Updated: Jan 31
At age 18, it was a very cold December night. I put on my heavy winter jacket and snow boots. My mom asked me where I was going and I said I'm going for a run. I was a senior in high school and it was Christmas break. Mom said, "Son, you are on a break. Take it easy and enjoy. Running outside at night? It's freezing outside."
Mom's words sounded somewhat tempting but I had an agenda. You see, in high school, I was a pretty serious basketball player. Since we were on break, we did not have a game for two weeks. I knew my opponents were doing what most were doing on break, being chill and NOT working out.
Snow was falling, it was dark and a nice 5 degrees above zero. Burr!! Every day and night for nearly two weeks on this break I ran and sprinted in the Iowa winter cold.Two weeks later, we played our opponent and won by a score of 78-57 and I had a pretty decent game. I scored a school record of 51 points. The hard work during those workouts at winter break and several Iowa snow storms paid off! Oh, not just on the basketball court but in life!
At age 18 I had just learned a very important life lesson which has impacted me to this very day. On particularly hard days when I feel that I can’t endure, I remind myself that my track record for getting through hard days is 100% so far!
I've had hard days with family, school, work, friends, you name it. And so have you.
Today, I remind myself that hard days are necessary, to live through and to learn from. The hardest days make us who we are, inside and out. This can be difficult to grasp at first. EVERY day defines us! It's true. We really become the sum of our choices and our habits. I learned at a young age that pushing through the hard things in life is progress. Today, I'm not so young anymore but I've learned a lot from pushing through the hard days. I've learned that progress is always rewarded by yesterday’s effort, no matter how small.
It's so easy to put the hard things off until tomorrow. We grow used to the idea that things should be easier than they are, and that waiting another day or two makes the best sense. Then one day we wake up and we’re emotionally incapable of doing the hard things that must be done.
Let this be your wake-up call! Remember, what you do today really matters as you head toward tomorrow...YOUR future.
3 Tips to Beat The Hard Days In Your Life:
1. Every day you are growing stronger from your struggles.
Don't retreat from the challenges. Bit by bit move forward and after time, the hard things will be at your mercy. Why? Because you will be in the habit of taking on the hard things in life and overcoming.
Remember, the hard things in life occur often. So, don't retreat. You can do it.
2. The hard days shine a light on what’s truly important, and what is not.
If I never had hard days in my life, how would I know what the good days are? Not every day is a hard or bad day. However, since I do experience the hard and difficult days in my life, this makes me GRATEFUL for the good days in my life!
3. Stress can be a healthy sign for making positive changes.
Now listen, I HATE stress. I've had just about every emotional challenge imaginable, from fear to anxiety to the some depression, which by the way is triggered by a mounting build-up of stress. Stress stops your ability to think right and see the world as it is—a world that is not spinning too fast or burning to the ground.
Being extremely stressed-out and feeling overwhelmed is not a sign that you are messed-up or loosing it. It’s just that stressful moments make it more difficult to think clearly and can make you think you’re more out of control than you actually are. I say this from experience.
Am I working too much with not enough downtime?
Am I getting enough sleep?
Am I eating healthy balanced meals?
Am I spending enough time with those I care about?
Am I involved in relationships that cause me excessive stress?
So let your stress guide you—make sure you fill your time with meaningful activity, get enough sleep, eat well and manage your stress so it doesn’t mange you.
Oh, by the way, everything is not supposed to be easy.
Let me hear from you. What things do you do to beat down the hard things in life?