“It’s easy to start, everyone can do it. Be the one who finishes.”
Have you ever been so excited to go on an adventure that you and your friends eagerly talked about it in a chat group only to have it canceled at the last minute?
How ’bout joining a full marathon only to fail halfway as the ambulance carried your ass to the hospital?
Have you ever signed up for an annual membership in a gym but struggled to show up in the last 3 months?
We are so good at planning things, ecstatic at how fun the world can turn out and always eager to try something new… But that’s all we ever did. We get excited so we plan. We try but we never follow through. Obstacles come and we surrender in the first sign of struggle.
– is defined by Merriam-Webster Dictionary as “to come to an end of a course, task, or undertaking”.
There’s this word that most of us often neglect: END. To finish something means not only to carry out something but to end it. So if you are good at starting but unable to finish, here are my 5 tips.
HOW DO I FINISH?
1- BUILD A HABIT
Thanks to the most powerful part of the body – the brain. For everything that we do, when done as a habit, makes everything less if not at all, taxing to the brain. Or this is what I would simply call “automatic”. We want automatic installed in our senses for us to be able to easily accomplish our goals, whatever they may be.
To illustrate: When you just started learning how to drive, you had to think of a few things carefully like how to put your hands on the steering wheel, what gear you needed to switch to when you park and drive, and how much pressure you need to apply to the pedal when accelerating and going to a full stop. These at the time were “new things” that your brain needed to process and as a result, they required more attention and thus needing more “memory usage” (like a smartphone).
The particular part of the brain that fires up like New Year’s eve is the basal ganglia. But as you repeat the process over and more frequently, the brain interprets it as nothing new. (Brain: “Hey you did that 5 times a couple of days ago. No worries, I already have that information stored for you.”) That’s how you can drive drunk as hell at 5 AM and come home in one piece, without ever remembering it the next day (Disclaimer: I am not an advocate of drunk driving).
That’s also why it is so easy for runners to break a sweat regardless of how tired they are from work (or business or whatever they do for a living). They have already formed a habit of putting on their favorite running shoes as soon as they see the sunset through the windows.
2- SHARPEN YOUR MENTAL TOUGHNESS
Unlike IQ that is fixed, EQ or emotional quotient is flexible and has no boundaries.This is where mental toughness lives. This is where it’s fed and honed, like an animal. Most important of all, you can train your mental toughness. And the more you do, the more it gets harder and harder for outside forces to triumph over it. When you picture an athlete in your head you would see a human doing superhuman things.
But this is not what distinguishes an athlete from a wanna-be. An athlete trains day and night, month in month out. They are focused on one thing and one thing only; to reach their goal – the gold medal.
They go through all the hardcore training with a tough body that can endure all kinds of pain because they are tough on the inside. They have a skin that doesn’t get burned by the sun, doesn’t get frozen by the cold, all because the power that their mind possesses is more powerful than these external forces.
An aspiring marathon runner would think that running a full marathon (42km) is all about physical endurance. And he couldn’t be more wrong. Running a full marathon that takes somewhere from 4 to 8 hours of non-stop inhaling and exhaling through your mouth, ain’t a walk in the park. Sure, you must have proper training but the regimen is only there to make sure you avoid injuries. But every runner I have come to talk to swears on the same thing – it is not a running game but a mental battle.
3- PICTURE THE FINISH LINE IN YOUR HEAD
This has been the keystone habit of one of, if not the greatest Olympic athlete that has ever lived. Before the day ends and what seems to be an endless training for Michael Phelps, he does a mental visualization of the perfect race. In bed, he would imagine himself swimming flawlessly past all his competitors, with great emphasis on his stroke and turns, his breathing and how he would face the crowd upon inevitable victory.
He would do this countless times every night until each detail of the race is played perfectly in his head, developing a movie in his mind. Or what his coach would say the “videotape”. The next thing he knows, he breaks record after record winning gold after the other. And to him, he was just playing the videotape.
4- HAVE PATIENCE
“If a string is in a knot, patience will untie it.
Patience can do lots of things, have you ever tried it?”
– Anna M. Pratt
Greatness takes time. Triumphant is the one who reaches the top, no matter how long. There is no overnight success here – whether in business, career or relationship, hardships will come along. Obstacles will come right at you in the blink of an eye and you better come prepared.
Without patience, the thing you have been working hard your whole life will vanish in an instant. As you run your own race, it is inevitable you will hit a wall. How ever you decide to pass that wall is up to you. Some work around it, others climb it and there are a few who break through it. Whatever you do, don’t stare at the wall.
#5- FAIL AND TRY AGAIN
Champions aren’t easy nuts to crack. They have a relentless attitude, a no-quitting mindset and are focused on producing results that set them apart from everyone else. Success came from habits that are ingrained in their wires, they are committed to their dream and are mentally sound like no other. They put their plans into massive action. They have practiced a million times what they are set to achieve and have already lived in their heads the winning experience before you even thought of competing.
However, most of us only see their success when they’re already on the big screen. We only hear about them when they are already mentioned on the radio. What most of us don’t see are their failures, the walls that they have been hit by over and over; the blood sweat and tears that were poured in their lifetime of tremendous perseverance and dedication. We only see the tip of the iceberg. And yes, problems arise, and they fail. But when they do, they do it quickly and bounce back even faster.
You see doing the first 4 things won’t make you finish your ultimate goal if you can’t accept failure. Remember that failure is inevitable as death. But when you change your perspective and learn from the outcome, when you figure out how to utilize and rebound from failure only will you rise from unimaginable depths.
What have you finished today? Share some of the things you achieved in the comment section below, I’d like to hear from you!
image sources: http://sm2.imgs.sapo.pt/mb/2/7/3/aa996d64fb5dbd2d8e3dd30bb1c63cb3bd82f.jpg, gettyimages.com, http://ftw.usatoday.com/, iluvesports.com