Last weekend, Peter and Edmund accomplished a challenging task. After five weeks of hard training, they tested for their black belts. This training required two-hour-a-day work outs seven days a week, a restricted diet (“What do you mean no chocolate, or sweets, Mom?!”), and push ups every morning. And don’t forget the one hundred sit ups in varying positions. These boys worked H-A-R-D. In addition to all this extra training, they had to keep up with school work and homework.
I couldn’t be prouder of them. They earned their black belts. And the praise they received. They gained a sense of accomplishing something great.
I’m not sure they realize the magnitude of what they’ve accomplished, especially the character aspects. They learned how to stick with a difficult task. They saw the fruit of their hard work. They discovered they can achieve challenging goals.
It got me thinking about what it takes to achieve a goal:
- Sacrifice. The boys sacrificed eating their favorite foods to develop the strength and stamina to complete the training. They gave up play time to work out.
Anytime we set out to accomplish a goal, other things will be sacrificed.
- Purposeful effort. The boys had to remain focused in every aspect of their lives. Keeping up with homework, putting in time and energy to be at the dojo every day. There was little time for playing or fooling around.
When we want to accomplish a goal, we must put forth the effort to get it done—whether it’s writing a book, learning a new skill or excelling to the next level in a skill you already have.
- Set your mind on achieving the goal. Peter and Edmund set their minds on doing what it took to attain their black belts. If they had been wishy-washy, it would have been too difficult to complete all that was required.
We must determine that we will do whatever it takes to accomplish our goal.
- The support and encouragement of others. The boys could have desired to get their black belts all they wanted. At nine and ten years old, they needed transportation to the dojo. Hubby or I drove them each day, and encouraged them. Hubby practiced skills with them at home. Others cheered them on during their workouts.
Having others on our team can make the difference between success and failure.
- A reward. The boys both earned the reward of their black belts, but we also gave them something else they wanted. Because they worked hard.
Anticipating a reward on the other side of hard work can motivate us to press on when we’re tempted to quit.
Setting goals helps us move forward in life. When we have the right pieces in place, we can accomplish anything, as my boys have shown me (Because of them, I’m determined to master push ups!).
What about you? What have you found is necessary to accomplish something? What have you accomplished recently?