My middle son, Drake, decided to join the military. Most of us know someone who has served. Some of us know people from each of the different branches of the military. He chose to become a Marine. We spent months questioning him. He likes to sit in his room and play video games, and can be seen the rest of the time reading books on his phone. He hasn’t grown up being a social animal. Everyone who served in the military told me to convince him to join a different branch. The more we spoke to him about it, the more he was set in his ways.
I asked him, “Why the Marines?” I heard it was the most difficult boot camp. Three months of hell as opposed to six weeks of training. We have all heard stories about boot camp. He said, “I want to be a bad ass.” I couldn’t believe this was the only reason he would choose the Marines. But it was. He explained that it was his belief that it would be the most difficult branch he could join, cause him the most stress, offer him the most opposition, and challenge him the most, out of all the branches.
Drake made it through boot camp. He did his time. He is a Marine, and always will be. He did what he said he would. He earned my respect and the confidence and competence he earned was worth the work.
I choose to believe that The Universe was designed to conspire on our behalf. If WE choose easy, the Universe tends to give us challenges, and if WE CHOOSE A DIFFICULT, CHALLENGING ROAD, The Universe usually seems to let us be.
When we purposely choose the most difficult and challenging road, which we know is filled with obstacles, we set ourselves up for growth. When we look for challenges, and seek them out, we set ourselves up for possible failure. As we overcome the failures and conquer the challenges, it is what we become along the way to the destination that makes us great. This is one way we can choose that makes us more useful and successful as humans.
When we shift from fear of failure to love of learning, growing, and evolving, difficult things are a welcomed experience.
When making a list of things to do, how many of us prioritize it from the most difficult task to easiest task, because we know towards the end of the list we will be tired and less motivated? I have found that the easier tasks are easier to complete at the end of the day than the most difficult ones.
Choose the difficult path. Why not? It will be good for us in the long run and help us in ways we may not even expect. Doing the DIFFICULT things builds credibility, confidence, competence, energy, and momentum. DOING THE DIFFICULT THINGS CONSISTENTLY creates true greatness.
Today I will build credibility, energy, momentum, competence, and confidence within myself by doing something difficult or challenging, or something I may not necessarily want to do, ON PURPOSE, simply for the reason that I know it will help me become a better, stronger, more skilled version of myself. I will remember that I am capable of learning and doing new things, and with repetition, I CAN MASTER ANYTHING I CHOOSE TO.
The most useful, empowering book I have come across, so far, that results in a progressive upgrading of thinking, doing, and the quality of outcomes and results in the life of the reader, each and every time the book is re-read, or listened to again, is MINDSET, by Carol Dweck. I can’t recommend this book enough!