Character & Mental Toughness- Crossing at a Ford

“Crossing at a ford means, for example, crossing the sea at a strait, or crossing over a hundred miles of broad sea at a crossing place. I believe this “crossing at a ford” occurs often in a man’s lifetime. It means setting sail even though your friends stay in harbour, knowing the route, knowing the soundness of your ship and the favour of the day. When all the conditions are met, and there is perhaps a favourable wind, or a tailwind, then set sail. If the wind changes within a few miles of your destination, you must row across the remaining distance without sail.” – Musashi Miyamoto

When a man, of whatever age, is ready to partake on a mission to achieve a goal, he often initially finds himself hesitant. One of the reasons for this is that those around him may not be ready to join him or support him. They might not be willing or able to take part in the mission at all.

So the man finds himself not only having to find the courage to set forth on his journey, but also having to accept that he will have to leave behind those he cares about.

I see this struggle in the young men I coach. A player sees what he might become, and is ready for his journey. But he also sees those friends around him who are unwilling or unprepared for the commitment such a task entails.

So the choice is a difficult one. There comes instances in a man’s life where he must choose. He can stay loyal to those he is with, but he must then sacrifice his opportunity to fulfill his potential. His other choice being to sacrifice the time and bonds he shares with those around him in order to become all he is capable of becoming.

This is an individual choice, but one must clearly see that either decision requires sacrifice. Like all things, one gains or loses with every step in his journey.

I encourage you to act out of courage and not fear when faced with these moments. Be true to yourself and be aware of what you must sacrifice. Make your decision to stay or move forward knowing that it is your choice to make, and consult your heart and head above all others.

There have been times in my life I have crossed the ford. Other times I chose to stay still.

I can only offer that I found myself most fulfilled when I found courage in making those decisions. So to when I set off and resolved to accept the resistance of wind and current and found the determination to row any distance required in reaching my intended destination.

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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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