“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.
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.
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?
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.
Featured photo credit: Reuters via naijapr.com