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Pressure and Time


In this day in age where information streams around the world in seconds and it’s easily accessible, even to young children with smart phones. Our patience as a global society is eroding. We want things right now! One of my favorite movies to this day, is the classic Shawshank Redemption. One of the lines that has stuck with me all of these years and has been a guiding light and inspiration; is when Red, played by Morgan Freeman is making the comparison of geology and how Andy Dufrense tunneled through the prison wall with a tiny rock hammer, over the course of 20 years. 

He said “Geology is the study of pressure and time, that’s all it takes really, pressure and time, that, and big God damn poster.” As we hear these words we are watching Andy take the first chunk out of that thick concrete Shawshank prison wall with his tiny rock hammer.

For you it may be a college degree, restoring a personal relationship or recovering from an addiction problem. Others are determined to pay off a mountain of debt, or shed those 60 lbs that haunt us in the mirror. It is so easy to get discouraged early on and feel like our efforts are in vain. Ask yourself, what is my prison wall right now, many of us have more than one. What can I use as my rock hammer today and take a tiny chunk out of this monster goal? Remind yourself, this is not a sprint, this is a marathon. Think of old Andy, waiting for the lights to go out every night to start chipping away at his wall, “I too, will start applying daily pressure and time, pressure and time.” Before you know it, you will start to build confidence and momentum and that wall will turn to rubble.

Here is a little tip I learned when attempting something daunting or outside of my comfort zone. Set micro goals and keep your focus on those. When we were doing the 50 meter underwater swim in BUDS many guys black out before they touch the wall. They black out because it’s a very long distance to swim underwater with no oxygen. I learned that if I looked all the way across the pool to the other side I would mentally overwhelm myself, but if I looked at the bottom of the pool and counted the 6-7 lane lines one by one as I glided over them I wouldn’t lose my nerve. As you tackle your goal make sure that you set tiny, daily, achievable goals so you don’t get overwhelmed, this will also help you build your confidence and momentum.

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What does walking the walk mean to you? For myself, it is the feeling of fulfilling a commitment, whether it be one I made to