When I went to basic training in 1998 I developed a way of thinking about challenging environments and conditions that has stuck with me over the years. It is a very simple concept, just imagine the number of people who have been there and done it before. This is a powerful tool for getting your mind in the right place by realizing that if millions of other people have done what you are in the middle of then of course you can too.
For basic training that was millions of people, not to mention the 50 people living through it with me at that moment. I kept the same line of thinking through my first technical training school, college classes, deployments, grad school, moving a family of five overseas (twice now), my father passing away, and even for starting this business. I still do it today, especially when I am digging deep to get to the gym after the kids go to bed. Millions of people have done it before, so of course I can do it too.
I can hear it now… “but Jon, my situation is completely unique and it’s harder for me because…” stop right there snowflake! The only reason it’s harder for you is because of you. Your unique challenges come from your unique perspective, if millions of other people have done it there is no reason why you are any different and can’t make it happen. So you can either let yourself get in the way and make it harder, or just accept the challenge for what it is and get through it without adding artificial difficulty. Millions of people have faced the same challenges you face and have gotten through it.
I think you would be pretty hard pressed to come up with a situation that was totally unique, that no one had ever done before… only so many people get to land on the moon, or be the first nowadays at anything. This is a huge advantage. We have the opportunity to build confidence through the example of others that have lived through and faced down some of the most daunting challenges the world can throw at us. We can learn from their mistakes and successes and take huge strides towards our goals.
Here is the short list to get to you started
Millions have done it first:
- Graduated High School
- Gone to College
- Exercised Every Day
- Stuck to Diets
- Gotten Married
- Had Kids
- Gotten Out of Debt
- Started a Business
- Grieved for a Lost Family Member
- Survived a Crisis
- Broke a Bad Habit
- Started a Good Habit
The list can, and will go on forever. What are you thoughts? I would love to hear from you. Come on over to our closed facebook discussion group to share your insights. Or you can email me directly at Jon@masteryofskill.com. You can also sign up to receive The Friday Huddle, a short weekly email from me that gives you the tips, insights, and musings that have gotten me through the week.