Living your dreams

I subscribe to a number of different blogs covering a variety of topics, including CrossFit. This morning I opened one of those – The Morning Chalk Up – and read the following quote from motivational speaker, Les Brown:

“Imagine being on your death bed — and standing around your bed — the ghosts of the ideas, the dreams, the abilities, the talents given to you by life. And that you for whatever reason, you never acted on those ideas, you never pursued that dream, you never used those talents, we never saw your leadership, you never used your voice, you never wrote that book.

And there they were standing around your bed looking at you with large angry eyes saying ‘WE CAME TO YOU, and only you could have given us life.’ Now we must die with you forever.

The question is — if you die today what ideas, what dreams, what abilities, what talents, what gifts would die with you?”

This is powerful stuff. At various times of my life I’ve had any number of goals. The quote made me think about those I’ve neglected recently. The goals I’ve put on the back burner because life happens. Because I’ve not prioritized them. Because there aren’t enough hours in the day. You know the ones I’m talking about. The things you always wanted to do. The book you’re going to write. The course you’re going to take. The fitness program you’re going to start. The trip you’re going to book. The skill you’re going to master.

It also made me think about the goals I have achieved. Those I did something about and either reached or, in some cases, surpassed. What was the difference? Why did I manage to make these happen and not the rest? In my case, the difference was mainly in my approach – when I prioritized them, scheduled them, worked on them daily or weekly, that’s when I made real progress towards achieving them. I had a plan and I stuck to it. This year, other than my work-related goals, I’ve set a number of CrossFit-related goals.

Our coach asked us to share them and write them on the whiteboard in January. Mine are below:

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It’s now March – I’ve managed to tick 2 off the list so far. I’ve done 2 strict ring muscle ups and I managed a 6:39 Fran.

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Still a long way to go and some of those goals are rather ambitious. However, I’m working on them during regular classes and when I have time I stay after class for more work. The one that’s received the most attention is the double under goal. I’m going to apply my previous success principles to achieving the other goals. The system works when I work the system. I want to pursue my CrossFit ideas, dreams, abilities, talents or gifts to their full potential – whatever that may be.

What are some of the goals you’ve set for yourself this year (CrossFit or otherwise)? Have you reached any of them already?

Success. What are we waiting for?

 “Certainty of death, small chance of success. What are we waiting for?”

That’s a quote from Gimli, son of Gloin, in the Lord of the Rings: Return of the King movie. It’s near the end of the story and it’s at a point where the good guys have done just about everything they can to beat the bad guys. For those who have not seen the movie or read the books, SPOILER ALERT.

The final outcome is in the hands of the two Hobbits, Frodo and Sam. They must destroy the One Ring by dropping it into the lava pit of Mount Doom which just happens to be deep inside enemy territory. In a last ditch effort to ensure Frodo and Sam have every chance of succeeding, the Fellowship and their assorted allies are going to attack Sauron’s forces in a no-hope, no-win attempt to distract the forces of evil. There’s the certainty of death because Sauron’s side outnumbers them by a large margin. If they can distract them long enough, though, then Frodo has a small chance of success. So…what are they waiting for?

What an attitude to approach a project with! Perhaps, ‘death’ is too strong a word so we may want to change this to ‘Certainty of failure, small chance of success. What are we waiting for?’ Don’t let the possibility or even certainty of failure stand in the way of success. Go for it. Staying in the same place guarantees that the venture doesn’t work. Moving forward gives you that small chance.

Aside: throughout the trilogy of movies, Gimli has some great one-liners. Another favourite of mine is “I’m wasted on cross-country! We Dwarves are natural sprinters, very dangerous over short distances.”