On my last post, I spoke about beginnings, new starts and the energy we get from starting all over. The thing about any starting line is that everyone is there, everyone is present and hyped and excited, but if you look at the middle of the track, it’s not that crowded over there. It’s just like anything in life, the middle of the semester, the middle of your work experience, its even called a “mid-life crisis”. Everything starts out great, but the middle is always the hardest part.
We all heard about the story of “The Tortoise and the Hare” when we were children, the hare underestimated the tortoise’s capabilities of winning the race, so he took a nap and well what happened was that the tortoise ended up winning, despite being the slowest. It doesn’t matter how good you are or how great everyone around you is, you just have to keep going, you have to keep sweating the middle because this is where you make a difference.
The real difference between anyone average and anyone extraordinary is what they do in the middle. You work so hard in school to get to university, then you work so hard in college so you can get an excellent job. Then you reach a plateau in your life, you settle for whatever you have until you’re 30-40 years old. That’s when your “mid-life crisis” hits you; you start to wonder if your life could have turned out differently if you had started in a different way, if you chose the right major or if you chose a different job. The truth is, everyone does this. Everyone has this crazy idea about the need to only grind in your 20s so you can “relax” in your 40s. Then they worry if they ‘re 40 and they’re not relaxing yet. That’s when they start to wonder if they had started differently, maybe it would have turned out to be different for them. Let me ask you truthfully, what do you need to “relax” from? Do you want to relax for the next 30 years of your life? Most people live beyond 70 and 80, so why do you want 30 years of doing nothing? You can relax for a weekend, a week or even a month or two, do you really need 30 years to relax? That’s what I call, dying slowly, because at that point you just think that’s it, you’ve fulfilled your life purpose and now its time to appreciate small things and doing good deeds before you die. That’s not what you want. If it is, then great, but if it’s not then you need to start sweating a little more. Maybe it’s not about starting differently, it’s about sweating the middle more so you can achieve more along your journey. Slowly or quickly, you’ll get there if you just don’t settle in the middle.
Develop this mentality that keeps you driven throughout the whole race. Have the kind of mentality that tells you to keep going, to keep striving and winning no matter how hard or how slow you’re going, just keep running. Push every muscle, every last bit of oxygen to its absolute maximum limit. Find good habits that put you back on track and keep you running when you need to give up. Committing to working out or reading every single day despite how you feel, will help you to commit to your goal and dedicate your time to working towards your maximum greatness.
Sometimes, familiarity will remind you of the reason you started and give you the energy to keep going. Something familiar would be, talking to an old friend, listening to an old song, watching an old movie, anything that reminds you of the satisfaction that comes from growth and accomplishment.
Try something new, in contrast; learn a new language or a new skill. Learning something new would keep you moving forward. It could be related to your work and studies or not, but whatever it is whether it’s small or big, it will definitely help you grow. Deciding to paint, for example, would make you more creative and expressive which will help you interact and initiate new ideas in your field. As well as, playing a new sport will help you get your head in the game and only focus on what’s between your fingers. Learn anything, a new language, a new song or even read a new book. Everything new that you decide to learn will be in your favor, and keep you moving forward.
There’s really no one way to get through the middle, whether you need a familiarity or a new experience really depends on you. Whatever it is, it will not be easy at all, it takes willpower, dedication and a lot of hard work. You would want to quit so many times, so many times you’d want to stop and just settle and relax. But it will be so worth it to keep reminding yourself that you will thank yourself later. Keep sweating the middle, always. Every extra MINUTE of grinding and sweating that you put in every single time will make you different from who you are and different from everyone else.