John Wooden, the legendary basketball coach at UCLA, placed industriousness and enthusiasm as the two cornerstones of his “Pyramid of Success”  that he used to win 10 national championships – 7 in a row – in a 12-year span! He understood the importance of training one’s mind to overcome challenges.
Industriousness, Coach Wooden said, is “simply that you have to work and work hard…Worthwhile things come only from work.” With IBD the idea of “hard work” might sound a little harsh or stressful, possibly conjuring images of running countless sprints or following an intense diet plan.
I offer my approach to hard work with your IBD as simply, doing what you need to do to get the outcomes you desire. Repurpose the idea of “hard work” as simply doing what is necessary to achieve what you desire.
If we begin to go about our “hard work” with purpose and gratitude knowing that the work is beneficial then that “hard work” somehow doesn’t feel so hard.
Enthusiasm for Coach Wooden meant simply “that you have to like what you’re doing; your heart must be in it. Without enthusiasm, you can’t work up to your fullest ability.”
Everyone has at least one thing in life that they get excited about. And if it is possible to simply feel excitement, or enthusiasm, about something then we can learn how to carry that over into other larger areas of our lives.
Maybe you are enthusiastic about a certain show on Netflix? You enjoy the preparation that goes into settling in to watch the show. You enjoy the people you watch it with or maybe the solitude and escape if you watch alone. The point is that this enthusiasm is within you. Now ask yourself, could you feel enthusiastic about improving your mindset to help you live a better life with IBD?
What has seemed too challenging or too big of a task to even begin? Without even physically doing anything about it just yet, take a few seconds and imagine your challenge again but this time you feel enthusiastic about the hard work needed to achieve success. How does that feel?
What are you enthusiastic about now – or what have you been enthusiastic about in the past? Just for today, could you recapture that enthusiasm? Could you take it and apply it to something that would help improve your IBD – something that maybe felt like “hard work” but could somehow feel enjoyable? What would that look like?