The Grind.

Grind through life’s obstacles

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What is the “grind”?

I define the grind as the ability, determination and willingness to push through an obstacle, despite the unnerving challenges ahead.

This can be working hard at your job to finish a project deadline, working through the Nth hour on your small business or even anxiously pummeling your way to complete your last set of push ups.

As a wrestler and lifelong martial artist, I’ve sustained numerous injuries, puked my share of times after practice, and generally felt like giving up.

But I would always recall the “grind”. How could I look at myself and just quit? How could I allow myself to just stop when the going got tough?

 Well, I can’t.

To grind through tough circumstances is what develops character, strength, heart and dedication. Some just don’t want to push past that due to perhaps fear, rejection, anxiety, you name it.

And remember, you can do it. You can grind through the pain.

And remember, when you do, cherish every moment. Because when you take a step back, you can say to yourself, “I did this. On my own”.

Grind through the circumstances. Grind through the challenges and obstacles that lie ahead. You’ll be proud of yourself for having done so.

Being thankful in difficult times

What’s one of the hardest things to do? Being thankful. Especially during difficult times.

It’s something I’ve personally faced many times throughout my life. How does one handle being thankful when so much around you goes wrong? The work situation doesn’t pan to your liking, your friends stop calling, your gaining weight and negative thoughts flushing in and out of your head. I’ve felt like this plenty of times.

And still do.

But I try to remind myself that, in difficult times, there are so many things to be thankful for. I’m thankful to have a wonderful wife who’s stuck by me during very painful moments in my life, times at which many others would have sprinted away from. I have a wonderful sister who isn’t afraid to challenge my thoughts and opinions (thank you!). And regardless of work situations, I’m thankful to those who helped develop my career and provided a thoughtful gesture and/or conversation.

And honestly, it’s what I needed.

I’m reminded everyday that there’s so much to be thankful and grateful for, that no matter how much life throws at you, you have people around that care. Sometimes we say, “it’s nothing personal, walk it off, stop thinking like that”. But sometimes, we need to vent and release steam. Sometimes, it’s just those simple moments that allow us to be happy, even for a moment.

I know I haven’t always done the “right” or “proper” thing, but I try my best to be genuine and humanistic. Who I am is who I am; I don’t cover it up. And this is what I convey myself even during job interviews. I’m a passionate person – I love to help people. I don’t see myself ever stop helping others.

So be thankful. Be thankful during difficult moments. And most of all, be thankful to yourself – you’re doing good. Regardless of the circumstances, we’re there for you. As am I.

Fearing the unknown

So what motivates you?

“What gives your life purpose?” – Les Brown

I first heard this line maybe a month ago while randomly perusing through YouTube. Such a simple line. So simple that I saved the video and now listen to it once a day.

And so I asked myself, what is my purpose? What do I have to fear?

Memory lane and where it started

During my days at UMass Amherst, I vividly recall asking myself where I wanted to be, what I wanted to accomplish, what were my dreams, and, like so many others, how I would make money (I still think about this).

There were many hard days, painful in fact. But the one thing I feared more than anything, more than any broken bone or punch to face I’ve incurred, was failing myself. Giving up, to say it another way.

I remember when I failed an exam. I remember when I lost my wrestling matches. I remember not being accepted to certain colleges. Heck, I remember when. I cheated out of completing my lifting sets!

There’s a silver lining in all of this

But I remember the positive impact from all those experiences as well. I learned I could deal with adversity, that I could own up and face my fears. It wasn’t easy, and I’ll never say that to anyone. But it’s also why I, and all of us, can truly savor those moments. Because we lived to tell about it.

A new day to make a difference

With all that said, I continue to ask myself that very same question to this day. So what is my purpose? What do I have to fear? I know one thing’s for sure – I’ll keep pushing forward to find out!