Just the tip: on the verge of quitting, slow your mind. Focus on staying in the fight. That’s it. Because if you dwell on the pain, the struggle, how far you’ve got left to go, the impossibility of the goal? Of course you’re gonna throw in the towel. Don’t.
Take one more step. Do one more rep. Type one more word. Make one more call. Pitch one more prospect. Then another. And another.
Don’t worry about finishing, winning, succeeding. It’s too far away. Too overwhelming.
You’re in survival mode. “Can I last another minute?” That’s all that matters.
What you’ll find is, a) yes, you can… keep goin’… and b) holy sh*t you’re acting like a huge vagina. In some cases, you’ll see, you were ready to tap out with 30, 40, 70% left in the tank.
Yesterday, for example, I woke up and decided to punish myself. I wrote down my goals for the day: burn 700 calories on the treadmill, do 700 push-ups, write seven articles.
(Guess I was feelin’ the number seven for some reason.)
Now. Do you know how many f*cking times I wanted to quit on each of those tasks? So many! Like, when I hit 100 calories on the treadmill, my mind started offering me “outs.”
“This is boring.”
“This is stupid.”
“You can’t be on this damn treadmill all day – you got sh*t to do.”
“You know what? One hundred calories is plenty. Especially with all those push-ups you gotta do.”
“Do you really wanna shower twice today?”
“Goddamn, that’s only 100? Six-hundred more? That’s gonna take forever!”
And so on and so forth.
Yet, an hour and a half of additional anguish later? Whaddya know? Mission accomplished:
How? Just what I said. I stopped dwelling on the remaining 600 calories, and I asked myself: “Can I do one more calorie?” “How ’bout another?”
It became a game. And, once the burden of making it to the end was lifted? I got my second wind. My attitude improved. I picked up the pace. Went from walking to jogging. One calorie mini-challenges… turned into chunks of five… then ten. Before I knew it, I only had 100 left. “Pfft, easy,” I thought. “Let’s turn this up a little bit more.”
I finished damn-near sprinting.
Then went on to use this same technique for all 700 push-ups and all seven articles. And hit the pillow that night feeling like a f*cking boss.
You pull off the impossible – in business, fitness, whatever – by letting go; by lasting one second longer than you thought you could. And then you go, “Okay, that wasn’t so bad. I didn’t die. Maybe I could do one more.”
Sometimes simply lasting is your only shot at victory.