We all get challenged and often feel that we’ve reached our limitations, that we have nothing left. If you’re a person who is geared to making continuous progress, then you know about challenges. You know what it’s like when you feel you can’t go on and there’s nothing more to give. You’re done.
I’ve been there more times than I can count, especially during the years I published Directions magazine. In the early years of converting from a bi-monthly to a monthly schedule, adjusting to deadlines was a process, especially during the early 2000s when Apple was going through the “dark ages” of its Macintosh operating system and it was anything but reliable.
Just let me stay awake
One day jobs stretched to two, and pulling all-nighters to catch up became an all too frequent occurrence. I can’t tell you how many times I’d find myself at the computer at 3 or 4 a.m., negotiating with my body to let us finish just one more page, or maybe four.
Sometimes I lost those negotiations and opened my eyes, finding myself leaning back in my chair.
When “just” gives you power
During times in my life when I regularly ran a few miles, my legs often sent messages they couldn’t go on, and I’d say to myself, “Just one more block” or “Just over to there.” Maybe I’d do only that much, or maybe I’d do more.
In the gym, when I’d hit muscle failure, I might mutter to myself, “Just one more rep,” then take a breath and give it everything I had. Often I’d do two or three more. That’s where the progress is, building the extra strength.
“Just” can become like a game
Over the years, I’ve had others tell me similar stories of how they would push themselves past barriers of one kind or another. A neighbor laughed as he told me how he would make deals for rewards if he completed a task or achieved a personal best in a race.
He was doing well one day and felt he might finish in the top three for the first time ever, and promised himself a banana split if he did. He ran strong the rest of the way, nabbed third place, and indeed got his banana split. If that works for you, do it.
It can also be a matter of life and death
In the movie "Hacksaw Ridge," about the Battle of Okinawa in World War II, private Desmond Doss saved 75 of his fellow soldiers, continually asking God for help ... ”Just one more Lord, let me save just one more.”
Staying up all night or pushing yourself to run another mile is obviously nothing when compared to going back into a battlefield dozens of times, risking your life to save others. I had chills while watching the movie, realizing I was watching the ultimate manifestation of “Just” play out in front of my eyes and imagining what that must have been like.
How can you use The Power of Just?
Maybe you’re tired of your job or your boss and you think you can’t do another day, but you can’t afford to quit. Just give it one more day while you look for a better situation. That happened to me once and I stayed with it for five more months worth of “just one more day.” Is your kid struggling in school and even though you’re dog tired and know it’s going to cost you sleep — and you’re not getting enough as it is — you help with school work because you know if you don’t, they may quit.
Maybe you’re feeling stuck, maybe you can’t see the finish line in front of you, maybe you’re looking at a hill that seems to reach to the clouds and beyond, and you’re losing focus, and the ability to stay on course. Instead of giving up, try adding your own “Just” and go a little further, and then a little further. Your reward is waiting. It’s just a little further.
You’ll be amazed at what you can accomplish when you add this super power to your utility belt of life skills — The Power of Just.