Going without...just for a while...just to see if you can

It starts with recognising that it is sometimes a good thing to not get everything that you want. Periodically it is a good thing to go without, to work your willpower like any other muscle. I am not talking about consigning yourself to a hermitage or about donning the sackcloth and taking a scourge to yourself. Rather, have a look, what security blanket do you give yourself? What do you give in to without a murmur? Skipping a training session, the bag of crisps, the toast and butter to tide you over when you get in from work? Or go the whole hog with a paleo challenge. Now set yourself a time. Four weeks, 30 days, 40 days...your call. Now go to it.

The ascetics might call it normal, the catholics will be reminded of Lent, the muslims of Ramadan, the military fetishists of Andy McNab's description of hard routine, others just describe it as character building. Whatever helps you get through it, don't label it if you don't need to. It's just something you do.

Why? Well, it's not necessarily about the explosion of chocolate or gorging at the end of your time. It's about reminding yourself that you are capable of something. It's easy to see every-day the same, to drop into that pattern. It's habit, it's smooth and requires no thought, no energy, no steer. But before you know it that ease has coloured your life. That's not a bad thing! Generations of our families or of humanity as a whole, have endured harsher conditions than many of us can fathom. We don't need to! However, maybe we need reminding of that from time to time. But let's not aggrandise this. It is much lower level than that. It's about the little disappointments that life will throw up. It's about dealing with those. It's about our approach and developing it, reminding ourselves of it.

Gain some perspective. The little things can remain the little things if we develop a tolerance. The sub-par service, the queue, the longer than instant-delivery, the out of stock. Big deal!

It's not a plea for accepting mediocrity. Lord knows there's enough of it in the world already. No, we should still aim higher. How do you react when it's not at the level you expect? When was the last time you had to think about it? To adjust course? To replot while still focusing on your overall destination?

A drama can still be a drama but if it has been quiet for a while you will need reminding that you can keep your head in a storm.

I guess, for a change, I'm talking about training! On the bright side, at least this proves that I don't have an entirely one-track mind!


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