This is Dexter.
He is my miniature Australian Shepherd. He’s about a year old and weighs in at a whopping 15-20 lbs.
He’s pretty smart and has A TON of energy.
For these reasons, he needs a decent amount of attention on a daily basis. Walks, car rides, or playing fetch, it doesn’t matter. This guy needs it or he can become unsettled, bored, and kind of destructive. Just ask my wife. He prefers to destroy her things more than mine. How unfortunate…
Just before I sat down to write this, I was out back playing with him. I’d throw a ball and he’d book it to try and catch it. And by book it, I mean all out, 100% sprint. Now, if you’ve never met Dexter before, he’s pretty damn fast. His mom and dad must have blessed him with an incredible ratio of fast to slow twitch muscle fibers. Or he’s constantly working on his glutes and hamstrings when I’m at work. Gotta impress the bitches, right?
You can’t be offended by that last line because I meant it in the literal sense, referring to female dogs.
Dex goes HARD during fetch. I kid you not, he ran face first into a concrete wall at close to full speed trying to catch a ball…took a cinder block straight to the mouth. Literally, ate. a. brick. at 20 MPH. Talk about dedication. Talk about grit. Talk about grinding, or whatever word kids these days are using to indicate they work hard. (By the way, he’s fine)
This got me thinking though. He was chasing a 70 cent tennis ball. It was something so simple and relatively insignificant, but Dex wasn’t going to let anything stand his his way of getting to it. What if he were chasing something even better than a tennis ball? What if I threw some filet mignon cooked to a perfect medium rare? What wall would he have smashed through for that?
* FYI, rare to medium rare is the only way to order a steak. If you order your steaks well done, I’m going to assume you breathe through your mouth on a regular basis and have really weird hobbies, like torturing ants or something.
Getting to my point, when you chase your tennis ball, are you willing to smash into a concrete wall for it? Does the idea of failing, getting hurt, or stepping outside of your comfort zone stop you from reaching your goals?
Look at weight loss, one of the most common goals in the nation. It’s not exactly an easy process for a lot of people… tons of lifestyle changes, added exercise, eating foods you maybe don’t like the taste of, eliminating comfort foods, etc. All of these things are basically obstacles, or even ‘concrete walls’ that you might run face first into. Does the reward of reaching your goal outweigh the risk of suffering through some pain, discomfort, or uneasiness? Are you willing to accept the fact that you might and probably will experience these things? Are you ready to overcome them?
If you answered no, you’ve got a shitty goal. Get a new one. A better one.
If you answered no, you need to overhaul your overall mindset towards your goal.
Take sports for example. Which scenario is more rewarding?
Team A: They have an incredibly easy schedule, no injuries to overcome, opponents often have injured star players resulting in less competition, and the weather is always sunny and 72 degrees. They easily make the playoffs, run the table because of a terrible conference, and win the championship. Hooray for them.
Team B: toughest schedule in the league, lost their star player due to a torn ACL, opponents are always healthy so they ALWAYS bring their A-game, and more than half the games are played in terrible conditions. They squeak into the playoffs, win one game in overtime, come back from 14 points down the second playoff game, and then win the championship on a buzzer beater.
Who ran into more walls? Which end goal is sweeter? Which will mean more to the players, coaches, and fans?
Geez, I mean just look at the Cleveland Cavaliers last year. A city absolutely starved for a championship, down 3-1 games in the finals, against a team who absolutely coasted through the regular season to get to that point (and probably just assumed they’d win it all). The Cavs damn near smashed into every concrete wall in sight chasing their ‘tennis ball’. Didn’t stop them though.
1.3 million people came out to that championship parade in Cleveland. This is the end result when you’re willing to run face first into a brick wall to achieve your goals. This is what hard earned success looks like. This was not easy, but I guarantee it will be one of the most cherished memories for those players for the rest of their lives.
When you’re willing to do whatever it takes to reach your goal, that wall isn’t going to stop you.
When you’re willing to do whatever it takes, you’ll see that wall and run the f*ck through it.
And the reward will be so sweet and will mean so much more than just getting your ‘tennis ball.’
Whatever your goal is in life, don’t be afraid to put in the work. Don’t be afraid to struggle. Don’t be afraid of experiencing pain. It will not be easy, but it will be worth it.
If my dog is willing to sprint into a wall for a measly tennis ball, there is no reason why you shouldn’t be willing to do the same for something that can potentially impact your life for years to come.
I’ll end it with one of my favorite quotes from one of my favorite actors. He was asked a question about work ethic and came up with this analogy, where he and his competition work to see who can outlast who on a treadmill.
I’d bet good money Will Smith is willing to run into a wall to get what he wants. I bet he’s willing to run into several. But he’ll get back up and get his tennis ball.
So now go get yours.