In Disney’s Hercules, a unique promise is made to Hades when he tells The Three Fates of his plan to free the titans and take over Olympus.
“Should Hercules fight, you will fail.”
They then begin to cackle as they disappear, leaving him to carry out his plan.
Hades assumes that Hercules’ strength will be his downfall. If he can remove the young man’s strength then the threat against Hades’ attempt at ruling Olympus is gone, and his plan is a guaranteed success.
But Hades was wrong. The promise wasn’t that if Hercules fought with his strength, it was that if he fought at all.
In the final battle, Hercules can’t resist fighting for what he loves, even though Hades takes his strength. And just like The Three Fates promised, Hades loses.
Beating Hades Every Day
Throughout your day, there are little “Hades moments” that threaten to dethrone you from winning the day and accomplishing your goals.
You wake up and want to hit the snooze button because your bed feels so nice.
When it’s time to exercise you’d rather check the emails that came in while you were asleep.
As bedtime rolls around you want to keep playing video games rather than get to bed early so you can get a good night’s rest.
But with these Hades moments comes your Hercules promise — should you fight in these moments, regardless of your strength, the opposition will fail. And you will win the day.
Finding Your Hercules Moments
There are only three to five such critical times like this each day. They’re marked by high resistance because when you practice self-discipline in them you’ll win the next few hours, regardless of your level of strength.
Think of how, when you wake up late and don’t follow your morning routine, the rest of the day feels like a drag. It’s hard to stay disciplined because you failed to begin the day with that vital first win. This is just one example.
I have five Hercules moments where I know that if I win these, the rest of the day will be a success:
- Waking up at 6:19 am
- Exercising at 6:30 am
- Writing from 8 am to noon
- Taking my kids on a walk at 3 pm
- Getting the kids ready for bed at 8:30 pm
If I do those, everything else succeeds, almost without fail. I say almost because real life is nothing like those awful Disney fairytale endings. Problems will always come up occasionally and derail even the best days.
Because I know what these five critical moments are, I know that if I win these, I will win the day. It’s a lot easier knowing that I don’t have to be highly self-disciplined all day to succeed. I just have to get these five moments right and everything else will fall into place.
You can have the same successes too, just identify what those key moments are for you each day and make sure to win them.
Think of a day in the last couple of weeks where you were crushing it the entire day. What were the key moments that made it such a success? Those are what you need to focus on.
If you can’t find any days like that recently, commit to an entire day of self-discipline tomorrow. When you finish, review what made it a success. Pick just a few moments to focus on the next day and make sure you win those.
Repeat the process day after day and you’ll stay on the path toward accomplishing all of your goals.