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I was letting myself become a “quitter”. And it was because of a simple fact: I was letting negativity enter my thoughts. I was letting them permeate and grow. I was encouraging myself to take easy way out.
As I pushed myself and tried to move on, I started thinking about this. The funny thing was that, after a while, I realised that when I wasn’t paying that much attention to my run –it was actually getting easier! Meanwhile, I came up with this line that described realisation that I just had:
"In life, if you give yourself a concession, you'd take it."
If you focus on doing something, and keep telling yourself that you can do it, you'd more likely than not succeed. If you let even just a wee bit of doubt creep in, you'll soon start to be complacent and you'll take whatever easy way out your mind's offering you.
Case Study 1: The Runner
You are running your third round on running track. You intend to complete six rounds, your normal distance. You feel great still. You push yourself, telling yourself that you can do it, that you can beat your previous time. But suddenly, you start to think about why this is so important to you. It's like a floodgate's been open from this point onwards. You no longer tell yourself that you can do it, but ask yourself why you should do it. You begin to slow down. You are more observant of pain in your legs and difficulty you have breathing. Soon, you even start to harbour thoughts of cutting your run down to only five rounds, because "what's one round less".
Case Study 2: The Student
You are three days away from your exam. You have your book out in front of you, and you have to study a total of nine chapters. You've completed two chapters, and you intend to finish at least five at end of day. You know you have determination to do so, and you begin reading through chapter three. After five pages, your mind starts to wander. You start pondering. You think about how tired you are, and you soon convince yourself that it's true. You yawn. You think about how long three days is, and figure that it's too much time for just seven chapters. You start wondering why you are studying so soon. Your eyes begin to feel heavy. You are tired. You decide to take a nap, and go to sleep for two hours, and you do so.
That's why I think letting yourself even think of a concession is dangerous. If you are really intent on doing something, you shouldn't be thinking of anything else. When you start to let your mind drift and think about easy way out, you immediately start losing your determination, drastically. I think best way to overcome this is by instantly stop, and remind yourself of your true goals and objectives.
Alvin Poh has been specialising in web development, content distribution, advertising and marketing strategies since 1995. More of his articles can be found at http://www.xodes.com/.