Victus Spiritus


Never yield when you're inches from the finish

17 Feb 2011

It's easy to give up. It's human to quit in the face of unimaginable challenge. Reason warns us of the risk and cost of crossing the finish line, begging us to quit. I'm not going to sugar coat the effort, dedication, and sacrifice that is demanded by a decision to succeed. I have witnessed the price of mastery, and it is horrifyingly beautiful.

I've seen it in my mom after she knits her thousandth doll dress after working tirelessly through the night. I've seen it my brother's eyes after he produces an unfathomable collection of music tracks. I've seen it on my father's face as he prepares a special meal or plays one of a half dozen musical instruments for hours on end. They are each compelled by a relentless invisible hand which cannot cease.

Quitting isn't an option when a compulsion drives you forward, no matter if the finish line is inches or miles away. Giving up a true compulsion* doesn't stick. Soon you'll be chasing the same phantoms once again, taking a different route towards the same destination.

The voice that begs for rest and reprieve doesn't doubt our ability to succeed, it's not that smart. That voice is incapable of imagining victory. Ignore it's timid screams to yield, and train your mind and body that triumph is always only an inch away.

*= A true compulsion is much more than a physical or mental addiction. It's part of who and what we are. It's fundamentally bound to our reason for being.