“Strength and growth come only through continuous effort and struggle.” — Napoleon Hill
Have you ever lifted weights?
When you lift weights, what actually happens is that you damage your muscles by putting them under such strain and stress. You break them down, and they must recover. This is why what you eat is so important to your progress. The food you eat is the fuel for your muscle recovery (among a slew of other things, but let’s focus for a moment).
When your muscles rebuild themselves, they regenerate even stronger than before. That’s why you can reach a plateau if you don’t keep increasing the weight you’re lifting. Your muscles just get strong enough to handle the weight and they stop actually getting damaged.
To get stronger, you lift more, break the muscles down again…you get it.
The same is true for life as well, if you stay within the threshold of what you can handle, you never face struggle and therefore never grow.
The times when things are easy are not the times when you find out the valuable lessons life has to offer. You coast through those experiences without the need for new thought, creativity, or analysis.
However, when you put yourself in situations where you’re forced to unlock new parts of your brain, or find new levels of resilience, or “break down your muscles,” you only leave yourself with one choice: Grow into the challenge.
Either that, or accept failure.
You don’t accept failure, though. When faced with a challenge or an opportunity, you do what it takes to step up to the plate.
What happens if you step up to the plate and the pitcher is an all-star, though? You might strike out.
And if you strike out, do you throw the bat away and go sulk in the corner? Or do you start to practice?
This is what makes champions. Not just in baseball, but in life.
Maybe you didn’t get the promotion you wanted. Maybe your prospect chose another service provider. Maybe you stumbled in the interview and are still left job searching.
You now have an opportunity to look clearly at what happened and analyze your swing. Why did you miss the ball?
Learn. Grow. Develop. Adjust.
Get back up to bat. Swing again.
Hit it out of the park.
Without that struggle, though, you never would’ve made the proper adjustments that you actually needed.
If someone kept throwing you softballs or easy deals, you’d be under the impression that you had nothing more to learn…until you met that all-star pitcher and got a reality check.
There are not many universal truths in life, but one of them certainly is that smooth seas never made a skilled sailor.
So, go out there and find some waves. And if you can’t find them…make them.