Hold Fast: It’s likely we’ve heard the term but do we know how it applies to our everyday lives?
Originally the term, “Hold Fast” was used as a nautical term referring to the importance of securing a ship’s rigging especially in bad weather.
The implications of the term, “Hold Fast,” are critical in helping us, as men, achieve and show up in meaningful and significant ways in this world.
I know a lot of men right now who are dealing with some serious hurdles in their lives: divorce, bankruptcy, job loss, illness, death in the family, depression, disability, and a thousand other things we’re expected to deal with throughout our lives.
I know what it’s like to deal with these things and, at times in our lives, the only thing we can do is hold fast – hold fast to the idea the we can weather the storm and that at some point (hopefully sooner rather than later) that it will pass and we’ll see brighter days ahead.
There’s a misconception that the men who achieve at high levels in their businesses, or their fitness journeys, or their family lives is that they don’t face challenges.
For example, how many of you have ever, at some point in your life, told yourself that the only reason another person might be wealthy is because it was handed to them. I think we’re all guilty of that.
I say guilty because that thought is wrong. Sure, the are exceptions to the rule but the most financially successful people I know, have worked their tails off, made huge sacrifices, and gotten bruised and bloody on their way to the expansion of their wealth.
Men do not achieve at high-levels due to the absence of trial and adversity but they do it in spite of it – and in many ways, because of it.
To steal a phrase from Ryan Holiday, The Obstacle is the Way. You really ought to read this book if you haven’t already. Ryan and I actually talk a little bit about that concept in our interview which you can find www.orderofman.com/065.
But, how do you hold fast when it seems like everything around you is crumbling?
I want to share a couple tactics I’ve employed when things seem to be going wrong or, at a minimum are stagnant in my life.
The first step in holding on for dear life when everything is crashing down around you is to maintain a long-term vision.
It’s really easy to get caught up in the day to day minuitia that is inevitably going to happen. And, in the moment, losing a customer or getting delayed on a project or having a fight with you wife seems like it might be the end of the world. It’s not. In fact, it may not even matter in the next 24 hours let along.
Someone once asked, as I was going through a difficult time, “Is this even going to matter tomorrow, next week, next month, or next year?”
90% of the problems and challenges we face are flat-out not going to matter so don’t make things worse than they really are.
And, by the way, if you want to research this a bit more, read up on cognitive distortions. Understanding what they are and how they apply to us, has literally changed my life – but that’s for another podcast.
Don’t Compound the Problem
Next, don’t compound the problem. If you find yourself digging a hole, stop digging.
Don’t try to solve problems when you’re in the heat of them. Don’t get emotional about what you’re dealing with right now. I don’t want this to be confused with hiding your emotions – that’s not what I’m talking about.
I’m talking about calming down, regaining your composure, and using your emotions as a tool or barometer to understand what is actually happening.
If you’re arguing with your wife, take a break. If you just lost a customer, don’t alienate other customers. If you just got laid off, don’t yell at everyone you know.
Just stop, breathe, and give yourself some time for some perspective.
Focus on Tactics, not Objectives.
When life gets difficult, stop focusing so much on the end-game. This can be frustrating enough because at the time it may seem unattainable. It’s just to far away so rather than your big dream encouraging you, it actually becomes a discouragement.
In fact, this is why most men don’t hit their objectives. It’s why most people give up on their new year’s resolutions after 30 days at best.
Most men stop at the dreaming part and never really give the execution phase much thought.
So, here’s what you need to do: start identifying what I can tactics that will allow you to reach that objective.
This will put the responsibility in achieveing big things back where it belongs – on your shoulders – and allow you to take charge of the only thing you can control, how you handle the storm.
So now you’ve given yourself some space and you’re focused on the tactics you’re going to need to employ to get back on track. But, now, where do you start?
If you’ve got kicked in the teeth, I think it’s safe to say you have lost you momentum. You’ve lost that x-factor and you’re no longer in the zone. When this happens, the best thing you can do to get back to it is to pick the lowest hanging fruit – the easiest task you can complete that will yield the highest results. You don’t need a homerun at this point – you just need to get back on base.
So, of your tactics, look at what is going to be the easiest to implement and is going to produce the biggest results. Do that immediately. Don’t do a lot of planning at this point. Just get the momentum back. When you knock that tactic out of the way, pick the next easiest tactic and compound on the positive rather than the negaitive.
Operate in a Pack
The last thing you need to do is gain some perspective. I’m not going to get into this one too much because I’ve talked about it quite a bit before but you need to operate in a pack. You need to build a band of brothers who can give you some new insights into what is going on in your life.
If you want to know more about this subject, listen to my interview with Stephen Mansfield at www.orderofman.com/076 called building your band of brothers.
I’m also going to be putting together a resource into how to do this so be on the lookout for that in early 2017.
So there you have it men. There are a few key ways to hold fast when everything around you seems to be crumbling down.
- Long-Term Vision
- Don’t Compound the Problem
- Focus on Tactics, not Objectives
- Gain Momentum
- Operate in a Pack
I know life has a tendacny of beating us up and kicking us while were down. It certainly has for me, but the thing that separates the winners from the losers is the ability to hold fast, the ability to recognize that are trials are there to build us up, not tear us down, and the ability to turn a weakness into a strength.
Gentlemen, if you haven’t already, I encourage you to check out our elite mastermind because we’re talking about this topic and so much more. In fact, for the month of December we’re talking about finding your path and purpose. It’s called the Iron Council and it’s a group of men, a pack, a tribe of guys, all working together shoulder-to-shoulder to achieve big things.
I hope to see you inside.
Until then an until next week, hold fast and become the man you were meant to be.