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When the going gets tough......

Many of you would undoubtedly have heard this old saying: “when the going gets tough, the tough get going”. While there is certainly a lot to be gained by this approach to life, I would like to present an alternative concept which is this: “when the going gets tough, the tough stop and recoup.”

Tough times happen to all of us at some point. They really are inevitable. I wish they weren’t, but that’s not reality. In your quest to achieve your goals and change your life for the better, I guarantee you will face challenges. The thing about tough times is that they often come unexpectedly; when you are least prepared for them. There you are going at full blast, things coming together incredibly well, then ‘bam!’ the unexpected blow catches you sideways and takes your breath away.

Among the various options that are open to us at this time, two stand out for me. The first is to keep going, tackling the challenges one at a time until yu find your way out of the storm. The second is to try and pretend these challenges are not happening and instead bury your head in the proverbial sand. I would like to present a third option; an option people often don’t consider. It is to stop, take a break from whatever it is you are doing and do some serious reflecting. I say this because in my experience, the one reason we fail in the face of challenges is because we have not taken enough time to arm ourselves with the appropriate weapons to do battle. We react to circumstances in the heat of the moment, rather than taking some time to plan a strategy that has a chance to work. Now I am not saying that you take this option every time the slightest obstacle comes your way. I am talking about the large obstacles that literally obscure your view of the finish line.

The motivation that keeps us pursuing our goals is often the benefit that we can see those goals positively affecting our lives. When challenges come, the main danger they pose is the potential to derailed us from our path to fulfilment. A good thing to do at this point is to ask ourselves some pertinent questions like the following:

· Why am I pursing this in the first place?

· What do I hope to gain from this activity/businessendeavor/health program etc.?

· What are the benefits to me of continuing along this path?

· What are the consequences of giving up now?

· What resources do I have at my disposal right now?

· Are they sufficient for the circumstances I find myself in now?

· If the answer to the above is ‘no’ where can I get the right resources?

· How badly do I really want this? (what do I really, really want to happen?)

Once you have answered these questions honestly, you will most likely come to one of two conclusions. Either that “there is no point pursuing this course of action because the pain outweighs the challenges” or , “I am more determined than ever to make this work because I can see how much value it will add to my life and therefore I will not quit”.

If you come to the second conclusion, you will now be armed with the motivation and hopefully, the resources to continue on your journey – this time with increased resolve and better prepared for the challenges you face. Most likely, you will stay the course until you reach your destination. If however, the first conclusion is the one you come to, at the very least you would have stopped yourself from wasting precious time pursing a pipe dream.

So, the next time you are faced with tough times, stop, take a moment and ask yourself some hard questions. You’ll be glad you did.

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