The world of sports has a lot to teach us about life. While players sprint, run, swim or fight to regain or retain control and dominance, we enjoy watching them entertain and thrill us the world over. To them, it is a matter of life and death – giving their entire selves to receive a reward. With every ounce of strength within them, they give adrenaline pumping and sometimes extreme performances in front of applauding audiences. However, before the competition, there is a rigorous, unfriendly and painful private process behind the scenes, called training.

The purpose of training for an athlete is simple — to improve his talent, technique, set of skills, acquire unique tactics and enhance self-development. Athletes will spend hours upon hours, days upon days, weeks upon weeks, even years upon years working on endurance, techniques, skills, mental focus and performance tactics. The drills of training are not supposed to match the competition conditions, but to be harder, tougher and more grueling, so that the trainer becomes more accustomed to more difficult situations than what the competition shall require.

The essence of training is not to kill the spirit of a competitor but to enhance his competition stimuli. It is to condition his responses, actions and reactions; until he is better than the competition! Simply put, the atmosphere and the demands of training should be different from those of the atmosphere of competition. The rigors and rituals that prepare an athlete for the day of competition must be more demanding, so that the eventual day of competition is easier than the day of training, and therefore the title easier to clinch.

In close similitude, success in life begins with training before the competition. In fact, it is natural to ask ourselves why life seems so hard when we want to break out of average living.

If you don’t understand the progression of life, you will give up and quit at training stage yet, there is legitimate greatness when one does not circumvent the training.

You see, while you practice for your purpose, the hardships, trials and the stretching works your psychological muscle in readiness for the day of competition. Purpose demands that your body becomes conditioned to the requirements of excellence and your soul becomes acclimatised to the pull and the push of greatness.

The weight you must overcome so as to break through into the life of influence and affluence if not properly understood, that same exam can become the glass ceiling that can keep you down. However elusive advancement seems, it is deception to imagine that a good life belongs only to a select few, you excluded. Suffering, pain, stretching and mind transformation is not all there is to life. Indeed, life’s progress and individual advancement has many enemies, but opposition is indicative of your strong position. In fact, sometimes breakthroughs are ushered in by breakdowns!

There is a better place ahead in life, better than what you are used to.

You must know and desire that place so that your present affliction doesn’t blur and blind your vision into settling for mediocrity while God has a heaven ahead for you. The time it has taken through hardship and toil is incomparable to the joy and fulfillment of your eventual place of rulership that’s ahead. Train hard but also aim somewhere. Don’t waste your punches in the air. Define your journey and sign up for your race. Quit complaining about the toughness of the terrain; train tenaciously until you are ready to apprehend what life has apprehended you for.

The holy scriptures teach us that after you have done the will of God, and after you have suffered a while, God will establish, settle and found you on solid ground. And your greatness shall be immovable. The good physique, toned up muscles, agility, swiftness or the awesome appeal of every athlete is a product of prior training, practice and teaching. And the amount of training directly connotes the destiny of an athlete; either the global stage or the estate bout.

In this life, you are kept back from your greatest destiny, not by adversity, but by a clear path to a lesser goal! Today, while you stand in your trouble, what do you see? Has sorrow and hustle swallowed you up until life has stopped being meaningful and become dreadful. Don’t choke on problems, lift up your eyes and look up and see what is ahead. While your feet may be in the murk, the mire and the mud of right now, let your eyes be in the clouds watching the possibility of a brighter day, scouting for a better tomorrow and the fulfillment of destiny! Watch your dreams and keep your eyes firmly fixed on the promises of God and not on the premises of decadence.