Tuesday, May 12, 2015

The Power of Heroic Effort!

Why is the getting of success such a struggle, when everywhere we look, others make it seem so easy? "Life is pain, Highness. Anyone who says differently is selling something", said the man in Black to his one true love Buttercup in the classic 1981 movie The Princess Bride.

No great success was ever achieved without pain. And to make the key changes in our lives - to shift from being worriers to warriors - takes effort, heroic effort. Just like the Native American story of the battle between the two wolves.

One wolf is slothful, cowardly, vain, arrogant, and full of self-pity, sorrow, regret, envy, and anger. The other wolf is diligent, courageous, humble, benevolent, and full of compassion, joy, empathy, an faith. Which wolf wins the battle?

The one you feed.

Whether you feed your good wolf, your source of diligence and courage, or your bad wolf, your source of sloth and fear, is a daily choice, and in many cases a heroic choice.

Here are five questions to consider whenever you need some extra motivation.
  1. What are your most important goals in life? What things do you truly believe are worthwhile? What is your greatest dream and highest aspiration?
  2. How does each goal relate to specific aspects of your life right now?
  3. What do you recall of past moments of heroic effort in achieving each of these goals? What were the circumstances or conditions that helped you make such an effort?
  4. What circumstances or conditions keep you from making a more heroic effort now to achieve your goals? How are your own thoughts, beliefs, and habits holding you back? How, specifically, can you remove, counteract, or overcome these obstacles?
  5. What steps can you take each day toward achieving each of your goals? Who could help? Whose example could you emulate?
Heroic effort doesn't necessarily mean doing big things. Even small actions, done faithfully and wholeheartedly day by day, can result in heroic progress. What makes the effort heroic is that is:
  • Insistent (you are committed to doing it),
  • Consistent (you stay focused on your goal),
  • Persistent (you don't give up), and
  • Wise (appropriate and dedicated to something beyond yourself). 
In fact, the only way true heroism manifests itself is through daily effort in the direction of your highest aspirations.