I’d like to begin by asking you to focus on this simple word, “why”. We are going to attempt to analyze this word. When it comes to great feats and (so-called) impossible achievements this question word arises all too often. Why? When people of our society do not understand something it is only natural to ask “why”. Right?
Take a moment and think about some extraordinary, unreal accomplishments or actions that you have either heard of, read about, or experienced personally. Take for example the first man to go to outer space. I can guarantee there were many people who were thinking, “Why would you want to do that and take the risk?” How about boxers and MMA fighters? Who in their right mind would want to get punched in the face on a regular basis as their career? Why would they do that? The list can go on forever…marathon runners, tri-athletes, Navy Seals or Army Rangers, mountain climbers, deep sea fisherman, etc, etc. And even…wrestlers. Why would anyone in their right mind want to do any of these things? They have to be crazy, right?
I know for a fact that is what so many people think when they see or hear of these instances. It has to be insane for a person to want to put so much training into one thing and literally almost kill themselves each day for a single purpose. I’m sure many of you have seen those shows on Navy Seals and the rigors they go through to become one. We all know about “hell” week. And I have even found myself asking that very question…why? Why do that? For what reason? And you better believe that those potential seals are asking that very same question as they undergo the most mentally and physically challenging experiences of their lives. “Why am I doing this?”
Two critical concepts come to mind when I think of the exact type of scenario as described above. The first of which requires an unwavering sense of conviction, while the second simply calls for a slight change of attitude or manner of thinking. For one, if you want to do something seemingly impossible, you better be “dang” sure that you have a concrete answer to the question “why”. Why ARE you doing this? What exactly is your purpose? So let’s say you’re a wrestler. You’re training day in and day out and putting in all this blood, sweat, and tears, right? Well, why? Why are you doing exactly that? If you don’t know the answer to this question, and know it with conviction, then you better find it. Because when push comes to shove and you’re dog tired at practice, on the verge of quitting, trust me, this question will creep into your mind. Why? Find the answer. Know it. Believe it. And have a legitimate response when the doubts creep in. Make the statement, “Because I want to be a national (state) champion. That’s why”.
Now the second concept is slightly different in nature but every bit as important. I constantly try to correct myself with this idea when I find myself having the “why” thoughts as described previously. You know, why would someone put themselves through that kind of torture to achieve blank(whatever the outcome might be)? When I think this way I always try to refocus and simply change my thought process to just the opposite…”WHY NOT?” Why not do that? Why wouldn’t you want to train your a** off everyday, then destroy your body in an MMA fight, a marathon, a triathlon, or a wrestling match, only to walk (or crawl) off utterly exhausted with a sense of victory and accomplishment never felt before. Win, lose, or draw. That’s awesome! Is it crazy to think this way? For sure. Are the people who do these things crazy, as was mentioned earlier? Of course. Crazy in comparison to what is viewed as “normal”. Who wants to be normal, though? If you wanted to be just like everyone else, then you wouldn’t wrestle. Normal is boring. Normal never accomplished anything unbelievable. Now crazy…that’s how “crazy” things get done. It’s always the “weird” and different ones that do something awesome in life.
You need to think outside the box. If you want to accomplish something spectacular (and different), then you need to be different. So don’t ask yourself “why”. Ask “why not”. On that note I’ll leave you with a quote from John Templeton, a billionaire investor who started during the Great Depression.
If you want to have a better performance than the crowd, you must do things differently from the crowd – John Templeton