Early Success

Each week a football team faces different challenges from the opposing team. Each game plan is different. It might be a strong emphasis on passing. Or perhaps an almost superhuman running back tipping the odds. Or the defensive line that’s a powerful force to be reckoned with.

UCLA has had a phenomenal win or two in the beginning of the season. They had a star quarterback in Josh Rosen and a very confident team. The offensive line was humming and the defensive line quick to catch the opponent’s strategy. The odds were in their favor to go all the way to a winning season. It was like a well-greased machine.

The question is: can they handle early success? Can they do well, then go and play a lesser ranked team with the same spirit? Or do they relax and lose their focus?

This same dilemma comes up for me when I work toward a goal. Let’s say it’s setting up an exercise routine. I want to walk every day and do some strength training three times a week. I start out well for the first two weeks. Then it rains. Or I have another deadline. Or some friends drop by. All too easy to slack off. My determination crumbles. I lose my focus.

If I catch the slow down before it’s a landslide, I’m in good shape. I can regain my original determination and develop a positive lifelong habit. You too?

If you are having trouble getting back on track after successfully bursting out of the starting blocks, here’s a thought. Don’t focus on being stuck. The words that go with that are: I did it again; I’m such a failure; I’m terrible with this. Instead, go back to when you first started your routine. When you were motivated and excited. When you were past the original aches and pains and began to feel good. You might make that feeling a color. In your mind, bring that feeling or color through your current stuckness to the present time and watch the energy return. You don’t have to stay stuck. To reverse the downward trend, get stuck on success.

If you always put a limit on everything you do, physical or anything else — it will spread into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there. You must go beyond them.

Bruce Lee

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