Sometimes winning requires you to just get mad, to get mean…with yourself. Mad enough and mean enough to dig a little bit deeper, to go a little longer, work a little harder, and ultimately do just a little bit more than you ever thought possible. In short, do more than everyone else.
It reminds me of the classic Clint Eastwood western, The Outlaw Josey Wales. Just before the climatic final fight scene (it is a western – there has to be a climatic fight) when a nugget of motivation is shared in his timeless, gravely, direct manner:
Now remember, when things look bad and it looks like you’re not gonna make it, then you got to get mean. I mean plumb, mad-dog mean! Cause if you lose your head and you give up, then you neither live nor win. That’s just the way it is.
Over-the-top, Hollywood, cinematic western action drama – absolutely. However there is a some validity to the statement. There will be times where that little extra shot of motivation is required, when digging a little deeper is the only way to make it happen. Getting mean in a “grit your teeth” and push through the immediate obstcale manner. Being petty, undercutting, and unethical is not the idea. Getting mean with yourself – holding yourself to the highest standard regardless of the short term, immediate pain.
Sometimes life might require you to reach into that inner place and draw on some deep seated “meanness”. Go for it, get mad. Just remember to put it away once you have your momentum back.