How do you build the habit of finishing?
Everyone asks this whenever the topic of ultramarathons come up?
Do you ever want to quit?
Yes, all the time.
It’s just not an option.
Most people set “intentions” – intentions and don’t do sh*t.
Don’t set your intentions. Set your will against the world – and it will bend to accommodate it.
Most people screw this up.
You see someone like David Goggins, Cameron Hanes or Jocko do a hard challenge and they want to take on their own impossible list challenge just like that.
This is good!
But most aim too high and have not built the habit of FINISHING what they started.
I come across these all the time – and I’m a sucker for them.
I had a friend recently do this. They announced a big challenge, got a ton of hype for it – and then halfway through – disaster struck and they did not finish.
They could have finished, but the disaster was too much and they chose to not finish.
I see this happen all the time.
The thing about “disaster” is that it was definitely an obstacle. It wasn’t insurmountable.
It’s what I call an off ramp.
And the difference between the people that do impossible things and the ones that don’t – is the ones that don’t take the off ramps.
Whenever you set on a big impossible challenge – there’s going to be off ramps. There’s all sorts of types of these.
Most people take the off ramp before they even get on the highway. They pull off to the parking lot and decide it’s not worth attempting. They disqualify themselves before they start.
Then, a huge chunk of people get on the highway, but get distracted by the McDonalds, Starbucks and can’t be bothered to follow through on their actions.
Then, a whole bunch of people hit real obstacles. They run out of gas, blow a tire, or just pull over for a nap – and never figure out how to push past it.
They take the off ramp and they never figure out how to get back on the road and finish.
And in their mind – it’s a legitimate excuse.
I got sick.
I got hurt.
I ran out of money.
I was tired.
I had something come up.
And they are legitimate excuses – if you want them to be.
There will always be off ramps if you want them to be there.
The only solution is to take them off the table from the get go.
I haven’t bailed on any races – I probably should have (Jason would tell me this isn’t smart). There were at least two that may have been physically detrimental for me to finish.
But before each race for 777, I would tell myself, if you’re alive – you’re finishing this race.
Quitting was not a viable option.
The problem that most people run into is that they have things that they let be reasonable excuses.
If you want to finish, you cannot be reasonable.
Go through your list of things you’re willing to give up:
I’m willing to be hurt.
I’m willing to be exhausted.
I’m willing to give up sleep.
I’m willing to give up comfort.
I’m willing to [your answer here]
The more explicit you get, the better.
Then when it happens – you can do just that.
You sacrifice the things you’re willing to give up to get what you want.
If you don’t – you’ll have the chance to take an off ramp.
An unexpected injury.
An extra long day.
An inconvenience that is the final straw.
Going to zero.
If you let them be excuses, they will present themselves.
You gotta repeat to yourself:
I’m not going to f—king quit.
You can hurt me. You can injure me.
But you have to kill me to not finish this race.
Get yourself back on the bike. Finsih the race. Grit it out.
Then be hurt, tired, and uncomfortable when you’re done.
If you give yourself an off ramp – you’ll have the chance tot take it – and you probably will.
Don’t even let it be an option.
No off ramps. Full speed ahead. Do the thing. Finish it.
Do something you can be proud of.