One of the stories that really stuck out at me in the book Flourish, by Martin E. P. Seligman, was that of how snipers are trained by the government.
It can take about twenty-four hours for a sniper to get into position. And then it can take another thirty-six hours to get off the shot. This means that snipers often haven’t slept for two days before they shoot. They’re dead tired.
Instead of medication to keep them awake, he goes on to say,
…you keep them up for three days and have them practice shooting when they are dead tired. That is, you teach snipers to deal with the negative state they’re in: to function well even in the presence of fatigue.
When you are feeling tired, push ahead. Do it anyway. Do it tired.
You may be surprised to realize that this too is temporary. It ebbs and flows. Don’t give in.
Really, the goals we set for New Years shouldn’t be something new altogether. They should be an incremental progression of existing goals.
I categorize my goals: career, financial, and health. This year, I’m adding a new category: relationships. Each of these categories, by nature, overlap with each other. By creating the “buckets” to hold our goals it spawns new goal ideas that we may have not thought of before.
Once measurable goals are set then we can continue to refine them through the year; not just at the first of January. Setting regular personal check-ins on the calendar is a great way to keep the ball rolling. Personally, I do this at the start of every month. In my bedroom, I have a whiteboard set up with each category as a daily reminder. Each corner of the board has a bulleted list of goals and any related metric beside it.
Dream big. Quantify. Maintain. Repeat. Day after day, week after week, month after month, it all adds up.
This morning as I meditated in the shower, I kept thinking, “Self-love isn’t selfish.” What is selfishness? When we expect others to give themselves up for us, we are being selfish. When we insist that others prove their love by doing what we want them to do for us: selfishness.
Putting your needs first allows you to give to others fully. Taking care of yourself, allows you to focus on your goals. Focusing on and achieving your goals with fearlessness allows you to be generous with no expectations of anything in return. You aren’t giving out of a depleted, tired, soul but sharing as a whole complete individual.
In Non-profits have a charter to be innovators, Seth Godin wrote,
“Go fail. And then fail again. […] Innovators understand that their job is to fail, repeatedly, until they don’t.”
It’s interesting, I’ve had an off and on relationship with dieting and going to the gym yet I keep pursuing the goal overall. However, one misconception with working out that I used to have resulted in me being discouraged at the gym. Why discouraged?
When training, one does sets and reps. For example, bicep curls: 6 reps for 2 sets. Or 12 reps total with a rest in between. I thought that if I could not finish a set then I was not properly exercising. I had failed.
Now I realize that failing is the goal. You do one completed set. Great. Then try the second. Only get 3 reps out of the 6 and your arms give out? That’s a good thing! Muscle fatigue. Only then will you build stronger muscle. Two weeks later, complete both sets perfectly? Up the weight until you fail again.
That’s how you grow.
Is dissatisfaction in life the result of failing or from the lack of growth? Are you uncomfortable because “it’s too easy” or because “the struggle is real”?
If you look at those who have been greatly successful in life many times it was their passions that led to their “making it”. They didn’t actively seek it out but rather by creating their art and doing “the work” they stumbled into a life they truly love.
Tyler Oakley in the interview shown below shares his thoughts on his success so far,
At the beginning, the first year, the first two years, the first three years, I was like no. […] I never had the intention that this is going to be my life. Like, I always thought it would be a fun hobby. – Tyler Oakley
At the time of this writing, with over 3.6 million Youtube followers alone, it has clearly blossomed into a full-time gig of which was never originally intended. I’ve enjoyed watching for the last 5 years and seeing it grow into what it is today. ( bacon )
That is how life works.
Jim Henson started making puppets while he and his wife Jane were in college. They did it as a means to an end to help fund school.