Life is either a daring adventure or nothing – Helen Keller
I think at one time in our life we all had a vision for the kind of life that we desire and that we deserve, but for most people those dreams have become so shrouded in the frustrations and the routines of daily life that they no longer make an effort to accomplish them. For far too many the dream has dissipated, and with it so has the will to shape our destinies – Anthony Robbins
It’s important to play the game and to play to win. When I was a kid in school I didn’t really like gym, especially when we played dodge ball. I had a couple of things going against me; I wasn’t very fast and I wasn’t physically gifted. I wasn’t awkward and uncoordinated, so it could have been worse, but because sports didn’t come easy to me, I assumed I wasn’t good at them. Silly I know, but I was young; I lacked character. Anyway, what do little boys with dodge balls do when they are trying to get your attention? Well naturally, they hit you with a dodge ball and because they want to impress you they have to hit you, hard. Of course if they don’t like you, they hit you too, so I really had no chance. I always found myself not playing the game, but being overwhelmed by the game and just running for my life.
Fast forward 20 something years and I find myself still forgetting to play the game. I’m too busy jumping obstacles and being swept away in life’s minutia that I forget I’m supposed to be creating the life I want; playing the game to win.
I believe that my life decisions create my circumstances, not the other way around, where my circumstances create my life and decisions. Part of this is knowing that life is mostly mental. What do I mean? What was the difference between Mother Teresa and Charles Manson? It was their belief system, their philosophy. The difference between Gandhi and Hitler? The same.
Our beliefs create our life. It’s not what happens to us that determines our success, because what happens, happens to everyone. For example, two girls are attacked. One spends years in therapy and won’t leave her apartment. The second writes a book to help others deal with the same issues and speaks all over the world. Same circumstances, but different responses. One played the game and won, the other let the game make her duck and cover. There are hundreds of examples of this the world over, so saying “Life happened to me and that’s why I am here” is a lie you are telling yourself. You’re decisions and beliefs got you where you are, fortunately, they can also get you out.
I didn’t face any serious dodge balls this week, but I did face some small ones. I’ve been feeling empty, a serious Scooby and Shaggy empty. If I were a cartoon I would have ballooned out and five minutes later been skinny again with a “let’s find a buffet” hunger. I also had to face the standard “been there done that” feeling that comes with repetitive exercise. I’d be riding my bike and continually looking at the time.
Here’s how I overcame these issues this week and will in the future:
#1. I take action before I feel like taking action. I believe successful people always move before they are motivated. Motivation is wonderful, but not required. Motivation is a luxury. I did this multiple times this week. I got on my bicycle and then I smiled. I told myself I love riding, and I believed it! I began to attach pleasure to do doing what I want to do. I found that pleasure and brought it to the surface. Pushing away the pain. Exercising discipline makes me happy.
#2. Listen to the Rocky Story cd! So motivational! Heart’s on Fire, Strong Desire! There is so much power behind really wanting something! Creating a passion in yourself for something, that creates a fire inside that will push you toward the goal. Everything else drops off and you can revel in feeling passionate about something. This is important in a life where it’s so easy to form a habit of “going through the motions.”
#3. I did what Vizzini (The Princess Bride) said and went “back to the beginning.” I started listening to audio books that inspire me. I listened to Anthony Robbins’ audio book “Awaken the Giant Within” while I rode. I started repeating positive self-talk. I started to examine what I believe. Are there things I need to change that can make me a hero in my own story? For instance, when I ride my bike and I’m at hour two and I think “I need to stop, it’s been two hours.” I think about what Lance Armstrong would be saying when he rides his bike and he is on hour two. I imagine he would be saying “I can’t stop now, it’s only been two hours.” That’s the difference in the thoughts of a champion. The thoughts of a champion, create a champion. I know, so simple it’s “Inconceivable!”
Have a good week and remember to play the game, and play to win!