These days it seems that the second someone is pushed out of their comfort bubble, they lash out and begin to lose control. I’ve been practicing a method on keeping myself focused on the goal when things in my life become hectic. There is a point where you have to decide that you’re in it for the long haul and that despite how crazy the situation, you’re going to kick ass and take names
While at home last weekend I had a pretty big list of things I wanted to accomplish. Had to install a new microwave in the kitchen, replace parts in my father’s computer, get food for the week, and do all the normal things I typically do on Sundays. Each of these tasks were accompanied by their own typical issues and problems, especially the microwave install. I hit a point where things weren’t lining up, and I had to just take a second to assess the situation. This was the last thing I wanted to get done for the day and despite the fact that I wanted to just say fuck it, I had to finish. It got me thinking about that threshold we all face in many different situations where we must chose to go on, even if we don’t want to.
I don’t care if you’re lifting weights, fixing a car, or trying to get a project done for work, we all reach this point of “make it or die.” Being humans, everything in your head is telling you to give up, leave things as they are, and go watch some Netflix, but there is shit that has to be done. You don’t take on a task just to leave it half way finished.
Fighting the urge to quit
The tactic I’ve been using to cross over this threshold has a few parts. First, I reflect on the progress I’ve already made. I begin visualizing the process from the beginning, and I mentally go through the motions to better understand what it is I’m trying to accomplish. Next, I have a bit of a mental pep talk. I tell myself “ You have to get this shit done, so suck it up and get going.” Last I think about the pride of completing a task or project and the mental positive feedback loop that accompanies that.
A minor thing I use is how I’m perceived to the family. The wife and kids know when a task is mine to complete as much as I do. I have never failed them in my duty as a father and husband, so that is another voice in my ear to knock things out of the park.
Knowing when to quit
If you’re screwing around and not making any headway, then you have to know when to cut your losses and move on. These are usually bigger than just installing a new microwave, but knowing when to identify something you should walk away from is important. For example: if you’re going to do more damage than good in a situation, admit it and move on. I personally have no idea how to rebuild a transmission, so its not a task I’d begin without someone who know what they’re doing. If I did decide to jump into a task and realize that I was in over my head, I find its better to admit that you need help than to foolishly let pride take over and royally fucking up something. When I was a bricklayer with my father he told me “A real man asks for help. I’d rather show you how to fix a mistake than to have to tear down the whole wall” Those words stuck with me far beyond their initial meeting.
We all face difficult things in our lives. We all are dealt a shitty hand. There is a time where you decide to nut up or shut up and get things done. Getting to that point takes balls, getting past that point takes brain power and determination. Many times, I’ve found that I was the one taking a simple task and thinking on it too much. It can help tremendously to walk away for a second, rethink your strategy and attack the situation with a new set of eyes. Get yourself to the point mentally that you’re not going to give up no matter how difficult things become. That said, make sure you know when to give in and acknowledge that you need help. Try to learn as much as you can in these situations, so you can kill it next time.