I love the science of fitness and weightlifting. In most cases, you spend a ton of effort and time to tire your body out, just so the last few moments of work can cause your body to grow.
In weightlifting, it is only last few reps that cause your muscle to grow, everything else is a glorified warm-up.
In my yoga practice, the same is true for building not only mental strength, but a stronger mind. B.K.S. Iyengar, who is largely responsible for popularizing yoga in the West, says that “your yoga pose begins when you want to come out.” This is absolutely the truth.
In any physical practice, I’ve found the best results by sticking with something when I feel it is time to quit. 100% of the time, my body can go further, it is my mind that takes me out.
In my workplace, it is often by sticking with the uncomfotable situations that I am able to make a breakthrough on a project, or in bridging the gap in a relationship with someone I need to work with.
Make progress by sticking with it and pushing through, not by checking out.
For more on this topic, check out Seth Godin’s great book, The Dip. I like the audiobook – he has a great delivery (it’s a short listen just over an hour).