Execute, Focus, Mindset

If you find yourself in a hole, first stop digging

 June 30, 2020

By  Paul Nichols

Sometimes life is hard. To say that it doesn’t always go as planned is a colossal understatement.

And when life inevitably goes off the rails, there’s a great quote that I like to keep in mind…

“If you find yourself in a hole, first, stop digging.”

On the surface, this can come off as a little ridiculous if not downright insensitive.

Is it my fault that the car broke down, or that someone else’s mistake cost me a lot of money, or that the neighbor’s dog pooped on my porch?

Not necessarily… but you should still stop digging.

Because what do we do when things go south? We complain, we lament, we say things like “if only”… and all of those things boil down to basically arguing with reality.

And what do you think your chances are of winning that argument? That’s right, ZERO.

Sometimes the frustrations from our distaste for the reality of the situation affect us for 20 minutes… sometimes an hour… sometimes it ruins entire days, weeks, or more…

So while it’s absolutely your right to bitch, moan, and complain… (especially when you’re justified!) just realize that every ounce of time and energy spent on it is time and energy diverted away from improving your situation.

Think of it this way…

In football (American football that is), when a quarterback throws a wide receiver, what if the receiver just stood in place and waited for the ball. And when the ball didn’t come directly to him, he would just stand there and complain about it. Wouldn’t that be a little strange? He certainly wouldn’t be a very effective receiver.

But he doesn’t does he? Instead, he runs after the ball. And if you watch you’ll notice something strange – the harder the catch, the more rewarding it is. The more fun it is. The bigger the celebration afterward. And every time he challenges himself in practice, he gets better.

It’s the same in any aspect of life. Welcome the challenges. See them for what they are… chances to grow… to learn… to improve.

As Ryan Holiday puts it – the obstacle is the way. Rather than avoiding obstacles, we should recognize that they’re like big flashing signs saying “THIS WAY TO SUCCESS”.

There are few feelings in life better than being met with a daunting challenge and then overcoming it.

So today don’t spend time arguing with where your football is thrown, go after it!

See you in the end zone.



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