Every day is a gift. It is our job to embody this truth. No matter how simple or complex our lives may be. Wherever we are, if we feel that our daily routine has no purpose/meaning or if we feel there is so much weight on every decision we make, we must choose to see today day as a gift.
In this realization, we see how important every moment is. We realize how weighty our attitude is on those around us and on our own soul. We choose to be disciplined in our faith, fitness, nutrition, self-discovery, and relationships not because it always feels good or produces immediate fruit, but because, in the end, we are better for it. We are wiser, stronger, healthier, more fulfilled, and truly known by others in the clearest of light.
All we can control are our inputs. The results are not ours to control, but we can prepare for the moment opportunities present themselves. Preparation is meaningful when we consistently pursue our passions. Dreams do not come to fruition for those with the most enthusiastic speech or to those who burn bright and fizzle out. Dreams become a reality through a lifetime of consistent pursuit.
We must weigh and balance our efforts and sometimes that means we need to step away or pull back. This doesn’t signal a dwindling of our passions or dedication, but it sends a message that we understand the runway for our dreams are often times much longer than we originally thought. Taking this step back brings perspective. Being able to do this is evidence of newly found wisdom in the consistent pursuit of our dreams. We are prudent to hold fast to the fact that the great things in life come through the countless hours spent perfecting our craft, and mastering our skills. But if we want to be fulfilled in this process we need to make sure we don’t erode our ability to pursue our dreams.
Our lives must be defined by integrity. Our actions must be authentic. Our words, true. Our promises, fulfilled.
Without integrity we have no bond. If our lives are without integrity we are defined by disappointments and broken promises. If we are willing to let others down, how much more will we let ourselves down and break our commitments to ourselves in pursuing these dreams?
We have to live our lives with integrity, because anything less, any corners cut, will expose us to weaknesses in our commitments and we will risk finding complacency where we are instead of striving toward the dreams that burn within our hearts.
The roadblocks and obstacles on the path toward achieving our goals are many and they come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. Some of these obstacles are obvious in that we need to resist them. These are not the obstacles we should focus our time trying to overcome, as it is clear that we must move past them. The obstacles that disrupt our consistencies and make our discipline waiver are those that seem good or so minuscule that they won’t affect us. But remember, it's the small habits and consistencies we develop in our daily lives that bring progress, and similarly it will be the small obstacles, distractions, and compromises that erode that same progress.
Perseverance can be rooted in our willpower, which is effective up to a certain threshold depending on the person. We often say that someone is “mentally tough” because they have spent so much time “sitting in the suck” that they have grown accustomed to it. While rooting ourselves in willpower will serve us well, it will not hold fast. We each have a breaking point.
The error comes when we root our ability to hang on to our willpower. Those who hold fast, no matter the circumstance, first find their purpose and use this philosophy of “sitting in the suck” as a tool to align themselves to their purpose.
Ask any Navy Seal who made it through BUD/S and see how they respond to how they made it through. Was it willpower or “grit”? Maybe for a few, but if you really dig deep, each of these men and women are anchored by a purpose. They have a reason that extends beyond themselves. Our perseverance becomes steeled when we have a purpose. That purpose will be different for every one of us. It has to be, otherwise it won’t truly be our purpose, just a borrowed reason to exist.
Focus on your purpose and your every moment will be filled with consistency, discipline, and integrity. And it is there that you will find perseverance, no matter your circumstance.