— Gary Ryan Blair
THERE ARE THREE kinds of people in the world, playing three different kinds of games: the wills, the won’ts, and the can’ts.
The “wills” play to win, and they accomplish much. The “won’ts” play it safe, and they accomplish little. The “can’ts” play to lose, and they don’t accomplish anything.
Which one are you?
This report serves to inspire those who “will,” and to scare the [email protected] out of the won’ts and can’ts.
The Power of I Will
There are no words that are as great and powerful as the words “I WILL.”
There is strength, conviction, depth, solidarity, decision, focus, confidence, and sheer determination in the loud, ringing tone which punctuates their delivery.
The words “I WILL” send an advance message to your mind and to those within earshot.
It’s a message of triumph over adversity, of victory in the face of great resistance, of the strength, will, and personal constitution to PERSEVERE UNTIL THE END.
The words “I WON’T” also send an advance message, but it’s one of resistance, opposition, excuse-making, and protective posturing.
The words “I CAN’T” are the worst of all, as they represent a hopeless victim mentality and are not worth another keystroke.
Deep down, every human being knows that he is in this world just once as a unique entity, and that no accident, however strange, will throw together a second swing at the bat, a mulligan, a do-over. He knows it, but hides it like a bad conscience. Why?
What is it that compels people to be fearful, to think and act like part of the herd, to say I WON’T or I CAN’T rather than I WILL?
For the majority of us, it’s the desire for safety, refuge, security—in short, the inclination to play it safe and remain in the comfort zone.
Overall, people are more fearful than they are courageous, and what they fear most are the troubles with which unconditional honesty and intellectual maturity would burden them with.
People hide their under-performing lives behind fear, and by doing so, they violate the greatest principle of all: the principle that every human being is a unique wonder and has beauty within that is worth bringing out. Ultimately, every human being is capable of GREATNESS.
Fear Is Unworthy of Companionship
When a person who says “I WILL” despises other people, it is their attitude and behavior that he despises, for he knows what is possible when one deploys the rigorous consistency of a commitment to a worthwhile goal.
The human being who does not wish to belong to the masses, who dares to show the world what he is capable of creating, must cease being comfortable with himself.
He must resist the gravitational pull of the comfort zone and instead follow his conscience, which shouts at him: Unleash your greatness! What you are at present doing, opining, and desiring is not really you!
I admire “I WILL” people, those who inspire excellence and greatness in others, for two primary reasons: they serve as a beautiful example worth emulating, and they challenge me to become a better human being.
In the words of Carl Sagan, “Who are we, if not measured by our impact on others? We’re not who we say we are, we’re not who we want to be—we are the sum of the influence and impact that we have, in our lives, on others.”
In the pages that follow, I’ll be sharing with you a blueprint for Unleashing Your Greatness and inspiring others through your example. It all begins with understanding the nature of a challenge and its impact on human performance.
Why You Need To Be Challenged
The human body serves as the perfect metaphor for understanding the importance of a challenge, for the simple reason that the body is built to adapt and respond to demands that are placed upon it. The stronger the demand, the stronger the response.
Physical muscles continue to grow and strengthen through the Principle of Progressive Resistance.
This principle is based on the theory that muscles must be challenged in order to upgrade and grow, and that they will progressively work to overcome a resistance force when required to do so.
The opposite is also true, as physical muscles will downgrade and weaken with the absence of a challenge.
As an example, if you simply lift the same amount of weight each time, you keep your muscles in a comfort zone and don’t provide resistance force for them to adapt and grow.
Even worse, if you stop weight and resistance training altogether, all gains become losses, as muscle without challenge begins to atrophy.
The Principle of Progressive Resistance operates the same way in every area of our lives, and that is why we all NEED to be challenged.
And not just physically challenged. We need intellectual, leadership, spiritual, relational, sales, and any type of performance challenge that stretches us, forces us to overcome adversity, tests our character and commitment, and inspires us to say adios to our comfort zone.
When will your finest hour come, and how will it arrive? Do you really think it will materialize without a challenge, without your perseverance being tested, without you being pushed to your limits, tormented, and put through your own personal hell?
In short, for an individual, team, company, community, or country to become great, they must seek out and rise to the great challenges that are thrust upon them. THERE IS NO OTHER WAY!
The Rewards of Rising to a Challenge
“We choose to go…not because [it is] easy, but because [it is] hard, because that goal will serve to measure and organize the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win.” – John Fitzgerald Kennedy on sending a man to the moon
There is no purer form of success, no more exact and demanding test of what you are capable of, than to face a challenge and find joy in the capacity to meet it.
While we all have different goals and aspirations, we all love and benefit from a challenge—something that inspires us to reach the peak of our potential, jailbreaks us from our comfort zone, and transforms us into a better, far more capable version of ourselves.
The ultimate reason for setting challenging goals is to entice you to become the person it takes to achieve them. As you are about to find out, who you become, as well as the traits and skill sets you develop in rising to meet a challenge, are much more important than the nature of the challenge itself.
The Ten Rewards for Rising to a Challenge
1. A Challenge Develops Mental Toughness
It’s actually pretty simple. You either rise to meet the mental demands and physical rigors of a challenge, or you succumb to them. And because victory begins in the mind, all challenges are initially won or lost between your ears.
The very nature of a challenge sets an appropriate stage for practicing mental toughness, which by definition means a psychological edge that enables one to remain focused and confident during high-pressure situations to perform at one’s full potential.
Mental toughness means bending the body’s software to control its hardware.
It works if you’re standing over a putt on the 18th green. It works if you’re presenting to a roomful of people. It works if you’re serving for game, set, and match.
2. A Challenge Stands Down Fear
A challenge is unique in that it immediately engages the fight-or-flight mechanism, and you never know how you are going to react until you are faced with it.
Fear is never a reason for quitting. It’s only an excuse for those unwilling to face their doubts, insecurities, and mental boogie man.
Therefore, your first duty in rising to meet a challenge is to conquer fear and the mental resistance it brings along with it. Get rid of it quickly, or get steamrolled by it.
If you’re ever going to find your greatness, you must decide that what you want is BIGGER and more important than the fear which prevents you from achieving it.
You must choose to put fear behind you—to stare it in the eye, walk straight through it and advance toward the goal with confidence, conviction, and certainty.
3. A Challenge Inspires Courageous Acts
Courage is the greatest resource you have in rising to meet a challenge. What good is a challenge or a big, ambitious goal if there is no willingness to overcome fear, mental and physical resistance, adversity, or self-doubt?
The conceptual opposite of courage is cowardice. We are therefore confronted with the reality that we either habitually practice courage, or we habitually practice cowardice.
Courage is remarkable in that it takes on the form of every virtue at the testing point.
When courage is tested, it manifests itself in the form of character, initiative, self-control, and responsible behavior.
When cowardice is tested, it presents itself in opposite forms to include bad character, procrastination, excuses, and blame.
4. A Challenge Tests Your Limits
It is imperative that you accept this reality: when you rise to meet a challenge, you will never be the same again. You either cope or crumble. You become better or bitter. You emerge stronger or weaker.
It has to be this way, as a challenge exists to tests your limits, to push you beyond the breaking point, and to separate you from the herd.
You’ll never know the full measure of your potential until you are tested. You can never be sure whether you’ll step up or falter in any given situation.
Passing the tests presented by a challenging goal proves that you are tougher, more resilient, and far more capable than you ever imagined.
5. A Challenge Focuses Attention
A great challenge is like a great romance. It calls for your passion and your devotion, and it demands to be the center of your attention.
Rising to meet a challenge is a form of seduction. It means concentrating your energy and resources on what’s most important…keeping the fire burning!
You do that by making everything count. Everything you think, say, and do must be focused on goal acquisition and on leveraging all available resources.
Focus is best seen as a preemptive strike against mediocrity.
The moment you focus on a challenging goal, your goal becomes a magnet that pulls you and your resources toward it.
The more focused your energies, the more power you generate, and the sooner you will live happily ever after.
6. A Challenge Builds Self-Confidence
Think of a challenge—any kind of challenging goal. Ask yourself, what role does self-confidence play in rising to meet that challenge?
The fact is that no mountains can be climbed, no hearts won, no opportunities seized, no books written, no elections won, and no victories can be enjoyed without self-confidence.
Now think of something you fear—anything that makes you flinch. Ask yourself, what role does self-confidence play in overcoming fear?
Fear is the greatest enemy you will ever face. It impedes your ability to succeed physically, emotional, spiritually, and financially. Fear negatively impacts everything you want to be, do, and have.
The inspired ability to rise to a challenge and climb great heights is directly attributable to your self-confidence. As your challenges build, so does your self-confidence.
7. A Challenge Matures Perspective
Few things in life are capable of radically altering your perspective, but developing the capacity to rise to a challenge not only impacts the size of your results, it transforms your mind and expands your worldview.
It changes everything. The way you walk, talk, and communicate all exude a level of self-confidence and self-assuredness that’s impossible not to notice.
A challenge involves psychological trauma that induces fear, self-doubt, and insecurity, while simultaneously dislodging you from your comfort zone, ultimately bringing about a superior performance.
By taking on a challenge, you are pushing yourself beyond any previously imagined comfort zone and performance standard. You will be expected to pass tests which tempt you to quit.
And, you will be required to pay the high price that success demands while entering new psychological waters.
By rising to meet a challenge, you provide yourself with undeniable proof that you have what it takes.
This proof cements in your mind that you are the type of person capable of performing great acts, and that you really can do anything you set your mind to.
8. A Challenge Demands Superior Execution
A challenge has limited value if not overcome, and expecting to get better results from the same old behavior will only succeed in perpetuating your current situation. It will NOT get you to another level of performance.
Great companies, lives, and families are built around extraordinary execution skills.
The better you execute, the better you perform and the bigger the challenges you can take on. It’s that simple.
You must become acutely aware that a challenge has razor-thin margins for error and will not tolerate lapses in judgment or sloppy execution.
It expects you to give it your undivided attention. It calls for profound self-discipline and demands that you execute as if your life and reputation depend on the outcome.
9. A Challenge Calls for an Indomitable Spirit
It is irresponsible to take on a big challenge without the will, heart, and mindset to win it, as nothing can withstand the power of an indomitable spirit.
In your efforts to rise to meet a challenge, you will be buffeted and pummeled. You will be criticized and opposed. You will be attacked and assaulted. You will struggle and fall.
Your commitment will be relentlessly tested, and that is precisely why a challenge calls for an indomitable, unconquerable spirit.
Having an indomitable spirit means that you have the type of spirit incapable of being overcome, subdued, or vanquished.
If you passionately believe that you are up to the challenge and committed to seeing it through to the end, it is your right and responsibility to cultivate an unbeatable mind and enforce your will over the world.
10. A Challenge Empowers Freedom
Freedom isn’t free. It requires blood, sweat, and tears. But freedom is the ultimate prize for rising to meet the rigorous demands of a challenge.
In virtually every case, the decision to rise to meet a challenge boils down to the desire for greater freedom in one’s life. This includes freedoms from and freedoms to.
…the monkey on your back.
…the opinions of others.
…the shackles of debt.
…the comfort zone.
…settling for less.
…focus on projects you find important.
…succeed or fail on your own terms.
…doodle, wander, and experiment.
…think and dream without limits.
…set and control the agenda.
…showcase your talents.
…set your own schedule.
…say no without guilt.
To enjoy these freedoms requires that you rise to the challenges life presents and pay the required price in full, in advance, and without complaint.
THE CONSEQUENCES OF NOT BEING CHALLENGED
Before diving too deep into the consequences and psychological effects of not being challenged, I’d like you to think of someone you admire and ask yourself:
What challenges did they rise up to meet in order to become the person they became?
What you’ll find in answering that question is that behind every great man or woman is a series of challenges that were overcome, fears that were overruled, belief systems that were overhauled, and obstacles that were overrun.
Every day presents challenges—big and small—that you either rise to or fall from. And while some may consider a dream job to be the one that pays you to do nothing all day and offers no stress or expectations of performance, nothing could be further from the truth.
So what is fear costing you? What are the consequences of keeping your dreams on hold? What is the impact on your life when you run from rather than toward a challenge?
Let’s look at the consequences associated with quitting, being underemployed, and not rising to meet the demands of a challenge:
1. Diminished Sense of Self-Worth and Personal Value
Eventually you come to think of yourself as “the kind of person” who is undeserving of success.
When you begin to lose faith in yourself…it leads to a downward spiral of psychological devastation that is extremely difficult to overcome.
2. Imprisoned by the Comfort Zone
Adapting to your comfort zone creates habits of thinking and acting that become dysfunctional and debilitating.
By remaining in your comfort zone, you choose to incarcerate yourself rather than liberate your talents, skills, hopes, and dreams.
3. Perpetuation of Pain
Avoiding a challenge only achieves self-sabotage and the perpetuation of pain, which leads to a cycle of failure and disappointment.
Failure’s high price is commonly imposed through bankruptcy, unemployment, depression, poor grades, stress, and other forms of physical and psychological pain.
4. Character Assassination
By allowing fear to control your life, you will serve as a disturbing example of wasted talent, of someone who chose fear over courage.
Your life will be viewed as the sad consequence of neglect, excuse-making, self-pity, poor character, lack of direction, and a courage deficit.
5. Development of a Quitter Reputation
Quitting is a habit, and the path of least resistance. A challenge requires you to increase your level of resistance and tolerance to pain, inconvenience, and sacrifice.
Once you develop a quitter reputation, your options become limited, your reputation becomes questionable, and your future is in serious jeopardy.
6. Little to No Impact
The ultimate test of the impact of your life is twofold: whether the world you leave behind is qualitatively different and better from that which you inherited, and what contribution you made to that change.
You’re either remarkable or irrelevant, and by embracing fear and running from a challenge, you will have little to show for your existence and the precious time you were given.
7. Limited Earning Ability
You negatively affect your financial opportunities by choosing fear over courage.
Fear compromises your quality of life, undermines your ability to provide for your family, and turns your golden retirement years into a time of fear, uncertainty, shame, and regret.
By not actively stretching yourself and rising to meet a challenge, you will only survive and never know what it means to enjoy safety, security, and peace of mind.
THE RULES OF A CHALLENGE
“A challenge is a temperamental beast. It’s built for a fight and will not be vanquished quickly nor easily.” —Gary Ryan Blair
Life is, in some respects, like a game of chess. The opening gambit may have been made long ago and responses long set in motion. Indeed, some pieces may have been lost, but the board is still filled with opportunity.
Every move has importance. Every decision has consequence. Every wasted opportunity is a tactical error. Every move counts!
Different and sometimes conflicting interests drive the competition on the other side of the chessboard of life. You are often your own greatest adversary, prone to self-destruction, sabotage, and other means of moving away from victory and into checkmate.
Just as chess has its rules, so does the game of life, and while knowing a game’s rules does not guarantee that you’ll win every match, disregarding the rules makes playing the game difficult — and winning virtually impossible.
So how do we do it? How do we rise to meet a challenge? Here’s your playbook for success…
Rule #1: Throw Your Hat in the Ring
The best act of creation is self-creation, and while life does thrust challenges upon us, the best challenges in life are the ones we create for ourselves.
Actively look for opportunities to stretch yourself physically, emotionally, intellectually, spiritually, vocationally, artistically, musically…any way that tests your mettle.
Rule #2: Believe It Will Be So
The world takes us at our own valuation. It believes in the person who believes in themselves, but it has little use for the timid soul, the one who is never certain, who cannot rely on his own judgment, who operates from a position of fear.
Victory begins in the mind, so begin by believing it will be so.
Rule #3: Enforce Your Will
Every great achievement and comeback in history has been the result of the choices, the determinations, and the creations of the human will.
It is impossible to look a challenge in the eye without perceiving how much victory depends upon the extent to which your will is cultivated, strengthened, and enforced.
Rule #4: Do What Needs to Be Done
The ability to make yourself do WHAT needs to be done, WHEN it must be done, whether you like it or not, is the way you rise to meet the demands of a challenge. Most people are able but unwilling to master this rule.
Rule #5: Persevere Until the End
Perseverance is ultimately a physical, emotional, and spiritual demonstration of how badly you want to succeed. It’s fueled by a heart-pounding, ego-bashing, soul-searching test of your limits.
So let them see you sweat. You express your greatness not by the acts you perform, but by the perseverance that made those acts possible.
Rule #6: No Excuses
If you’re up to the demands of a challenging goal, you’ll find a way. If not, you’ll find an excuse. And if you experiment with excuses, it’s largely because you find your talents to be inadequate.
Excuses are personality defects, a symptom of mediocrity, and a character stain in need of removal.
Rule #7: Push Yourself
Competing at the highest level is the greatest test of one’s character, ability, and spirit.
Don’t limit your challenges; challenge your limits. Push and demand more from yourself, because if the goal doesn’t challenge you, it cannot change you.
Sometimes it’s a good thing to bite off more than you can chew.
Rule #8: Raise the Stakes
Rising up to meet the demands of a challenge requires you to raise the bar of your performance as well as the stakes of accountability.
There is no greater challenge than to have someone relying upon you to deliver on your word, and no greater satisfaction than to vindicate their expectation.
Rule #9: Take Intelligent Risks
No mountains can be climbed, no hearts won, no opportunities seized, no books written, no elections won, and no victories enjoyed without risk.
Risk-taking is not an opportunity to be avoided, but to be exploited, as long as you do it intelligently.
Rule #10: Celebrate
To pay the price, to work long and hard, to compete fairly at the peak of your abilities until the goal is achieved, are all part of the sweetness of rising to meet any challenge.
Celebrating is a joyful, beautiful, and selfish act of kindness that allows you to reflect on and reinforce the many acts of courage, commitment, and risk-taking involved in securing victory.
It reminds you of what you have become, what you have overcome, and what you are capable of doing.
ARE YOU READY FOR A CHALLENGE?
There’s no point in pretending that rising to meet a challenge does not have the capacity to transform your life.
While there are plenty of excuses, there’s no good reason for you to procrastinate, to say you’re not ready to take on a challenge.
A challenge is a form of finishing school. By that I mean once you’re able to rise up to meet the demands of a challenge, you’ll be finished with self-limiting beliefs, finished with settling for less, finished with excuses, finished playing a small game, and finished with living a sedentary life.
Start Living the Life You Imagined
A number of years ago, I had an epiphany, an awakening of my soul that has fueled my passion ever since.
After experiencing a number of setbacks and challenges which I rose up to meet…I came to the understanding that life was never meant to be simple and easy, and that the rigorous, strenuous life is the one that produces the most desirable fruit.
I now understand that rising to meet a challenge allows you to expand your capacity to believe in yourself.
In fact, your ability to do so is the only sustainable resource you have to astound yourself and show the world your greatness.
That epiphany led me to create the 100 Day Challenge, the world’s most powerful goal-setting program for rising to meet any challenge, and for driving radical results—FAST!
It’s the perfect solution for the biggest problem faced by everyone — the need for more, better and faster results in a highly competitive world.
The overall concept is built around two motivational tenets: a fixed period of time which is deadline driven (100 days) and a strong desire to accomplish worthwhile goals within that deadline.
The best part is that 100 Day Challenge is appropriate for EVERYONE in the Boardroom, Classroom, Locker Room and Living Room.
Primarily because we focus on one thing – getting you from point A to point B as quickly as possible – and we’re pretty damn good at it.
The 100 Day Challenge has delivered jaw-dropping results for more than 600,000 people in over 80 countries around the world, to include some of the best companies in the world.
Why wait another moment? Take the 100 Day Challenge and Unleash Your Greatness.
Gary Ryan Blair is creator of the 100 Day Challenge…a radical approach to goal achievement that shows you how to 10X your goals by applying the strategies of growth hacking.
Join an enthusiastic community of 600,000+ aspiring people and get the training, support and accountability you need to turn your big goals and crazy dreams into breakthrough success.