(In case you’re not into sports) Muhammad Ali was a heavyweight champion and Olympic gold medalist boxer.
He is widely regarded as one of the most significant and celebrated athletes of the 20th century (1).
Ever since the beginning of his career, Ali was known as a controversial and inspiring guy, both inside and outside of the ring.
When Newsweek did an interview with him (2) and asked about his training regimen, Ali described the relationship to his practice like this:
I hated every minute of it. But I said to myself, ‘Suffer now, and live the rest of your life as a champion.’
Ali’s way of thinking echoes the attitude of anyone who has become legendary within their field.
If you study the greatest artists, academics, and athletes of all time, they all have one thing in common.
They all put in a remarkable amount of hours of hard work into honing their skills before reaching a level of mastery.
Somehow, top level performers find a way to always get the work done. What they happen to feel like on any given day has nothing to do with it. They do their job anyway.
If they experience resistance, it doesn’t matter because they are comfortable being uncomfortable.
And this is what allows them to be so consistent that greatness follows as a natural byproduct of their efforts.
Because when you are always showing up, no matter what, day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year, amazing results will inevitably follow.
I’m definitely no Mozart, Musk, or Hanke. Hell, I’m not even a particularly good writer (yet). But I do a decent job at modeling what great people has done in the past.
And since I started writing consistently, I’ve been featured on some of the most popular online publications in the world.
I’ve connected with readers telling me that my articles are helping them change their lives. I’ve seen close to 3,000 people sign up to my newsletter.
And more than 25,000 unique visitors find their way to my blog every week.
To me, this is absolutely amazing. I never thought so many people would be interested in what I had to say.
The first few years I hit published the only people reading were my closest family.
It wasn’t until I made a deliberate effort to write every day and publish every week that things began to take off.
And none of this had been possible if I hadn’t learned…
Each time I sit down to write, I experience some level of resistance. Some days, it’s just a minor discomfort. Other days, it’s complete chaos.
The research takes forever, I can’t seem to articulate the simplest of ideas, and my brain keeps turning its attention to anything it can think of except the article in front of me.
My writing is slow. And I’m terribly bored.
A year ago, one of these sessions always got the best of me. So, I waited for inspiration to write.
And as a result, I made little to no progress and was very inconsistent.
These days, I always keep on writing until I hit my word count for the day.
It doesn’t matter how I happen to feel about it.
The discomfort that used to be a signal that I should quit has become a trigger for…
Most of us tend to view adversity as an obstacle preventing us from achieving our goals and finding happiness.
But we don’t have to. If we want, we can choose to flip this view by realizing that there is no better opportunity to practice mental toughness than during times of hardship.
Just like Muhammad Ali spent countless hours suffering in practice, we can use mental resistance to strengthen our resilience and resolve.
Each time you find yourself struggling with resistance to a task, you can decide that you just stepped into…
This is where you do your mental resistance training. Here’s how:
What goals have you been putting off because it made you uncomfortable? Let this become your mental resistance gym. Then pick up the weights.
Greatness requires suffering. So let’s get comfortable being uncomfortable.
“Suffer now, and live the rest of your life as a champion.” — Muhammad Ali (Tweet that)