Once is Enough, Once is Forever

The title of this post is a direct reference to Ryan Holiday’s The Daily Stoic

In The Daily Stoic, “Once is enough, once is forever” is the entry for November 21st.

This entry hits home for me.

It reminded me of the article I wrote for the CrossFit Journal entitled To Be SEALFIT: A Benchmark Learning Curve I wrote this article for the CrossFit Journal in 2012, and, now, four years later, I see even more value in this concept of benchmark learning. The added value I am now able to bring to this concept is in thanks to my studies of pursuing a master’s in sport psychology.

A big chunk of sport psychology is the training in performance enhancement skills that primarily involve the following categories: energy management, motivation, goal setting, imagery, concentration, confidence, and self-awareness.

When learning and improving the skills associated with confidence and imagery, one’s ability to recall benchmark life events, or, as referred to in sport psychology vernacular, peak performance moments, plays a big role.

Mentally, how well can you revisit a peak performance moment? Furthermore, can you go there in your mind under the worst of circumstances, particularly when you find yourself feeling the complete opposite of a peak performer?

In my opinion, the ethos “once is enough, once is forever” is the cultivation and practice of the ability to mentally revisit and relive the characteristics of any ideal experience or challenge that you once conquered in order to reinforce and remind yourself of your talent.

We NEED those reminders. Life gets in the way and it is easy to forget and lose sight of the time(s) in which we got to taste, feel, see, hear, and touch happiness, love, success, triumph, peace of mind, acceptance, understanding, stimulation, invigoration, and motivation.

Once is enough, once is forever is paradoxical because the effective internalization of benchmarks breeds more enduring, personal, and poignant benchmarks, which become your mental armory.

The expert Japanese swordsman and ronin Miyamoto Musashi wrote in his The Book of Five Rings:

“The true virtue of strategy is in allowing us to overcome all odds in daily life and in helping us attain the closest state we can to being one with the supreme power before going into battle. The development of warrior consciousness is an ongoing thing. Each new experience continually leads to new challenges”.

Once is enough, once is forever.

Don’t let yourself forget.

Refine your memories not just for nostalgic purposes but for autonomously driven support, encouragement, inspiration, and resilience.


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