The counter on my cross-trainer read ’14:48’ minutes.
I was ready to stop.
I felt tired and bored and my body was aching.
I had no real reasons to proceed any longer, it was certainly not a matter of life and death, and my motivation was completely gone.
I slowed down, ready to call it a day.
But I didn’t.
In spite of REALLY wanting to stop, I stayed on the machine and ploughed on.
I kept pushing for just another agonizing minute, at first, and then another one, until I found my rhythm again and got to 45 minutes, where the last 10 were pretty easy and painless.
So why am I telling you this?
Because it has profound implications.
It’s something you want to know if ever you find yourself struggling seriously.
There’s something bigger than giving up, beyond sheer willpower.
And I discovered it when I quit my drinking career and struggled for almost a year.
Today reminded me of all the times that I couldn’t stand it anymore back then, that my new and sober life deeply disappointed me, and my skills to cope with life without alcohol were still SO raw and weak that they were almost non-existing.
Yet I never succumbed.
Because you don’t have to.
When everything in your mind and your body screams and urges you to stop and find some relief, to just give up, there’s still one last resort.
I have access to it, and so do you.
It’s a power that exceeds our human capacities and lies outside of what makes sense.
And when I stopped using alcohol after 28 years of abuse, I got to know it intimately.
The thing is: there’s a tipping point.
A place where we seem to fall over permanently and without a chance to do anything about it, but where we can find a way to get up instead.
In every single moment of not giving in, there’s a whole world of new strength.
It’s a place beyond your thinking, beyond all rationality, where pure consciousness can put you back in the game.
No matter how difficult it feels, no matter how hopeless it seems and how exhausted you are, there’s always this last resort.
The tipping point of hope.
When you’re about to give up, you don’t have to.
When you can’t really stand it anymore and you’re ready to throw in the towel, you can still resist.
Just for now.
Just for this moment.
And so you go on or hang in there for one more minute, or at least a couple of seconds, and then some more.
In this one millisecond you have between doing what you’re doing and quitting, there’s an endless amount of fresh possibilities, and it’s where you can find a super power.
It’s where momentum strikes and picks you up.
Where miracles are built out of despair.
So when you’re 100% sure that quitting is the only option, look for the magic door.
(Photo by @pechka, for Unsplash)