“Never complain and never explain.” – Benjamin Disraeli
When I fail to do something I promised to myself or others, there is a strong desire to explain why it was so damn difficult to get it done. “X happened, then Y happened. I’m sorry, I hope you understand.” As if a good excuse will somehow patch things up temporarily until I can prove myself next time.
Every time I hear others make excuses (even very legitimate ones) I cringe. I’m starting to understand that if you let your mind go to excuses, then it actually makes quitting easier. The worst part of that is it makes quitting easier NEXT TIME and the time after that and so on.
My goal is that if I can’t do something, I simply provide the fact: “I will not get it done” and nothing else. Step 2 is take quietly the painful reality of that failure. Step 3 is figure out how and work my ass off to not be in that position again.
This is very important in my work, but the great thing about grappling is that it gives me an opportunity to practice that mindset on a daily basis in a very direct way. For example, if I decide to do 8 sets of hard training, and I’m exhausted after 6 sets, I don’t think “I’m exhausted, I don’t think I can do another one”. Instead, I don’t even allow my mind to consider the possibility of quitting. Basically, exhaustion transforms from an excuse for quitting into just an aspect of the reality in which I’m existing. If I make a decision to do 8 sets, then I will do it. If later, I feel that 8 sets is too many, then next time I’ll decide to do 7 sets or 5 sets or 3 sets, whatever, but once the decision is made, it must be accomplished.
It’s not easy to do. I’m struggling with this every day. It’s very tempting to promise to myself and others that I will compete in this or that tournament, or that I will attend this or that training session. But I don’t want to live life on a cloud of promises as many dreamers do. For myself, I want to be the guy that decides, acts, and never quits.