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The Pulse

Struggle

“The Struggle is Real” is one of my least favorite “Sayings” that is commonly used these days…

It is typically associated with a simple act that has become difficult, and the desired outcome is Humor…

For some, being funny when things become tough is an appropriate outlet and lets them take a breath…

For many, they believe their “Struggle” is truly a disturbance to their very way of Life, and is an opportunity for Sympathy, Empathy, or Attention…

 

First and Foremost, I have always Believed that the “Strength is IN the Struggle”, and that Real Growth develops through Process, Experience, Success and Failure… Without Question, it can very uncomfortable…

What we “Do”, at the point of “Struggle”, defines us as People and Sets or expands the Limits of Achievement…

Imagine if you were “Evaluated” in Life, at your job, in your Sport, etc., was by How You Performed in Time of Stress?

Would you be a Leader?

Would you be an Achiever?

Would you be Excited by the Opportunity or Dreading it?

 

We all love the “Thought” of Success, but more and more we see the Need to be “Rescued” by Parents, Coaches, or by an Easier Path when faced with Difficulty of any kind.

Kids are not better because of this. If anything, it hinders their Preparation to Adulthood, Relationships, Collegiate Sports and Real Life…

Adults are not better because of this, as they remain ensnared in a small circle of simple Patterns that they don’t have the Tools to alter in any way…

Coaches are not better because of this as they Fail to Prepare Kids (and Parents) by Lowering Expectations, Avoiding Difficulty, and Wanting to be a Friend instead of a Coach (always the easiest way out) …

 

Struggle, as a Neutral Verb, shouldn’t be avoided as much as understood…

Rather than speak in generalities, here are my two Biggest Struggles and What They Teach (and continually Remind) Me…

 

#1) I Procrastinate.

I Hate that I do. I consider Time the most Precious Commodity of all, and yet my Actions sometimes tell another story…

It is a constant struggle that I can “Find” other work that needs to be done instead of the work I have set forth to do. Jumping from priority 1 to priority 6 on my To-Do List doesn’t make me more effective. It makes me ignore the most pressing need in front of me. My Procrastination doesn’t limit me Taking Action, it directs me away from What will Yield My Best Result.

It limits my Success, my Opportunities, and dulls my Focus on my “Big 3” …

I am not talented enough to be “Great” at Everything, Every day.

I can, however, with a Narrow and Effective Focus, be Effective at 3 Things…

My Procrastination takes me away from 3 and Introduces me to Items that don’t immediately require my Attention but receive it nonetheless…

 

How do I Combat my Biggest Personal Struggle?

A few different ways, but I start with Awareness: What are My Goals (for Today, this Week, this Month) and What are My Action Steps?

Knowing My Plan + Process is Helpful, especially in recognizing when I venture away from it….

Initially, I look at what Accomplishing my Task(s) will help me Achieve…

The Goal is typically Powerful enough (to me) to Pull me towards my Destination…

Occasionally, I may “Reward” myself for a Finished Task, if done so on an Appropriate Schedule without unnecessary “Duress”. This can be helpful for many, but I am typically motivated by “Rewards” …

I can be effectively encouraged, however, by the “Removal” of certain Common Items from My Life that I Enjoy. This “Punishment” Approach has been very effective for me as it instills an Ideal of “Earning my own Opportunities every Day” as opposed to “Deserving” basic necessities based on Past Performance. I like the “What Have You Done for Me Lately” Approach for Myself quite a bit…

Finally, I have come to embrace the Idea of “Deadlines” as a positive stimulus towards Success… I try to move quickly, and my Experience, Good or Bad, has led me to Feel very Powerfully that Things Should Be Done Now, once Action is the Appropriate Response (it typically is) …

 

#2) Struggle also finds me when the Weight of my own Expectations is too high.

I am often Disappointed with my own Performance, Productivity, or Pace (see Above)

The “3 P’s” are very helpful to me when I am Identifying Objectives and using Tools to Achieve, but they also come with a Heavy Price Tag: The Heavy Load and Burden of Expectation.

At the end of many Days, I am upset, not by what I have done, but by How I have Done it and What I have not Achieved with my Best Efforts…

It is Self-Destructive Thinking at its very finest…

Stressful, Unproductive, and Limiting (in What I can Achieve Tomorrow) because I become Rooted in yesterday…

How Do I Respond to Personal Disappointment? To Questioning my very Ability to be Successful at What I Am and Want to Be?

Initially, I reflect on my Core Beliefs: Who I Am, and What I Hold True to be the Best Person, Father, Husband, Coach and Friend that I can be…

I have found that doing so more often helps me recognize the Pillars of my Beliefs and Feelings, and makes me take Ownership of my “Why” …

In doing so, I recognize that I may sometimes get lost in the Clutter of my Life, and I Organize. I Organize so that my clutter becomes harder to See and my Actions are easier to do. It may be as simple as Cleaning my Car, or as troubling as eliminating relationships. I De-clutter so that My “Purpose” is clear… And it is overwhelmingly effective as a Tool for Clarity of Purpose.

I also work very hard to “Fast-Forward to Present” …

Stressing over past Events can be a solid Reminder of Missed Opportunity, but it can also ensure you miss the next Opportunity as well…

By “Fast-Forwarding to Present”, I arrive in the “Here, Now” Mentality, which is my Sweet Spot…

“Here, Now” is a Mantra I use to Achieve my Goals because it establishes the most Important Aspects of Life, What is Happening “Now”, as well as being Rooted in the Present and What You Can Control, the “Here” …

“Here, Now” is a rallying cry for my Success, and is Undefeated when used properly…

Living in “What Will Be”, or “What Has Been” is a waste if it Paralyzes and Restricts You at this Moment…

 

Understand that many of my most effective Strategies have been honed and re-fined through years of Failure, Regret and even Anger…

I have not come to this point in my Life without Reflection, nor have I given myself a Pass for previous Failings…

I offer a glimpse into my Process in hopes that you may continue to Develop your Own, and that you may Learn through my Defects, my Repetition, and my Success…