“Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree.”
~ Martin Luther King Jr.
There I was, lying flat on my back. The cold steel of the dumbell biting my hands as I counted out the reps of my third set of bench presses.
Four – Five – Six.
That’s good enough for today, right? I can just stop. Call it good.
But that is when my coach calls out encouragement, “you can do it Pete.” And so I pushed through the seventh rep. Arms trembling, heart pounding, heavily breathing.
“The brick walls are there for a reason. The brick walls are not there to keep us out. The brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something. Because the brick walls are there to stop the people who don’t want it badly enough. They’re there to stop the other people.”
~ Randy Pausch The Last Lecture
Seven – eight – nine – ten. Eleven? Twelve?
What is it about that seventh rep that makes life scream to a halt and the body complain that their is nothing left to give? Yet when you make it through, there is suddenly energy enough for almost seven more.
“Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.”
Runners call it “hitting the wall.” Only to get a second wind when successfully conquered.
In any story of a great victory comes also the story of near defeat, when the hero of the story pushes through the impossible odds and conquers all.
You too are likely facing impossible odds in life, here are five tips I’ve found to push me through.
Five Keys to Pushing Through the Seventh Rep:
- Focus on the goal. What is it going to feel like when you’ve accomplished your goal? Think of the energy, excitement, happiness and joy. Close your eyes and live it for a moment, then double your efforts to achieve your goal.
- Use the past to propel you forward. Using pen/pencil and paper, write down what you did well last week and where you failed. What were the triggers to success and failure? As you plan this week, put in all the good triggers, plan how to avoid the negative ones.
- Surround yourself in success. Find podcasts, motivating articles, books, websites, and other means to put you in the right frame of mind to foster future success. Now is the time to remove yourself from the “wuz gonna’s” and people who are dragging you down.
- Find an accountability coach. It can be a friend who meets you at the gym, an online forum where you check in weekly, a lunch buddy, or a hired wellness, career, mental health, or other coach.
- Reward your victories, no matter how small! Plan out rewards – my downfall is that food is usually a reward, so I’m picking something more healthy like exercise gear and a trip. For a longer term goal, establish the milestones in smaller chuncks.
“All of old. Nothing else ever. Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.”
- Don’t “Wuz – Gonna” – Just Do it! (learnactshare)
- Purpose (learnactshare)
- The 10,000 Hour Rule (optionsanimal.com)
Goodreads Quotes on Perseverance used on this page