What are you willing to do to get what you want? Some of my Facebook friends have commented that they think I would do anything to succeed. Would I though? After watching the clip yesterday on YouTube about success, I’ve spent the better part of 24 hours asking myself that question. How bad do you want it? In the video the man speaking says to his young student that in order to succeed, “you have to want it as much as you want to breathe.” He describes success and winning as something that must be pursued with fanatical devotion and laser like focus. It’s not enough to want something, you have to bend your will to it, and shape your life around it. Everything you do must be geared towards achieving that one goal. On the outset this sounds extreme. Is it true though?
Looking through my own collection of literature and success reading I’d have to agree. Of all the great people of history; businessman, statesman, kings, conquerors, inventors, athletes, actors and writers, all share a common trait of not only passion but devotion to their cause. We all know that in sports these days it takes phenomenal training and conditioning to win. Athletes today are superhuman compared to those of just thirty years ago. It takes tremendous skill and ability to simply step on the field today; let alone be competitive. However if you were to spend a week following these titans of the field around you might be surprised to find that their days are spent training and working to be better, faster, and stronger. Success on the field it seems isn’t born, it’s built through blood sweat and repetitions.
I think what’s most awe-inspiring to me when I witness the training schedule of athletes today, especially those involved in MMA fighting, is the amount of time they sacrifice to training and working out. On average most health experts recommend a minimum of thirty to forty-five minutes of exercise three to four times a week. MMA fighters can spend up to four hours in training every day. Their routines transcend words like grueling and punishing. Honestly I cannot even imagine spending that amount of time in a gym tired and sweating. These days I struggle through an hour of somewhat medium intensity workouts and think I’m a badass. Well not anymore.
I have a lot of goals for the coming year. One of them of course is to compete in the Spartan race challenge in June. As 2011 winds down I think that I would like to compete in several of the events next year, the goal being to hopefully compete in the entire season in 2013 and complete the 48 hour Death Race. That is if the world isn’t wiped out next year, by a comet, or whatever else Hollywood says is coming. I plan to write about the whole adventure, chronicling my training, diet, and obstacles along the way, thus achieving another goal of mine; publishing a book. I feel that people need good stories these days. If a guy like me can turn his life around and become successful in a sport like Spartan racing than there’s no reason why the average person cannot achieve their own dreams.
This all comes back to the question; how bad do you want it? Running these races is just part of a larger goal for me. I’m going after a whole lifestyle; not just a few bragging points and trophies. There are things I want, places I want to go, and things I want to do and soon. While patience is a virtue I think the time to start going after these things is now. I admit that I am fortunate now to be in a position to chase my dreams. I have support and help from people who care about me and want me to succeed. It wasn’t always like that though. Not long ago I was homeless, in jail at one point, broke, more than a few times, mired in loneliness, deep depression and on the verge of throwing in the towel altogether. I didn’t though I kept going. There were times when the pain from not giving up was worse than I had ever imagined. Guilt over the mistakes I made and people I hurt followed me around like a shadow, but I always felt that there was more for me. I knew that if I could keep going and keep getting up after the hits and kicks, that if I could survive than I’d find what I wanted. I look back now at the man I was then and I’m not proud but I am thankful for those years and the lessons that filled them. I’m grateful for the pain, for the harshness of it all. It steeled my character and forged my soul into iron.
How bad do you want it? I guess a better question would be, how long are you going to lay there letting life beat the crap out of you before you get up and start throwing some punches of your own? How long are we going to let other people tell us what we can have, who we can be, and how high we can go? You want happiness, well we all do. You want more money, join the club. You want a better job, get in line. How bad do you want it? Are you willing to bleed for it? Can you sweat for your dreams and cry for them? Will you go without sleep? Can you brave the criticism and rejection of friends, family, and coworkers for chasing your dream? You better be willing to. You better be prepared to uproot your life and rebuild it to conform to your dream. You better be willing to devote yourself mind, body, and soul to achieving your goals. Nothing less will do, nothing else will work. Empty your head of lottery dreams and luck and fill it with resolve.
How bad do I want it? I’m willing to push my body to the breaking point and beyond. I’m willing to move to the other side of the country to find a place more suited to the life I want. I’m willing to leave my friends behind and say goodbye to my family. I’m willing to be laughed at, ridiculed, criticized and marginalized to have my dream. I’m willing to go it alone if need be and face the storm and trials ahead naked and cold if I have to. I’m willing to rebuild my life to reflect those I aspire to be like. I’m willing to stop accepting failure, and retreat and start fighting until I can’t stand any longer. I want it bad. With this shield or on it friends there is no other way.