One of my fellow martial artist friends came up to me after class and said, “I can’t breathe”.
Obviously, he could breathe and there was not need for paramedics or tracheotomy. My friend said this, exasperated from the fairly strenuous workout we just had. I found myself loudly saying, “That’s the best part!”, even though I felt the same. It was a near-automatic response I had given, though afterward, making me wonder why I said it that way. Thinking about it, the answer is age-old simple:
Work hard. Get to the point where you almost feel like you can’t breathe. Then, win. The best part is getting through that really tough spot, making it past a difficult time, pushing past a limit and surviving, feeling on the edge, and coming out on the other side stronger than you were before.
In the workplace, there are those moments when it really, really just sucks. There’s this deadline, that need, this urgent thing, that expectation, this project, that drama and so on. Here, you get two choices: give up and die or push through and win.
While you’re in it, it really sucks. When you come out of it is when it feels great. The prize is accomplishment, strength, discipline, and being able to look back on the insanity and knowing that you made it after all.
That is the best part.