A hero is no braver than an ordinary man, but he is braver five minutes longer.
-Ralph Waldo Emerson
I read this quote in a book a couple years back and it has always stuck with me. It is such a great quote and applicable in so many ways. It makes me feel as if anyone can do anything. You just have to hold on a little longer. Work a little harder. Just outlast everyone else. I try to remember this very quote when my own life gets tough and I begin approaching my breaking point.
I can recall many times in the past where I was so very close to giving up on a goal or idea but I just stuck with it a little longer. As fate would have it, a break was just around the corner and things took a turn for the better. They say hindsight is twenty-twenty but I could be reminiscing about very different outcomes if I hadn’t pushed through the adversity towards better times.
Everyone has doubts. All of us have experienced discouragement and even failure. Believe me when I say “all” of us. Don’t try to tell me that Cael Sanderson hasn’t faced adversity, discouragement, or failure in his life. So far this offseason he has had two of his wrestlers from his national championship team in trouble with the law. Think of anyone great. Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, George St. Pierre, Albert Einstein, Ralph Waldo Emerson, etc, etc. Each of these people, among others, can be considered heroes in their own way. I know for a fact that they almost gave up, or even did give up, on their dreams along the path to success.
It is during these difficulties that it is most important to hold strong. Hold on. Focus on something positive. Even the smallest of things. Then suddenly one day things improve. You bust through the adversity becoming that much closer to your ultimate goal. Do not let others discourage you or sway you from the path you have set for yourself. You will only be disappointed later. Set the goal. Maintain the course. Outlast everyone else. Block out other people’s doubts. Eliminate your doubts. Get to the next step. That’s it. Simple, right?
The greatest beauty of this quote is that is references the ordinary. Think about those great people we mentioned earlier. Perhaps you have other “heroes” that come to mind. Those people are no greater than the ordinary person. No better. No worse. Sure, people have varying levels of talents and abilities. Sure, genetics plays a role in all things. However, if you’re one of those people that believes these great people simply got to where they are because they are geniuses or phenoms, then you’re beat before you even start. You need to eliminate that mentality. Cael Sanderson is no greater than you or me. Albert Einstein was no greater than the ordinary man. Their greatest accomplishments were establishing a belief in something (in themselves) so strong that they literally willed their goals to reality. That is what makes these people great.
A hero is no braver than an ordinary person. Just braver longer. No better than me or you. Just more steadfast in their beliefs. More disciplined in their lives. More willing to make the necessary sacrifices. Anyone can be a hero. Even you. Believe it and hold on to it.