“Do the difficult things while they are easy and do the great things while they are small. A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.” – Lao Tzu
It starts out with a vision
The inspiration for this post came to me yesterday while out riding. Allow me to reveal some background information. I am in training for a cycle event in late January which covers approximately 200 km (124 miles) of alpine, hilly roads leading to ski resorts. The event is run during summer, so all the ski resorts are closed for the season. It’s a tough and grueling event, given our summer can get rather hot during the day. You can be riding for approximately eight hours, consuming too much water, eating a lot of energy bars and suffering from cramps and a sore back by the end of it all; just to receive a stamp and a certificate of completion.
Let’s not even go into why I do it. In any case, a friend of mine is training for a similar event, though his is an iron-man distance triathlon coming up in March. It’s his first one. We were out riding that day, covering approximately 130 km (80 miles). We’ve been training every morning together for the past two weeks to keep one another company, since riding by yourself can get very lonely and your mind tends to play tricks when riding solo. Having someone to ride with negates the boredom and also talking yourself out of doing half the training.
We started out all cheerful, though ironically frightened that we had to ride for another four hours. It seemed like a daunting task, given we were both tired from all the training we had completed in previous days. This year I had the pleasure of working with a sports psychologist in a mentoring program and learning a great deal about human behaviour and the mind, as it relates to performance and exercise.
I recounted a number of stories to my friend to keep us going and not wimping out from our schedule. One of the things that stuck out from our sessions together with the sports psychologist was how our minds like to play tricks on us. My friend was having second thoughts about completing the training, since it seemed so daunting and so far away. We had to cover a long distance that day and neither of us was mentally prepared for the road ahead.
I spoke to my friend about chunking the entire training into sections. We decided that when we reached point A, we would see how we felt and then decide if we wanted to continue on to point B and so on. You know what happened? Each time we reached a section, we decided to go further and further, until we reached the turnaround point. Each time we got closer to our turnaround point, the end goal seemed much easier and possible. It wasn’t as elusive as we had first imagined it to be when we started out riding.
The good news is we completed the training ride and felt incredibly exhausted by the end of it. The reason we had to ride such a distance in training, was to accustom our legs and body to the distance we would both be competing at during our respective events. So the training served as a reconnaissance both mentally and physically. The challenge we both faced, echoed a similar sentiment faced in life and hence the basis to this post.
What you need to know, but afraid to hear
Sometimes in life, we are faced with daunting tasks that our minds cannot grasp. We seem overwhelmed by the enormity of it and how to get through it. Remember, your mind loves to play tricks on you. It loves to use past conditioning and beliefs to advise you of the future. That’s how it’s evolved from an evolutionary viewpoint. It uses the past to predict the future. When faced with a task or a goal which seems way beyond your ability, chunk it down into parts and challenge yourself to complete what lies before you.
If you are trying to lose weight, don’t focus on the end goal. It’s too far ahead for you to even fathom getting there. It isn’t about getting there that matters, it’s about who you become along the way that makes a difference. It’s about the person who learns to exercise regularly, consistently eat healthy food, sleep well and think empowering thoughts. That’s what matters when you set out to achieve a goal. That’s what personal development books means when they use those cheesy lines; “It’s not about the destination – more the journey.” They’re asking you to become someone of substance – someone of character along your life’s path.
There is NO destination! For as long as your heart beats and you wake up each morning, your life is a journey unfolding each time you co-create it with a greater intelligence. As my story of our ride illustrates, each time we reached a destination, we decided to go further – we were never arriving. Even when we reached the turnaround point, we still had to find our way back. But guess what? I can’t even remember those stopping points from our ride. I remember however, the laughter I shared with my friend, the glorious day we had, the experience and conversation we shared along our JOURNEY. That, my good people is what really matters.
So for those who proclaim you are dissatisfied with your weight, or you’re too fat, too ugly, or too (insert excuse here), suck it up and as we say here in Australia. Sometimes we need to take the plain and obvious and tell it like it is. The universe couldn’t care less if you think you’re fat or overweight or whatever you think you’re NOT. Do something about it NOW – Live now, love now and experience life now – Your journey is NOW. Don’t worry about your destination – your silly little brain will forget it all. It will remember the good times – so find more of those good times and get off your ass to do something about it! The universe is ready and willing to give you that helping hand, when you take ACTION.
Disclaimer: I am here to inspire and motivate people to Awaken their authentic self. I can’t wait to get up each day and live life – I trust that one day you will also have the same feeling. Until you do, take ACTION – become the person you’ve always wanted to be. STOP pussy footing around, waiting for the right moment. It will never come. As Goethe so beautifully put it: “Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it!”