As an athlete, consistently performing at your best demands mental toughness and physical rigor.  The same principle applies in areas outside of athletics as well.  To be great at anything requires dedicated effort.

So much of society today is geared at creating comfort.  Now don’t get me wrong, there is nothing inherently bad about comfort.  But I think sometimes we forget that growth by it’s very nature is uncomfortable.  If I’m focused on comfort, and think that somehow everything should be easy, and anything that isn’t is just not worth pursing, then I never improve.

There was a time when discipline was taught as a key success principle and self-control a virtue.  Today, those words carry negative connotations.  Instead we are taught that success should come easy, and the thought of self-control is a joke.  Why deny yourself?  Life is all about the big grab.  Get your share, get as much as you can; indulge!  As a result we have an overweight, self-centered, entitled society.

You cannot enjoy the fruit without expending the effort.  Greatness requires sacrifice.  It does not matter the endeavor – sports, school, business, marriage, and parenting.  No one owes you anything.  Quit feeling sorry for yourself.  Get up off your duff and make something happen.  And, no it won’t come easy.  Greatness exacts a price.  It requires time, energy, and effort.

In the end there is a unique satisfaction that comes from putting forth your best effort, from doing what needs to be done regardless of how you feel.  There is no way around it – it takes discipline and rigor to be great.