Character & Mental Toughness-The Enemy Determines When You Rest

“The enemy determines when you rest.”– Joseph Joffre

Joffre was the commander of the French military at the beginning of WWI.  Vastly outnumbered by the German attackers, Joffre ordered a retreat of French forces over hundreds of miles.  His goal was to regroup and then once again go on the offensive.

When the time came to once again go on the attack, one of the generals beneath Joffre protested saying his troops needed more time to rest before regaining the offensive.

This is the point where Joffre uttered those famous words.

“The enemy determines when you rest.”

So who, or what, is your enemy and how does it determine when you rest?

Your enemy may be a project that is due, an opponent you will face in the fall, a workout session you have to get through.  You may want to rest, but before you do maybe you should consider your enemy first.

The project may need to get done now.  This will require that you do not rest until your work is done.

The opponent you will face in the fall is working out today.  This will require that you do not rest until after your workout is done.

It is in these moments when projects become a success or failure.

It is in these moments when games are won and lost well before they are even played.

Don’t ever fool yourself into thinking that what you do, or don’t do, today will have no bearing on whether you succeed or fail at some later point.  Today is important.  Today is a chance to get better.  Either you or the enemy will realize that and act accordingly.  Your laziness today is your loss tomorrow.  Your work today is your win tomorrow.

You may want to take a break, but if your enemy doesn’t take a break, you have to find the mental toughness to keep going.

So the next time you feel like taking the easiest path remind yourself of ole’ Joffre’s words:

“The enemy determines when you rest.”

I just want you to know what is possible.


About coachbillmoore

Educator/Author/Speaker/HS & NCAA Coach Character Coach Read Coach Moore’s book “On Character and Mental Toughness” Paperback available at Barnes & Noble or Amazon. "The measure of your character and mental toughness is the space between what you are doing and what you could be doing." -Coach Bill Moore
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