We've all heard it, even said it. "Try! Try harder! You're not trying hard enough!" We truly believe that we are encouraging ourselves and others with those declarative statements. But, are we really making that much of a difference? For example: Who of us could go out tomorrow and compete in an ironman triathlon? Just to make sure we are all on the same page, a full-distance triathlon consists of a 2.4 mile swim, a 112 mile bike ride and a full marathon (26.2 miles). If the event was next week, could you do it? Some of you could possibly achieve the goal, although it would only be a small percentage. Very few (including me) could not complete an ironman event; even if we tried.
How about this though. If we trained for the triathlon for the next 12 to 18 months would it be something we could achieve? Most definitely. Even if we finished dead last, we could.
Another way of looking at the idea of training is apprenticeship. Dictionary.com defines an apprentice as one being bound or placed with an employer, master craftsman, or the like, for instruction in a trade. We can substitute the word trade for a variety of descriptors including training and discipline (the rigor or training effect of experience or adversity). In college one should have learned the discipline of study. In creating good habits around any endeavor; lifting weights, losing weight or building a relationship, training is necessary.
Anyone who knows me on a personal level knows that my mind is very mosaically structured. My thoughts are all over the place. But, I can have five conversations, for example, going at the same time, keep track of where I am in the conversation and weave in and out of those conversations at will. OK for me but not so much for my linear thinking friends.
Over the past two years I have been training (and re-training) my mind. I have and continue to train myself to rest; body, mind and spirit. I has been the most challenging endeavor of my life. Along with the interior disciplines of meditation, contemplation and solitude, I have journaled; also something I have not, before now, been able to sustain.
The key has been guided training, intentional submission to a master and personal accountability. I admit it has been challenging. Also, fundamental for impactful results has been surrounding myself with coaches, spiritual directors and friends who encourage me on the journey. I do the same for them.
As you think about what you want in your career, your relationships and life in general consider changing your mind. Choose an area of your life that you want to be different. Don't try so much. Train. The decision and choices here are up to you. BE intentional about your training. You will find, if you stick with it, there is fulfillment, rest and peace in the discipline of training.