“No one is born physically fit,” Spartan Race founder Joe De Sena wrote in Spartan Fit! “Your mind leads the way. The body follows suit.”
If your mind and a thousand excuses are stopping you from starting, the following are three simple tactics to help you break through the excuses wall and allow your mind to lead the way.
Mark Divine: Embrace the Suck
When you take on a hard goal, the coming toil and discomfort of the necessary work can begin to weigh on your mind in the form of stress before the first push-up.
“Stress is just resistance,” says former Navy SEAL commander and CEO of SEALFit, Mark Divine. “You can’t eradicate stress.” What you can do, Divine says, is change your relationship to stress so that it becomes a positive rather than a destructive negative that leads to making excuses and avoiding action.
You are hardwired to respond to stress, Divine explains. By changing the way you view stressful situations and challenges, you can build a foundation for success.
“The key,” Divine says, “is to change your relationship to it. You embrace it. You embrace the suck. Like what you experience in a 50-hour event, like a SEALFit Kokoro or a Spartan Race, this is what will make you stronger.”
The dialogue is how you construct this new relationship to stress and Divine tells the story of how he used this process to complete the BUD/S selection process to earn his Trident and become a Navy SEAL. To embrace the suck, Divine recommends mantras like: “This is going to be good for me; The pain is weakness leaving my body; This is going to be good.”
Listen to the the Spartan Up podcast with Mark Divine here.
Tim Ferriss: Use Scooby Snacks
Have you ever had the experience of stalling on doing the one big task that--if you knocked it out--would be the most productive thing you could accomplish during a given day?
Tim Ferriss, bestselling author of the Four Hour Work Week and relentless self-experimenter, knows the feeling. He also has a tactic for how to bulldoze your way through this kind of resistance.
“Scooby snacks,” Ferriss calls them. Scooby snacks are “fun items” that help draw you into momentum that you can then shift toward bigger, harder projects. On a day when Ferriss knows he needs to dive into a thicket of legal paperwork, he describes how he gives himself a couple of fun items to check off, like scheduling a trip to South America or a music lesson. “Then I can go into the salt mines on a project,” he says.
By the way, Ferris says, it shouldn’t be a struggle to figure out what task to focus on. “The thing you least want to do is probably the most important one.”
Listen to the Spartan Up podcast with Tim Ferriss here.
Karim Jaude: Don’t Let a Bad Day Slow You Down
“It’s not what happens to you that matters, it’s how to react to it and what you do with it,” says Dynamics Capital Group CEO, Karim Jaude, a real estate developer and global businessman. “This has been my philosophy.”
In the 1970s, first in Lebanon and then in Iran, his philosophy was put through severe tests, torture and kidnapping included, thanks to simply being in the wrong place at the wrong time more than once. Karim Jaude arrived in Los Angeles in 1979 with $17 in his pocket and a questionable ability with English. Through grit and determination, he forged success in building a global real estate business, earning his first $1 million by the age of 26.
“Nothing bothers me anymore,” Jaude says, recounting a conversation he’d had with his father in 1945. “The war was over. I asked him, ‘If the war is over, how come innocent people are still being killed?’ He hugged me and told me, ‘In the history of man, there has never been justice in the world. There never ever will be. But what you can do is to help reduce other people’s suffering and not to add to others suffering.’”
Listen to the Spartan Up podcast with Karim Jaude here.
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