When was the last time you consciously wanted or desired something unpleasant? Uh, like… never.
Humans by nature are quite predictable as without a challenge, without self or externally enforced resistance, they will not stretch themselves…they will not willingly put themselves in a position of vulnerability…and they most certainly will not grow into their full potential.
The majority of people are not hard acts to follow…they too often settle for mediocrity…they are inclined to procrastination and laziness, and they tend to crawl into the false sense of security promised by the comfort zone.
They hide behind excuses, habits, customs and the latest technology…and in the name of protective posturing; they do everything in their power to prevent or minimize risk, rejection and failure from taking place.
As a result of these behavioral indiscretions (poor choices), they display the mental strength of a 98-pound weakling, they throw commitment, character and courage under the bus…they undermine their own reputation…they rob themselves and the world of another masterpiece, another great book…another superior teacher…
A big challenging goal exposes weakness and reveals strength.
It does that by testing your mind, resolve, character and commitment…as you will either RISE TO MEET the mental demands and physical rigors of a challenge or succumb to them.
Ultimately, your behavior….your response to a challenge exposes you for the courageous or cowardly person you really are. And precisely because victory always begins in the mind, all challenges are initially won or lost between your ears.
THE CHALLENGE RESPONSE PRINCIPLE
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 challenge response principle.
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 out, you keep your muscles in a comfort zone and don’t provide any resistance force for them to adapt and grow.
The Challenge Response Principle…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 to grow, forces us to overcome adversity, tests our character and commitment, and which inspires us to resist the gravitational pull of the comfort zone.
When will your finest hour come, and how will it arrive?
Do you really think it will materialize without a challenge, without being pushed to your limits, without perseverance being tested, without being tormented and put through your own personal hell?
In short, for an individual, team, company, community or country to become great, it requires that they look for and rise to the great challenges that are thrust upon them…OR the ones they thrust upon themselves.
You’ll be challenged to make the next 100 days of your life, the best 100 days of your life…and the best part is that you’ll love every minute of it.
Gary Ryan Blair