When the world’s strongest man, Dennis Rogers, came to visit me recently, he explained that most people give up just seconds before they are going to reach their goal.
“I’ve seen it hundreds if not thousands of times,” Dennis explained. “Right before the steel is going to bend, the person stops.”
He was referring to bending nails, horseshoes and steel bars, but his observation is true for any goal you’re seeking.
While some people procrastinate in getting started, still others stop too soon.
They give up on their goal because it’s “taking too long” or “it’s too hard” or they feel “it’s never going to happen.”
But the curious thing is, they were only moments away from the achievement.
In the movie Bending Steel, which is about upcoming strongman Chris “Wonder” Schoeck, the star explains how he finally bent a stubborn piece of steel: “I didn’t want to give up five minutes before the miracle.”
At the of the movie, he is on stage explaining that the metal he wanted to bend had haunted him for months.
On stage, he persisted and the metal bent.
The operative word here is persisted.
I’ve seen this in my own life, in countless areas, but most recently in learning feats of strength from strongmen Dennis Rogers and David Whitley.
After they teach me how to do a feat, I try it on my own.
When they are in front of me, encouraging me, I keep going, using will power, muscle power, strength and endurance until the steel melts in my hands.
But I also noticed that I had great difficulty bending anything when I was alone in my gym.
I tried to bend a horseshoe every day for two weeks.
I tried to bend one in front of two visiting friends.
It perplexed me until I wrote David Whitley for advice.
He replied, saying it could only be one of or a combination of three things:
1: The horseshoe is beyond your current strength level
2: Your technique is off
3: You lack confidence/desire
That really made me think.
Did I not believe I could do it?
Was my technique off?
Was I trying to bend too hard of a horseshoe?
I went back into my gym, looked at the horseshoes I had bent, and the ones I couldn’t budge, and realized I was trying to bend at a level I wasn’t ready to accomplish yet.
So I dropped back to a slightly easier horseshoe, got my mind and body in position, and — bent the horseshoe!
This story is relevant to you and whatever you are trying to accomplish.
Ask yourself –
1. Are you trying something beyond your current level of skill?
2. Are you using the wrong method or technique to get it done?
3. Are you fully believing in yourself and your ability to do it?
As with me reaching out to Dennis and David for personal coaching, very often you need expert help in achieving and attracting your goals. That’s where Miracles Coaching might be useful to you.
Whatever you decide, remember, most of us give up right before the miracle.
Remind yourself to hang in there and your “horseshoe” will give.
PS – Inside Secret: Because I know having a crowd cheer me on will trigger more motivation in me – much like cheerleaders at a football game get the crowd and team energized – I bought an applause app called Rent-A-Crowd. It’s exactly what you think: you open it and tap it to hear applause. It can be a small group of people applauding or an entire stadium of raving fans. Your choice. Now, when I attempt to bend a nail or horseshoe, I play the Rent-A-Crowd applause app and pretend a crowd is cheering me on. Another app I use is called Applause. It works, too. I sometimes play it for friends when they do something good for themselves. Go ahead. Applaud me for giving you this tip.
Last week I completed my fourth consecutive physical transformation challenge!
I wrote about the previous ones over the last year and a half.* All have been under the guidance of Body for Life fitness legend Bill Phillips, and his wife Maria, with personal coaching from Scott York.
The results have been spectacular!
I’ve released about 60 pounds, packed on about 15 pounds of muscle, dropped at least one pants size, lost several inches off my waist, have made daily exercise my new habit, have a new eating plan, and feel like a new man.
While it’s taken commitment, persistence, and lots of perspiration, I have done it and am continuing to do it. I feel younger and stronger than ever.
I’m the new Hercules! (Or maybe one representing AARP.)
Working on age 61, I may be in the best shape of my life since I was a teenager in high school training to become the world heavyweight boxing champion. (It was 1970 and I was so young.)
I don’t want you to think it was a breeze to get here, though.
During the last twelve week challenge, I found myself slipping.
I wrote the following for myself and the others in the same challenge as me:
A message to all those who have stalled or stopped…
Recently I had to reactivate my intention, goal, and purpose.
After being in three programs, and eight weeks into my fourth one, I started to get comfy. I looked back and realized I had released 50 pounds, added 15 pounds of muscle, dropped a pant size, made exercise a locked in habit, and heard praise from people like my personal doctor, who says he has known me for 15 years and has never seen me look so healthy.I figured I had achieved a “good enough” stage of fitness.
Somewhere in there I got relaxed and let my eating slide. I never pigged out, but I’d give in to temptation now and then. It’s easy to do, as I live in a test kitchen and my wife is on deadline with her cookbook. Foods are everywhere and so is the hypnotic scent of fresh baked meals. Even though it’s grain-free and sugar-free, it still has calories. It still counts. I’d eat a little anyway.
I didn’t think much of it.
But then I took my 8 week photos and scale weight.
I didn’t like that there was no change AT ALL.
I felt like a failure.
That’s when I had to regroup and recommit.
To me, motivation (mindset) is more important than ANYTHING else. When you have made a decision and commit to it, nothing will stop you. Any diet will work. Any exercise will work. Of course, what Bill and Maria teach is the best. But without mindset, you (or I) won’t do anything. We will simply give in to whims and temptations and instant gratification.
So I reviewed my goals and decided I was NOT going to stop or stall.
I thought about the payoffs for being even slimmer, stronger, and healthier: increased self esteem and inner power, inspiration to others and myself in the world, the chance of accomplishing something BIG in the area of fitness, etc.
I recommitted to my 12-week goal and my lifetime goal.
Instantly I felt better.
By the next morning I felt renewed strength.
My workouts, which have always been intense, are even more on target.
When my wife offered me a dessert she just made, I politely said no. She didn’t bat an eye and honored my decision.
Right now I’m wearing a muscle shirt. It’s tight, so my stomach shows, but so do my biceps. And they are something to behold.
I’m posting this to remind each of us that we CAN achieve our health goals. It begins with a decision, and then ongoing commitment to it, and every day action. Having support (which we have here) is priceless, as big dreams are easier when you have people rooting you on.
I’m back on track.
After I shared the above, I made a decision and turned on the afterburners to my commitment to fitness.
I completed the challenge.
The results speak for themselves.
I don’t know what your own personal goals are, but I’m pretty sure you can achieve them, too.
Why not go for it?
PS – I fully endorse Bill Phillips. I am not an affiliate for anything he offers (he doesn’t know I’m writing this) but I fully recommend all of it. For more details, see http://www.transformation.com/ or send an email to BillPhillips@Transformation.com
* My previous posts about Bill Phillips and my Transformation progress:
March 1 2013 http://blog.mrfire.com/transformation-on-demand/
May 16 2013 http://blog.mrfire.com/transformation-update/
October 22, 2013 http://blog.mrfire.com/transformation-part-three/
May 1, 2014: http://blog.mrfire.com/transformation-part-4/