Strength is about much more than muscle mass, or how much weight you can pick up.
Strength is a state of mind.
Have you ever heard of the trick often performed with extremely strong weight lifters, where before an audience they are asked to pick up a weight they are used to lifting. With ease, the athlete performs the lift. Next, weights are added. The lifter is told it is a weight much heavier than what he has been previously known to accomplish. Although the weight that was added is actually significantly lower than what the athlete is fully capable of lifting, he is unable to complete the lift.
…or is this a perfect demonstration of mental strength, and the power of the mind.
I believe the latter.
That is why we're here. I for one know that mental strength is found through inspiration via personal growth and development. Either surrounding myself with people that are stronger than I am, or submerging myself in media and literature that fills my head with ideas and inspiration, instead of trash (aka TV).
Because, for real, we deal with enough head trash that is entirely self-imposed.
I am positive that each situation in our lives is a crossroads and an opportunity to learn and grow, or "stay the same" (which actually means take a few steps backwards, no one ever stays the same). I know that in my life I have made both choices.
I know that making the choice to "stay the same" is the more comfortable one…at the time. It is easier to make, and less painful. Until down the road that small decision was a seed planted that led you to other less-than-optimal choices.
In other cases, when I made the better choice and chose to set aside my pride, and learn and grow, although measurably less comfortable and much more painful, I cannot think of a time that I made this choice and regretted it- no matter how badly it sucked while going through it :).
Have you heard, "Comfortable now, uncomfortable later. Uncomfortable now, comfortable later."?
It's the night before a test and you have 2 choices: 1) Hang out with your friends 2) Study for your test.
If you choose #1, the less responsible choice, you are now faced with more less-than-desirable options to choose from: 1) stay up all night studying and be exhausted for the exam 2) Wing it tomorrow and ignore that it will impact your GPA 3) Cheat.
You see? The choices we make lead us to the opportunity to make other choices. That was the "comfortable now, uncomfortable later" choice.
Take a look at your life. What choices are you presented with each day? Which brand cigarettes to buy? To go or not go to the gym? Which restaurant to eat out at for lunch (because you forgot to pack yours…again)?
Once you make each of those decisions, you are soon presented with more options. So you said no to the gym, now you have to choose whether to try to squeeze into your current size that barely fits, or give in and go spend money on the next size up in jeans. Had you made the choice to continue to go, maybe your choice would instead be whether or not to belt these loose jeans and wait until you reach your goal weight to buy a new wardrobe.
So ask yourself again- what kinds of choices are you presented with each day?
We always hear "hindsight is 20/20" but what about when it's not? Hindsight is ONLY 20/20 when you remove your rose-colored glasses. Because let's face it, most of us can give an alibi on the spot for every choice we've made. "I had to go out with my friends! It was my one friends birthday and… blah blah blah blah blah." Right? You know it's true!
Mentally strong people know how to hold up the mirror and say- "Wow. That was a terrible choice that presented me with even more bad options. I need to make a change."
So back to the deceived weightlifter… what lies are you buying that are keeping you from living out your dreams, and reaching your potential? What lies are you choosing to believe about yourself that are keeping you stuck under the glass ceiling? You will never outperform what you believe about yourself. And if you're like me and you believe that God has designed you for a specific purpose, and planted to seeds of dreams in your heart- then you have the pleasure of leaning on HIS strength instead. And there is absolutely NOTHING you can't do with Him.