Recently I was asked to write a note from the "future me" to the "current me" explaining everything I would gain by completing my goal of the Tough Mudder on June 23rd. I didn't know where this was going until I sat down to write it, and then the words just seemed to fill the page, and this is what I had to say:
I am writing you to let you know everything you’ll gain by completing your goal of competing in the Tough Mudder this June. Well, actually, I am writing to let you know everything you’ll gain by setting goals, and completing them, period.
Training is like life, and you’ll have to work just as hard as you’ll have to train for this race, for anything that you want. I hate to be the bearer of bad news (especially to myself) but you should know that you will not always win (actually, you’ll rarely win) but that’s how you`ll learn, from failure. If you were perfect you would never have to train. If you had everything, you would never push yourself. Where would the fun (or challenge) be in that?
The truth is, training, like life, will take longer, be harder and more challenging than what you had expected. You will diligently map out your program for training (and life) but I should let you know that life doesn't always go as planned (and neither does training) and you’ll have to go ‘go back to the drawing board’ numerous times. There are going to be days, weeks, months (maybe longer) where you will wonder if you’re any closer to your goal than when you started - you should know two things: (1) You’re always closer than you think you are, and (2) the reward will be worth the failures you’ve suffered through. Trust me.
Last but not least, what letter from the future to the past would be complete without a secret, come close, and I’ll tell you mine. The secret to success is hard work. That's it. Hard work will break those that don’t really want their goals, and help those that do. So, my advice, work hard, and don’t ever stop.