Last week was Spring Break. We packed up and headed to Colorado for a week of skiing. I don’t ski though. Never have, and may never. It is not an issue of stamina, just slightly brittle bones.
While the family skis, I spend time to catch up on projects and hike. This year it was to the Continental Divide with an exhilarating hike up. The climb looked daunting.
I had to tap into my stamina to reach the top. I stopped several times thinking that this was it. My lung capacity is not used to these elevations. After several thoughts of stopping, I powered on. I sounded like a 1950s John Deere tractor, huffing, puffing, and chugging my way onward.
It was worth it, probably more for the ability to tell my kids that I did make it to the top.
At the top, it was peaceful. Blowing winds. Serene landscape.
As I started my way back, I realized there is another side of stamina, and it is managing the pace a little to not trip and fall. It is easy to accelerate out of control as you achieve a breakthrough or major milestone.
We see so many stories of this happening. Big successes lead to big falls.
It is the crash-and-burn scenarios we, unfortunately, see play out. No professional area is immune.
- Movie stars
- Singers / Performers
In each segment, there are the “stars” we read about in the papers, but we also know these scenarios play out on a smaller stage in our workplaces, neighborhoods, and communities. Overconfidence or some false sense of self-over-all-else sets in.
After reaching some landmark, it does not mean abort the principles and stamina that got us there. It may mean enjoy the view a little and then using our stamina to:
- Recalibrate. After reaching a certain point in our mission and work, it may be time to think about what has been accomplished and then raise the bar to a degree. It is about keeping our stamina engaged and stretching our actions to stay on a worthy path.
- Keep high standards. Reaching a certain life point should not translate into lowering the bar of conduct and effort. If the work is going to be wasted by frittering away what has been achieved, then why do it? When we reach a point, we shouldn’t sacrifice our standards. We need to keep them intact and raise the bar here, too.
- Maintain self-control. Self-control plays a key role in our lives. It is an element that empowered our stamina to achieve and endure, and it becomes even more critical if notoriety comes our way. Essentially, it is remembering that what got us through challenges needs to be embraced with the same fervor when everything seems to have come together. Without self-control, we will stumble and lose ground.
- Embrace humility. Humility is a principle I believe is so central to living a good, decent life. It is a value to be embraced always, no matter what good fortune may have come our way. We need to be modest in all interactions and behaviors. By doing this, it will set an example others may follow.
The other side of stamina may be success. By embracing the principles of recalibration, high standards, self-control, and humility, they will help us navigate the paths of success, keeping us on the straight and narrow and setting the right, complete example.
If you are fortunate to be on a “downhill side” of achievement, congratulations! But don’t lose your stamina. Endure your success with the same principles that enabled it.
Join the Conversation
The Other Side of Stamina – Success
It sounds like you and your family had an enjoyable time last week. Gorgeous image you shared with the post as well. It provided the perfect backdrop for the mental picture of that went along with the story.
I’ve never been skiing, but I wouldn’t be oppose to trying it out. I hope to get the chance to do that someday.
Humility is a hard one, Jon. 🙂 It definitely takes the first three principles before it to practice it. I know it does for me. If I lacked one of the others, say self-control, the whole deal with humility would probably be tossed right out the window. 😀 However, it is extremely good to have humility, because it helps us to stay focused on what’s important to us as individuals.
I really enjoyed the read. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us.
May you have a great weekend, my friend.
Grateful, Deeone! Humility keeps us grounded and builds a wonderful community. Enjoy your weekend. Thank you! Jon
p.s. I’m a Colorado native and I’ve never been skiing!
I have met several Colorado natives that have not skied! I feel better now!
Excellent post, Jon!
I love that you focused not only on achieving goals, but the purposeful intention it takes to keep making progress. This idea realizes the importance of being mindful in life and marking our accomplishments by our productivity instead of results.
Being results-focused helps many people achieve their goals, but as most dieters know you can only maintain the health you desire by continuing to eat mindfully and exercise regularly.
I’ve heard it said that humility does not equate to humiliation. I can be confident and humble by honestly acknowledging both my strengths and my weaknesses. My strengths to not make be better or better than, and my weaknesses do not make me worse or worse than. Humility doesn’t mean I refrain from celebrating my successes, only that I do not hold my success over anyone’s head- including my own!
Thanks for sharing this thoughtful post. Have a grateful day!
Great thoughts and additions, Chrysta! Staying centered throughout is essential. Thank you! Jon
John, first thanks for sharing the great pictures of the view from your hike. It looks like it was worth tapping into your persistance. And from the wisdom in your post, it sounds like it was a worthwhile pursuit, too. At first I started to reply by saying having high standards was most important. But as I went back to re-read the other points, I kept changing my mind. I’ll end with this: the four points you make are so tightly woven together that no one can stand alone successfully. Great wisdom here. The four points can serve as a pulse-check during times of swirling chaos.
Shawn, Appreciate your comments and insights. I love the words “…
a pulse-check during times of swirling chaos.” It is essential to do those “pulse-checks” in our lives and leadership experiences. Thanks again! Jon
This reminds me of a trip we took to Colorado for spring break, a few years ago – to go skiing with our kids. My wife ended up being carted off the mountain – with a torn ACL in her knee. That ended her skiing for that trip (and she hasn’t skied since, either). The thing is, though – she fought through the injury – having had surgery almost two years ago. And since then, she’s gotten back to her usual form of playing (fairly competitive) volleyball, and recently taking up soccer with a local team.
On that “mountain”, she was definitely not on the downhill side (even though she was coming down the hill!). She stuck with it, though, and today – she is in a really good place. And that’s the stamina she had, even during the challenging moments.
Thanks for sharing your story – and reminding me of a special someone in my life, and what she has accomplished by “sticking with it”…
Thanks, Lance, for sharing that story. I am glad your wife has healed, and it is a great example of using stamina to, literally, get back up on your feet. All the best. Grateful for your comments and insights. Jon
Hi..I received this originally as a tweet. Sage advice indeed. Reminded me of my own immediate goals and edging towards longer ones.
Thanks, Dean. Appreciate your comment and for reading. Enjoy your day, and best wishes in achieving your goals! Jon