The following are excerpts from a chapter titled “Relentless Effort” from Coach Urban Meyer’s book “Above the Line.” If you are looking for some motivation to share with your team or your child this excerpt sends a great message about the value of grit and hard work.
In our world, at the end of the day it is pretty simple; either you worked harder than your opponents or you got out worked.
At Ohio State, we have made relentless effort part of our DNA, and here is why: great effort can overcome poor execution, but great execution cannot overcome poor effort. Toughness and effort are the foundation of our success. I place a premium on relentless effort because in all my years coaching, I’ve never been in a football game where the team that played the hardest didn’t win.
One of the ways we accomplish this is by embracing what we call the grind.
We believe that being elite is not about how talented you are. It is about how tough you are. To achieve anything great in life, you have to fight for it. Every day. The grind is mental and physical. In fact, it is more mental than physical. Physical ability is important, but it will only take you so far. You won’t be achieve excellence until you train your mind to take you there.
The principle of relentless effort applies to everyone, not just college football players. Here’s the not-so-hidden secret for achieving extraordinary success: clarify what you really want, then work as hard as you can for as long as it takes. Toughness can achieve things that talent by itself can never accomplish.
Success is cumulative and progressive. It is the result of what you do every day. Both successful and unsuccessful people take daily action. The difference is that successful people take action Above the Line. They step up and act with intention, purpose, and skill.
For every goal you are pursuing a process is involved. There is a pathway you must follow. To achieve your goals you must commit to the process with daily Above the Line behavior. Not just once or twice, but repeatedly over time. Success is not achieved by an occasional heroic response. Success is achieved by focused and sustained action. All achievement is a series of choices. The bigger the achievement, the longer the series and more challenging the choices.
Goal clarity is essential, but so is the process clarity. For every goal you have set, be exceptionally clear about the process necessary to achieve the desired outcome.
Sometimes it’s a grind. Sometimes tedious and uncomfortable things are required for success. And that means doing what needs to be done even though you don’t feel like it. It will be uncomfortable, maybe even for long stretches, and it will be tempting to settle for an easier way that is more convenient and less difficult. But don’t compromise. Don’t give up. Step up and embrace the grind.
Relentless effort (not talent or intelligence) is the key to achieving great things in your life. Struggle is part of the process. It is hard and often painful. But it’s also necessary, because it’s in the struggle that great things are achieved.
Do you decide what to do based on what is comfortable and convenient, or based on what is productive and necessary? Following your passion isn’t always 100 percent pleasurable. Sometimes it means doing things you don’t’ want to do for the sake of achieving your goals.
If you want to win in the future, you must win the grind today. And then tomorrow and the next day and the next. Many people give up – they compromise – must too easily when life gets difficult. Be the exception and step up to the challenges you face. The grind is when it gets tedious, tiring, and difficult. But that’s what separates the elite from the average.
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