Are You Good Enough Without The Glory?
You need to understand this because it requires evaluating who you are right now. Then you have to ask the tough question, “Are you enough?” The answer needs to be a strong and confident yes. If you are enough that means that you could stay the exact same in life and still be grateful. Now that does not mean that your end goal is to stay the same, but in the case that nothing changed you could make it work without a problem.
When you are striving for anything in life, it is easy to convince yourself that the thing you want will complete you. If only you could get that thing all of your problems would go away. If you could just get that thing you would be complete right? The reality is that this is a lie that we have been sold. We have been sold this lie when it comes to money, material things, but it also applies to being an athlete. You have to be enough without it to ever see the value of having it.
Are You Enough Right Now?
There is a saying that getting rich just makes you more of what you are. Meaning that if you are a fool with very little money, you will be an even bigger fool with more money. If you tend to be giving the little you have, you will be a giver when you are rich.
Going through this can be a real mental test but I think it is very connected with our own mental health. Gratitude is some importance in life because it causes us to stop and reflect on the good we have now.
When you just strive for more you lose sight of what is currently and you never feel like enough. We always overestimate how happy success will make us. We think that championship, that new contract, getting that scholarship will complete us. When in reality it just changes our standard and we set a higher goal.
Let’s say your whole life you wanted to drive a BMW. You work for 10 years to save and you’re just ecstatic to finally buy one. The first month driving it will blow your mind right? But each day what will happen is that it will blow your mind a little bit less until it just becomes normal.
After a year of driving the car, it is just normal everyday life and it provides you no happiness. Then you have to set a new goal because the happiness wore off so you think maybe the Ferrari will provide you with the lasting feeling you want.
Enjoy The Struggle
In 2012 the Olympic Journey we went to Germany and stayed in a hotel made just for the Spanish World Cup soccer team. Then we went to Monaco for a meet, back to Germany then to London. I was a junior in college living like a king. I never spent a dollar and I was living nice.
The best memories from that summer don’t even come from that trip. I was not sure if I was going to make the Olympic team. So I put in my name for a trip to Mexico for the Under 23 Championships.
It was one of the most GHETTO trips I have ever been on. The hotel was garbage, the water was bad, it stormed daily, the Wi-Fi was spotty at BEST! It was one of those trips that you regret going on at first. But the struggle always creates the best memories and by the end, it was such an awesome trip.
Having no Wi-Fi forces people to get off their phones and talk. The area in Mexico was dangerous and someone got their head cut off on live TV while we were there so we all really grew close to each other. We talked and made bonds on that trip that can’t really be duplicated by any other trip because it was so awful.
You have to learn to enjoy the process of becoming greater because there is more joy there than you realize at the time. We were made to deal with resistance. We were not made to just live easy and have our way all of the time.
Strive Hard But Be Enough Without It
Have those big hairy ambitious goals. I know I have them but I will tell you what, Ian Warner is enough without those things. When I made the Olympic team and found out that I would not run, it got me down for a bit. It was a goal I had worked on for 16 years but the reason I was able to move on from the disappointment and the sport so easily were because I am enough.
No award, accomplishment, or thing I buy can magically add to how much I value myself. Those things will change how others value me but for myself, I already know I am undervalued in their eyes. I know what I can bring to the table. That is why the journey is so fun because we get to build the bridge between who we are and who we know we can be.
The Big Test
I was watching this interview with the founder of YouTube. He talked about how his life changed when Google bought YouTube for over a billion dollars. He was excited to be able to watch all the movies he had missed over the years and just do whatever he wanted because he did not need to work. That life goes old fast though and he quickly started another a business again.
Many entrepreneurs have talked about how they miss the grind of working out of a garage and how they would do anything to go back to those days. Those days were much more fun than they realized at the time.
I know when I think back on my track career. The thing I miss the most is hard workouts with my friends. When you are lying on the ground with nothing left and you’re beside your friends and you can say you survived another one, nothing feels better.
Your test is going to be whether you can live in the moment or not. There are numerous examples of people who wish they could go back. Right now you are living through the process of striving. Enjoy every day of the grind. Enjoy the setbacks, laugh at the obstacles then find themselves in your way. Then give all you have to become better so you can get to where you want to be. It is not the destination that will make you happy. It is how hard you fight on the way there that will.