James Arthur Ray, at one point one of the most famous self development gurus on the planet (co-star of the world wide phenomenon "The Secret", NYT Bestselling Author, and more) was convicted and served a sentence for negligent homicide, for the deaths of several people in a sweat lodge during one of his intense courses.
When he was released, he said this "You know, when I first went in, it spun me out really hard. And I went through everything from shock, to anger, to victim. To hating God, to blaming God. Like, look why? I tried to help people and this is my reward? And now I look back at that and I think, "how arrogant"! Who am I to think that I shouldn't have any challenges because I'm trying to do something good?"
To me, this is a great tipping off point. Whatever your thoughts are on James Ray, this quote is worth thinking about. How many times in our lives have we followed that same pattern of thought? How many times have we allowed ourselves to become a victim to the world?
Very recently, I've been listening to interviews and audiobooks surround Jocko Willink and David Goggins, both retired Navy SEALS who speak about, among other things, mental toughness.
What occurs to me while listening to them is 1) struggle is innate, it happens to anyone attempting to do anything. And 2) struggle is the good part. You only crush the goals by "getting after it everyday" and, as the SEALS say "embracing the suck".
It occurs to me how cushy my existence is compared to what some others decide to do every day. It makes me realize how much harder I can be going after my objectives. And now, feeling a bit like I'm at the bottom of a dark pit (which is brought on by the sickness, whose ass my immune system is currently kicking) - these words have a deep resonance for me.
Have I ever truly, I mean TRULY embraced the struggle? Have I chosen to stay deep within it? Honestly, I can't say yes with 100% certainty anywhere in my life.
All I can do now is to continually take these lessons and apply them seriously, wholeheartedly. I'm excited to do so.
For more recommended viewing, look up "Jocko Podcast" on YouTube. It's a great jumping off point into this tough as nails psychology. Before long, you'll be like Jocko and myself - members of the 4:30 am club.