"We choose to go ... not because [it is] easy, but because [it is] hard, because that goal will serve to measure and organize the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win. "
- John Fitzgerald Kennedy on sending a man to the moon
THERE IS NO purer form of success, no more exact and demanding test of what you are capable of, than to face a challenge and find joy in the capacity to meet it.
While we all have different goals and aspirations, we all love and benefit from a challenge-something that inspires us to reach the peak of our potential, jailbreaks us from our comfort zone, and transforms us into a better, far more capable version of ourselves .
The ultimate reason for setting challenging goals is to entice you to become the person it takes to achieve them. As you are about to find out, who you become, as well as the accomplishments and skill sets you develop in rising to meet a challenge, are much more important than the nature of the challenge itself.
The Five Rewards for Rising to a Challenge
- A Challenge Develops Mental Toughness
It's actually pretty simple. You either rise to meet the mental demands and physical rigors of a challenge, or you succumb to them. And because victory begins in the mind, all challenges are initially won or lost between your ears.
The very nature of a challenge sets an appropriate stage for practicing mental toughness, which by definition means a psychological edge that enables one to remain focused and confident during high-pressure situations to perform at one's full potential.
Mental toughness means bending the body's software to control its hardware. It works if you're standing over a putt on the 18th green. It works if you're presenting to a roomful of people. It works if you're serving for game, set, and match.
- A Challenge Stands Down Fear
A challenge is unique in that it immediately engages the fight-or-flight mechanism, and you never know how you are going to react until you are faced with it.
Fear is never a reason for quitting. It's only an excuse for those unwilling to face their doubts, insecurities, and mental boogie man. Therefore, your first duty in rising to meet a challenge is to conquer fear and the mental resistance it brings along with it.
If you're ever going to find your greatness, you must decide that what you want is BIGGER and more important than the fear which promises you from achieving it. You must choose to put fear behind you-to stare it in the eye, walk straight through it and advance toward the goal with confidence, conviction, and certainty.
- A Challenge Inspires Courageous Acts
Courage is the greatest resource you have in rising to meet a challenge. What good is a challenge or a big, ambitious goal if there is no willingness to overcome fear, mental and physical resistance, adversity, or self-doubt?
The conceptual opposite of courage is cowardice. We are there before confronted with the reality that we either practice practice courage, or we habitually cowardice.
Courage is remarkable in that it takes on the form of every value at the testing point. When courage is tested, it manifests itself in the form of character, initiative, self-control, and responsible behavior. When cowardice is tested, it presents itself in opposition forms to include bad character, procrastination, excuses, and blame.
- A Challenge Tests Your Limits
It is imperative that you accept this reality: when you rise to meet a challenge, you will never be the same again. You either accept or crumble. You become better or bitter. You emerge stronger or weaker.
It has to be this way, as a challenge exists to tests your limits, to push you beyond the breaking point, and to separate you from the herd.
You'll never know the full measure of your potential until you are tested. You can never be sure whether you'll step up or falter in any given situation. Passing the tests presented by a challenging goal proves that you are tougher, more resilient, and far more capable than you ever imagined.
- A Challenge Focuses Attention
A great challenge is like a great romance. It calls for your passion and your devotion, and it demands to be the center of your attention. Rising to meet a challenge is a form of seduction. It means focusing your energy and resources on what's most important: keeping the fire burning!
You do that by making everything count. Everything you think, say, and do must be focused on goal acquisition and on leveraging all available resources.
Focus is best seen as a preemptive strike against mediocrity. The moment you focus on a challenging goal, your goal becomes a magnet that pulls you and your resources toward it. The more focused your energies, the more power you generate, and the sooner you will live happily ever after.
To enjoy these freedoms requires that you rise to the challenges life presents and pay the required price in full, in advance, and without complaint.
That is why you are going to absolutely love the 100 Day Challenge!