20 February 2016

Winning Takes Work!

By A.F. James MacArthur Ph.A.L.
"The universe is transformation; our life is what our thoughts make it." ~ Marcus Aurelius
A student recently came to me for advice on a personal problem. He was frustrated! He told me all he'd been doing and he was upset the results he expected to see weren't happening.

After getting some specific details I proceeded to tell him where I felt some simple changes could make a difference.

He looked and me I said "that sounds hard!"

I said, "well it is. I didn't say it would be easy. But it's simple."

The whole exchange forced me to compare our conversation to a larger metaphor on life.

So few people really achieve what they hope to in life and they're often puzzled why. But upon closer examination, you see people putting in an ordinary amount of effort, but somehow expecting some kind of extraordinary results. I wish it were that easy, but it isn't. It just doesn't work that way.

If you've ever chopped a tree (or seen it done) with an axe like I have, there's a vital life lesson you can learn from the process. It's doesn't matter how tired your arms are or how much they hurt, and how much you feel like quitting because the tree just won't fall over. It won't until you put in all the work needed. Nothing less. You've got to keep swinging!

Maybe you started thinking the job would be over after 100 strokes and you get there and the tree is still standing. Is it really that hard to figure out what to do? Of course not, you gotta keep on swinging. It's not over till it's over.

It's the same way in life. Things don't always happen as easy or as quickly as we hope or think they should. That doesn't mean it won't happen. But if we give up too soon, it guarantees we'll fail.

If we want to get the most out of a given situation, be it our job, school, relationship, athletics or what have you, we have to give it our all. Continued, persistent effort of doing the things we know we need to do really does pay off. As basic and simple as this may sound, hearing it is one thing. Knowing it is another. Yet applying it is where we usually fall short.

Life is hard! Winning takes work.

A lot of times when we think we're doing all we can do and we even say so in conversation, a brutally honest close examination reveals something else.

The older I get, the more I realize, there really are no shortcuts to success. This doesn't mean we won't get unexpected blessings and surprises sometimes, but I've found it is those who are most prepared for opportunity are the ones given the most opportunities in life.

In other words, I'm saying don't ever give up. Keep working. Work hard for what you want. Don't give in. When things aren't going your way and you're not achieving the results you believe you deserve, sometimes you have to stop, step back, and self assess. Make sure you're really doing all you can do towards getting your goals. If not, begin. It's never too late. If you're still alive.

Physical culturist and former multisport athlete, James MacArthur, has trained for, competed in, practiced and even failed at more sports and physical endeavours than a crossfitter on crack! And has the x-rays to prove it. Currently no longer involved in competition, a lifelong fan of being fit, MacArthur guides, instructs and motivates select few individuals seeking to make the most of their natural talent and abilities.