playing field is.
The other day I was working out and I was struggling to reach a workout goal I had set for myself. A brief thought flashed through my mind: “This was the hardest thing I’ve ever done” (I was really pushing myself, after all).
Then I realized something. No, what I was doing in my workout was extremely hard but it WASN’T the hardest thing I’ve ever done. I’ve faced tougher challenges in life. And, while I was working out, I remembered one particular challenge that was tougher — physically and mentally. By thinking about that other experience, I was able to redefine how challenging I thought my workout was and it helped me to realize “If I made it through a tougher challenge, I can make it through this”. Sure enough, it was the gas I needed to keep pushing.
Later, I reflected on this experience and realized how much it was like football (or any sport). It’s easy to get caught up in the moment and for that one single experience to define your reality. But the more successful people will always keep the full field in mind.
Think about your most difficult experience ever and your happiest experience ever. Make those the two goal posts in your playing field. Then, as life takes you on its complicated, circuitous, and sometimes-good-sometimes-hard journey, keep your eye on the full field.
There will be times when you experience something harder or happier than ever before — and that will redefine your field. That’s okay. Just recognize how the playing field has changed and measure everything by that new perspective.
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