I had my students engage in an experiment:
I did not tell them what was going to happen or what they should expect. I simply asked one partner to take a strong split-stance and hold his arm out. I asked the other partner to look at that arm like it is her obstacle and try to walk through it. She attempts to walk through. Then I ask her to try again, but this time look beyond the arm and imagine that her goal lies beyond the arm. I ask the obstacle to be as strong as he was the first time. Almost 100% of the time people report it way easier to walk through the arm when they focus on the goal beyond the obstacle (arm). Interestingly, the person acting as the obstacle reports feeling much weaker when attention is not on the arm.
Let me give you an athlete’s perspective. If you are “in the zone,” you see opportunity. The goal beckons you, and the defenders trying to block you create your path. The path is visible even if it is narrow, windy, and likely to shift. If you pause to focus on the defenders, they step into power. You fall back on your heels as you focus in on the unlikely success of getting through so many obstacles. You are defeated before you even begin
Focus on the path of opportunity, not the obstacles that create it.
Get Clear: What do you want?
1) Start where you’re at: Let’s be honest- you know what you don’t want! (Stressors: financial, physical, emotional, mental)
- I’m in pain! I want my back to feel better.
2) Be specific: What would you do if the obstacle didn’t exist?
- I would walk without pain.
- Keep it positive: I walk with comfort for a prolonged period of time.
3) Make it meaningful and realistic: What action would you take?
- I would go into the city with friends and be able to pay attention to the things I love.
- I enjoy playing golf and walking the course.
4) Make it time-based and measurable:
- Sept 9th I comfortably play 18 holes of golf.
- Sept 9th I am going on a museum tour with my daughter.
5) Tell a Friend
- Partner with a friend who will remind you of your goal or intention. Emphasize the meaning behind your efforts.
Knowing what you desire, acts as an a motivating force to help you stay focused and clear about what core quality/ability you are you going to nurture in your life.
The goal is a false end place. It guides you and motivates you, but most importantly is your underlying intention. If it is of happiness and health, then your efforts will never feel as if they are wasted. Come Sept 9th if you aren’t walking in complete comfort, chances are there have made drastic improvements because every day you are checking in and asking, “does this food, this activity, this emotion, serve my greater intention and goal?” Life will shift and perhaps so too will your goal.
Every moment we get to choose: do we empower our fears, or our dreams?
Blossom and prosper.