en waking up early for the last few weeks to take a morning walk. I live on a mountain, so, while the first part of the walk is easy, turning around and climbing back up is anything but.
I discovered a few days ago that keeping my eyes no more than a few feet in front of me made the trek back up easier to manage, because my brain doesn’t psych me out about the distance from where I am to where I am going like it does when I’m staring upward. (I also discovered that distracting my brain makes a huge difference as well. If I’m listening to something on the way up, my brain has something to do than focus on what it is usually complaining about.
Yesterday, though, I decided to look fiercely at the distance and climbed with determination. I was listening to one of my new favorite songs for motivation (“Fight Song
” by Rachel Platten, if you are curious) and I wanted to prove that I can override the grievances of the monkey mind. I reach the top and felt a wave of profound joy. (Or endorphins…whatever).
Today (again, listening to “Fight Song” – once I find a song that I really dig, I treat it like crack, until I am sick of it) I decided to pay attention to neither the road or the distance, but focus on how I was using my legs to push forward. It was easiest climb yet. My gaze went from my legs to the ground, then to the distance, and to the trees around me. It was not no longer mattered where my gaze fell, because I was centered in what I was doing, not where I was going. I could easily assess where I was, where I was headed, and how fast I was moving, but I kept my mind on the action and did it with deliberate focus. It changed everything. I was at the top of the road before I realized it.
I often think of my walk as a metaphor. The walk down is going inward – an introspection (something I have practiced for most of my adult life).The walk back up is stretching out of my comfort zone, achieving things I would never have imagined possible (something that is quite new for me, at least on the level that I am practicing now).
As I climb, I think of the crazy things I’ve accomplished this year and the far crazier things I’ll slamdunk next year.
Today, I feel like I’ve discovered the key to the climb and to striving in general. It’s beautifully encapsulated in a quote by James Clear that I discovered a few months ago and have been obsessed with, but didn’t fully grasp until now.
“Fall in love with boredom. Follow love with repetition and practice. Fall in love with the process of what you do and let the results take care of themselves.”
This sings to me.
Falling in love with our mundane, daily actions brings us forward to the life we seek.
Our lives are made up of our years, our years of our months, our months of our days, our days of our minutes. My newest question is “How am I spending my minutes?”
Am I avoiding/complaining/numbing or am I stretching/learning/pushing? This is my new method of weighing what I will do at any given moment.
Will I sometimes forget? Oh, yes! (Those who know me know how ridiculously distractible I am.) But I will, at some point, remember, and will bring myself back into alignment with the growth I am striving for, each step taking me higher than the last.
Your turn! Leave a comment. I want to know what’s up in your world!
What are you currently striving for?
What are you putting off until you have more time, or figure out what you are doing, or have “enough” money?
What reminders do you use to boost you when you are in danger of succumbing to the desire for comfort over progress?