“Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved.” ~Helen Keller
The Pain of Glory
It is very misleading to see the end result of greatness on display if you have no prior knowledge of the process that leads to the outcome you’re witnessing. For anyone who has never had to find it within themselves to use the experience of pain as an ingredient in the recipe to produce glory, the journey towards the desired outcome when witnessing glory in someone else’s life has no value. The recent Olympic games puts that very principal into focus. All of the athletes who competed in Rio came representing, not only the sport they love, but also as the best of their country. So imagine training for four years on a daily basis while sacrificing your time, neglecting personal relationships, and enduring constant personal mental torture along the way. Competition and the preparation for competition is, in itself, suffering. No one wants to be out-performed, and each of us either trains to win or never trains at all out of fear of failure.Advertising
However, for anyone who can recall blood, sweat and tears leading to cheers, applause, and victory, the picture included in this post sums up the meaning of “The Pain Associated With Glory.”
Aiming for the Extraordinary
The media is good at displaying mediocre people who find a way to achieve extraordinary results. When, in reality, there is nothing mediocre about a person desiring to do the extraordinary. This level of results come from grasping that everybody has visions of being more than mediocre, but only with an extreme willingness to submit to the visions will produce extraordinary results.Advertising
Visualize the athlete who aspires to break a world record in the Olympics. An athlete is forced to find a way through training to make their bodies submit and even suffer in order to distinguish themselves from everyone else who wishes to obtain the same medal. When all of the athletes in a race cross the finish line, and the winner becomes conscious that they have won, we see them begin to cry tears of joy and think that it’s the result of apprehending a crowning achievement. But, in reality, those waterworks are a reflection of the voyage it took to get to the finish line. The extreme emotions aren’t just about winning, but instead, is a moment of reflection about the investment that finally paid off.
The training regimens for athletes are a good example of everyday life because good habits produce desired outcomes. Every day, people aspire to be healthier but do their habits mirror the aspiration?Advertising
As the seasons change so, too, should we be able to have genuine reflective times to investigate what we want to obtain and ask ourselves are we willing to submit to the process it would take to gain what we want, expect and see as possible? Are you the best spouse you could be? Could you be better at parenting? Have you neglected your personal health? Are you good at managing your money? All of these things take the same obedience to a vision that an athlete must use to become a champion. The Pain of Glory is available to everyone, but not everyone is willing to surrender to sacrifice change.
Transformation is uncomfortable but necessary in order to harvest the best of who you are. Look for the place you need to transform and understand the formula may be painful but the end result is worth your investment.Advertising
Featured photo credit: Reuters via naijapr.com
Last Updated on December 9, 2019
5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively
Everyone experiences mental stress at one time or another. Maybe you’re starting a new career, job, or business, or you feel incredibly overwhelmed between work, parenting, and your love life (or a lack of it). It could even be that you simply feel that you have way too much to do and not enough time to do it, plus, on top of everything, nothing seems to be going the way it should!
Yup, we all experience mental stress from time-to-time, and that’s okay as long as you have the tools, techniques and knowledge that allow you to fully relieve it once it comes.
Here are 5 tips for relieving mental stress when it comes so you can function at your best while feeling good (and doing well) in work, love, or life:
1. Get Rationally Optimistic
Mental stress starts with your perception of your experiences. For instance, most people get stressed out when they perceive their reality as “being wrong” in some way. Essentially, they have a set idea of how things “should be” at any given moment, and when reality ends up being different (not even necessarily bad), they get stressed.
This process is simply a result of perception and can be easily “fixed” by recognizing that although life might not always be going as YOU think it should, it’s still going as it should—for your own benefit.
In fact, once you fully recognize that everything in your life ultimately happens for your own growth, progress, and development—so you can achieve your goals and dreams—your perception works in your favor. You soon process and respond to your experience of life differently, for your advantage. That’s the essence of becoming “rationally optimistic.”
The result: no more mental stress.
Just like you might need to unplug your computer when it starts acting all crazy, you should also “unplug” your mind.
How on earth do you unplug your mind? Simple: just meditate.
It isn’t nearly difficult or complicated as some people think, so, if you don’t already meditate, give it a try. Whether you meditate for 5 minutes, 30 minutes, or 2 hours, this is a surefire way to reduce mental stress.
Meditation has been scientifically proven to relax your body (resulting in less mental stress), while also reducing anxiety and high blood pressure.
3. Easy on the Caffeine
Yes, we know, we know—everyone loves a nice java buzz, and that’s okay, but there’s a fine line between a small caffeine pick-me-up and a racing heart and mind that throws you into a frenzy of mental stress.
Try giving up caffeine for a while and see how you feel. And, if that’s completely out of the question for you, at least try to minimize it. You might find that lots of your mental stress mysteriously “disappears” as your caffeine intake goes down.
4. Attack Mental Stress Via the Back Door
That’s right: your body and mind are part of the whole being, and are constantly influencing and affecting each other. If you’re experiencing a lot of mental stress, try to reduce it by calming your body down—a calm body equals a calmer mind.
How do you calm your body down and reduce physical stress? A great way to reduce physical stress (thereby reducing mental stress) is to take natural supplements that are proven to reduce stress and anxiety while lifting your mood. Three good ones to look into are kava-kava, St John’s wort, and rhodiola rosea:
- Kava-kava is a natural plant known to have mild sedative properties, and you should be able to find it at your natural health food store or vitamin store. It’s available in capsules or liquid extract form.
- St John’s wort is a natural flower used to treat depression. Again, it’s found at your local health store in capsules or liquid. Because it uplifts mood (enabling you to see the brighter side of all experiences) it helps relieve mental stress as well.
- Rhodiola rosea is a natural plant shown to reduce stress and uplift mood, and Russian athletes have been using it forever. Like the other two supplements mentioned, rhodiola rosea can be found at your natural health store in capsule or liquid form.
While these supplements are all natural and can be very helpful for most people, always check with your health care provider first as they can cause side-effects depending on your current health situation etc.
5. Good Old-Fashioned Exercise
This tip has been around forever because it works. Nothing relieves mental stress like running, kickboxing—you name it. Anything super-physical will wipe out most of your mental stresses once the exercise endorphins (happy chemicals) are released into your brain.
The result: mental stress will be gone!
So, if you’re feeling overwhelmed or just plain stressed, try using some of the above tips. You can even print this out or save it to refer to regularly.
More to Help You Feel Relaxed
- The Importance of Scheduling Downtime
- 3 Deep Breathing Exercises to Relax and Reduce Stress
- How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressed
Featured photo credit: Radu Florin via unsplash.com