we’ve set our goals in the right place. If we’re trying to accomplish something that we genuinely want to accomplish (for the right, personal reasons). And as long as we pick it (whatever that is) back up and keep going…there’s no harm in that. More importantly, there’s no quit!

I don’t know if any of the other posts that I started today will ever get published. It doesn’t really matter. What does matter, however, is that this one did. For me…that’s the power of powering through.

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