The other day, a friend of mine sent me a link to a post with Kobe Bryant’s speech from 2016, when he was being honored with an award for his basketball career.
“We’re not on this stage just because of talent or ability. We’re up here because of 4 a.m. We’re up here because of two-a-days or five-a-days. We’re up here because we had a dream and let nothing stand in our way.”
(Read the rest here.)
The author of the post continues:
“There were thousands of athletes more talented than Kobe. Athletes that had the same physical skills, the same goals, the same dreams. And there are thousands of salespeople, executives, coaches, and others that are far more talented than you and I.”
Yes, it’s grit over talent. It’s discipline and practice over luck. It’s showing up each day to do the work over ‘being blessed with a gift.’
It’s dragging yourself to do the workout each day because you want a clear mind and a healthier body 😉 (I’m off to my workout as soon as I finish this newsletter haha)
And this is not just for those with big dreams or career goals…
This mindset is also about the willingness to push through the darkness to find the light again; it’s about choosing hope over despair and love over fear.
When I heard the news about Kobe’s helicopter crash, I felt that dull, hard, almost nauseating pain that comes with memories of losing a loved one…
The pain that is grief mixed in with shock and disbelief, and the grief that somehow still holds the HOPE that life, joy, love, even their souls will never, ever die.
The feeling reminded me of how difficult it was to live through that grief and not let it hold me in despair and sadness.
That too is ‘showing up at 4 am.’
BUT… (a big but)!
There is a difference between pushing through blindly and getting through mindfully.
When we push through blindly, we clench our teeth and hold our breath until we are out of the discomfort and pain. We re-frame our mind, shift our focus onto something else and ignore the pain until it goes away.
When we go through it mindfully, we breathe and relax our muscles.
This allows grace to help carry us over to the other side. We acknowledge the pain, we accept that experiencing pain is a part of being human, and we decide to embrace it and honor it as long as it needs to be there.
But we also agree to let it go as it subsides. We don’t feed it with thoughts of more grief or with questions like: “Why did this happen?” We feel it, and we do so without the fear that it will hurt us more if we acknowledge it. And then, we release it.
This is super important!
It’s important to know when to rest, when to grieve, and when to continue walking. And even when we keep going (because none of us can really put our kids, schools, or work on hold while we heal…) we can still be mindful about our emotions, our bodies, our minds and our souls.
I’ve been reading through my journals as I work on my big memoir. I always had so much tenacity and grit! But I wasn’t always mindful. I pushed through but didn’t take time to process the crashes, heartbreaks or failures along the way. So I’d fall in the same cycles of pain even though my life was full of wonderful new beginnings.
It was only when I stopped, and mindfully did the inner work (to heal deeper) that I became a lot more productive, peaceful and happier – and was able to handle all kinds of life’s challenges without being crushed by them.
So… how about spending the week MINDFULLY?
Observe how you react to people, places and events around you. Observe how you wake up, when you become hungry, and how you feel in the evening. Observe your thoughts as you drive to the store, and how your body feels as you take your walk, or how you feel when you do your favorite work. (Yes, even observe what you say and how you act as you watch the Superbowl!)
And then, observe why you show up at 4 am and why you do the work you do.
How does it benefit others and the world around you? What changes do you want to make to keep showing up with grit, tenacity, faith and hope AND with a sense of deep peace and purpose?