Just saw this article on Medium. Quite motivational and applicable to students and even working adults. There are 4 tips on the original website. We just quote one of the tips here. The Chinese equivalent, would be 千里之行，始于足下, or “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step”.
Enduring Work Ethic Stems From The Moment
I had an interesting conversation with him about Hell Week (some US SEAL army training week) a few years back.
For those who don’t know — Hell Week is ridiculous. You wake up on a Sunday to gunfire. You then work out until Friday with no sleep. Hell Week is the bottleneck that breaks a lot of talented people. It’s where the top 20% are whittled down to the top 5%.
I remember him saying, “Tuesday morning was the worst.”
It was a bizarre response. Tuesday? Wouldn’t Thursday be the worst? Or Friday morning? Then he explained and it made total sense.
You wake up on a Sunday morning at ~2 AM to gunfire. You run around getting yelled at. You are doing pushups, carrying logs, rolling in the sand. This continues all day, then into the night.
As people are sleeping in their warm beds, you continue exercising, shivering, and getting shouted at.
Monday morning comes. The drills repeat from sun up to sun down with non-stop exercise and physical torture. Then, all through the night, you do it again.
Then, Tuesday morning rolls around. You’ve gone more than two full nights without sleep. You’ve endured intense stress, cold water, and difficult exertion the whole time. By Tuesday morning, you’re more tired than you’ve ever been in your entire life.
That’s when you start to feel sorry for yourself.
“Oh man, it’s only Tuesday. How am I going to get through all of this?”
“If I’m this tired already…and I’m not even halfway through…”
The people that start thinking like this are the ones that quit.
The people who succeed — only look a few minutes in front of them. They don’t worry about Thursday or Friday. They are only focused on each individual exercise. They get through it one thing at a time.
You can apply this to many aspects of your life.
If you are studying for a massive test, take it one page at a time. Working on a huge presentation, one slide at a time.
For example, I swam in college. Our training was very grueling, 5 to 6 miles of swimming a day. Sometimes the coach would put a set on the board that made me think, “You’ve got to be f#$king kidding me. I’m going to die.” I just took it one lap at a time and got through it.
Lower your vision and piecemeal those big hurdles. It reduces the perceived mental weight of the tasks. Take it one thing at a time.