This afternoon, my psychologist shared with me a “when the going gets tough” quote. I have mixed episodes where I experience both mania and depression at the same time. Believe me, this is not fun at all.
The mania fuels all these ideas to write about and activities to do. Meanwhile, the depression pulls me sixth feet under. The moods that rear their ugly heads are usually rage, frustration, risky behavior, depression, and an unmotivated attitude.
These two powerful moods collide together in a mixed episode and results in paralysis.
When the going gets tough quote
With all the moods swirling around in my bipolar brain, I am unable to make any decisions. It’s as if I’m frozen in time.
After I described all that takes place during a mixed episode to my psychologist, he was concerned about the paralysis and shared with me a quote. This quote epitomizes when the going gets tough, the tough gets going.
Now I am not a big fan of Muhammad Ali, but the quote is worth sharing:
“I hated every minute of training, but I said ‘Don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion’.”
This concept is one of the things Mr. Ali got right. If you ever trained or worked out to get fit or lose weight, you know there are many little frogs that must be conquered. These little frogs stand in the way of reaching your goal and these little frogs set you up for quitting.
Muhammad Ali was looking at the little frogs of his training to keep him from quitting. He surmised that if he kept this notion of tackling the little frogs instead of the big ones, he would one day be a champion.
It’s raining frogs
My psychologist and I talked a lot about taking small chunks out of hard things and situations. He called this “little frogs” and “big frogs”.
When you look at things to do or a situation you are in, you will find big frogs (difficult tasks) and little frogs (easier tasks).
So for instance, I am having a mixed episode, big frog. Instead of looking at the big frog, I should set my sights on one little frog at a time.
This made so much sense to me when looking at the phrase, the going gets tough, the tough gets going. Too many times when a mixed episode settles in for a few days, things get tough. But when I use tools like taking on the little frogs, I will not get so overwhelmed and I will be able to be a champion.
Working out with frogs and elephants
This concept is one of the things Mr. Ali got right. When you look at situations and events, many of them come across as a big frog.
If you ever trained or worked out to get fit or lose weight, you know there are many little frogs that make up the big frogs that must be conquered. The plan is simple, break it down into little frogs.
Whatever you are facing which may overwhelm you, make you quit, take you off the path to your goals try to take a small bite at a time or focus on the little frogs.
How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.
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What are you striving for? A big weight loss, increase weights at the gym, increase the distance on you bike, to make the employee of the month, to get a raise or a bonus, to conceive a baby, admitted into the college of your dreams? Whenever you get overwhelmed, take it one little frog at a time or one bite at a time.
Email me at email@example.com or write in the comments your goals and the little frogs you are going to look at instead of the big frogs.