Vernon Turner’s “Letter to my Younger Self” published in The Players Tribune, is beyond moving and so worth the read. This man’s story is incredible.
He experienced some of the most difficult experiences that people can endure in life. Despite multiple obstacles, weighty responsibilities and the same self-doubt everyone experiences…he achieved what he intended. He made a conscious decision to succeed at a football career, he got to work, and he did it. He lived through several events that carried the possibility of being the breaking point but he didn’t give up.
The reason I love stories like this so much, is that they are proof that our thoughts are what drive our existence. Our mental capabilities have the infinite ability to drive our physical accomplishments. If we can think it, we can do it. What an amazingly freeing concept, to know that we are not limited by genetic predispositions, economical circumstances, social condition, or any other predetermined factor to which we are born.
EVERYONE experiences the voice in their head, the people in their lives, or the events that persuade us to give in, to let go of the dream, to go back to what is comfortable. Adversity, struggle, rejection, failure and doubt have the potential to break a person. But only if allowed to do so.
Merriam-Webster defines relentless as: showing or promising no abatement of severity, intensity, strength or pace.
The decision to hold on, to keep going, to choose not to give up…this is one of the most difficult decisions to make. Defeat is one of the worst feelings in life, especially when we’ve invested time, energy, blood, sweat and tears into something. Gathering up the energy and willpower to start again, is probably one of the greatest displays of human strength.
Our emotions don’t always align with the actions we want or need to take. We may feel tired, crushed, weak, not enough of something to pursue the goal again. But if we can disconnect from our emotions for a moment, allow our mind to will our body to take action, and then change our thoughts to ones that align with success, we can get up and get back to work.
What is the worst part about starting over? The actual start. Initiating action following an unsuccessful attempt is an extremely negatively anticipated notion laced in fear. Anxiety can powerfully overshadow truth with doubt, negativity and unfounded pain. What if I work hard, I get uncomfortable and I fail again? What if the process is bad, distressing, and exhausting?
The TRUTH is, more often than not we are far more capable than we can conceive and it’s never as awful as we envision. The foreboding we subject ourselves to prior to making the decision to cross that line in the sand and start again is ALWAYS the worst part.
Everything is a mental game. Every opportunity, every challenge, every accomplishment. Life can be complicated. Tragic even. The bottom line is that we have to decide if we will be relentless in our pursuit for success or if we will let the setbacks defeat us.
When I need to start over, I think of these words. Stop thinking about it and get to work. When I think too much about beginning again, I overthink, I waste time and I create grandiose stories about how awful it’s going to feel. If I stop thinking, my emotions are dulled, my mind clearly tells my body what to do and the actions follow.
Starting over is an arduous task. Whether it be in a workout when I’m not hitting my goals, at work when I’m learning and haven’t yet become proficient in a skill, or after a day that didn’t go as well as I had hoped.
“Starting over” has been the most difficult experience of my life. But it’s also what has made me as tough as I am today. Getting back up and trying again, over and over and over again has strengthened my resolve to be relentless in pursuit of my goals.
It’s my firm belief that commitment to even one goal with the determination to deny resignation, exponentially increases fortitude and beautifully evanesces limitations into thin air.