I didn’t expect the 4-mile hill run I took the other day to be anything more than a standard workout. But as I got about 10 minutes into the run and started to climb with the hilly grade, I receive another life lesson reminder. I became aware of how much my beliefs and habits play a role in what I am able to accomplish. As I tuned into what was going on in my mind, I was able to get beyond what I had let become obstacles and achieve a higher performance.
Here are the obstacles I got in touch with and lessons learned:
Obstacle: I realized that I had established certain points in this routine run where I told myself that the grade was too steep and I allowed my pace to transition from run to walk.
Lesson: I had come to let the points in the road dictate my pace without even considering what may be possible. Over the course of time, I had developed the habit to stop at certain points without pushing myself. I let myself believe it was too hard without even trying.
Obstacle: When I became aware of how I was holding myself back, I made an effort to get in tune with what thoughts were attached. I realized that I had a slight fear about driving my heart and breathing rate.
Lesson: I made the assumption that if I was huffing and puffing deeply at the lower part of the hill, that it would be too much for my lungs to handle as I made my way towards the top. It wasn’t until I pushed myself that I was able to discover that I could manage my breathing as I focused on it. The assumption that I had let hold me back had turned out to be totally false.
The fresh New Year is just around the corner. Maybe you, like me, are thinking about goals. As you take a look at what you’d like to create in your life, what obstacles might be holding you back? Might you discover like I did some thoughts that are pure false?
Last weekend I went out in search of a book that could set me into the new year with an inspired focus on the unlimited possibilities that I know are true for all of our lives. I came home with Jack Canfield‘s The Success Principles: How to Get from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be. The title perfectly expressed what I was looking for.
Fifty seven pages into the read, the book has surpassed what I set out to receive. It’s not that the principles that Jack Canfield writes about are new, it’s that his ideas are a rare mix of spirituality and business. They’re grounded in practicality and yet they speak to the soul. He reminds me that it’s possible to achieve your dreams, but first you need to get in touch with those dreams, break them down into goals, and above anything else, believe in your ability to bring your dreams to life.
I sat down to do a couple of different exercises, and it blew me away to discover just how vague I am about what I really want from my life. How can I focus on building the life of my dreams if I haven’t focused on what my dreams clearly look like?
Jack Canfield has left me with a number of gems so far:
- Believing in yourself is essential to success. If you can’t believe in your ability to succeed with something, ask yourself why not? Identify what you need to do to feel confident about your ability to succeed and do it.
- Get clear on your vision and create very specific goals. The more definition you place on what you want to achieve, the better equipped your mind is to support the building.
- Make a habit of focusing on what you want to create through visualization and mental review of your goals. Keep your visions and the energy that supports them engaged and fully alive. Review your goals several times a day.
- Carry a written description of your most important goal with you. Make it a part of your life by reviewing it constantly.
If you haven’t already, take the time to create a vision of your ideal life, and break that vision into specific goals. You can never be too clear on what you want to create.
The Marin Independent Journal, my local newspaper, featured a front page article on Sunday by Associated Press journalist, Pauline Arrillaga with the headline, Gloom, Doom Around the Nation. The article’s focus was on how high gas prices, the never-ending war, the housing market, and job uncertainty has brought our country to a point of hopelessness and fear.
I opened my newspaper to page 7 to follow the article, feeling more troubled as I read statements shared by a number of people interviewed. Then what was shared by a 24-year old brought tears to my eyes, “You can’t get ahead. You can’t save money. You can’t buy a house. It just stinks.”
It wasn’t the state of the Union that bothered me here; it was the sense of hopelessness that seems to prevail. Have we forfeited our power as we wait for the next President to get things moving in a new direction? What can we do in the meantime?
How to take control of your life:
- Acknowledge what you want to achieve or become
- Define the steps necessary to get there.
- Acknowledge your responsibility for completing the steps.
- Commit to and follow through on the work.
- Stay committed to what is necessary.
This process enables you to take control, regardless of what is happening around you. Remember that your power lies within you. It’s your gift waiting to be claimed. That’s when life gets good. Go for it.