Let me tell you a story about my exercise plan…
After many years absent from decent exercise, I put a concrete effort getting in to great shape. After the two years it took me to get to something I’d consider reasonably healthy, I was blindsided by the comparisons to which my exercise goals paralleled my life goals and to some extent, wrote about them in my previous two ‘finding focus’ posts (part 1 and part 2). I started breaking down my goals, motives, challenges and focus, into sub-categories that my brain could visually manage and find some connection to the way I wanted to live my life.
In general, I lack focus when I can’t prod something or get instant visual feedback. I get bored easy when there’s no game-changing goal, or insight into mental boundaries and once I lose the urge, the downhill roll can never be reversed. It took me two years of trial and error, laziness, failure, getting knocked down and forcing myself back up again until I no longer wanted to be the invisible victim (of my own crimes) and to develop a solid survivor instinct, coupled with a winning mentality. I wanted to listen to myself and adapt to maximize its message. For the most part, I got there, and continue to head in that direction. Ever so often I fall down and sit there for a while but I’ll get back up fairly quickly and try again. Looking back on my early life what I perceive to be missing is the secondary essential of dialog when falling off a bike – OK, you fell, now, get back on and try again. It was always OK to fail before and failure be an end to a story but it shouldn’t be the end. Sure there are circumstances where doing the same thing will continue to produce failure but the point here is to learn and keep trying until it either works (and you don’t fail) or you learn enough to walk away and try something else in life. Walking away isn’t failing, providing you take your lessons with you and try again on something else. Keep going, no matter what.
During my downtime this year, I’ve slowly been mulling over ideas to drop myself in the waters of entrpeneurship and have been struggling to find the resonance I need within myself to really go for it. I’ve read a few books, been inspired by positive influence and even to a degree, know what ideas I’d like to try but for the life of me, I couldn’t figure out why I wasn’t getting off my ass and then it clicked – I needed to approach this in the same way that I did for running and exercise.
I’ve never been a runner and will probably never have enough focus to last a huge distance but after getting in shape, I decided to at least try and cover more than a 100 meter dash. I pushed and pushed and pushed myself until I could cover 5k without collapsing but found that I could only manage this once or twice; I didn’t know why I couldn’t keep this up, or continue to get better. After many months of deliberation, I knew I wasn’t listening to my body. When I finally opened my ears, I understood that my body that was letting me know it was too much, too soon and I needed to either back off, or change tactics. Because I was trying to do it all at once, I wasn’t gaining ground each time because I was just burned out. So, I backed off, started doing interval runs and I’m managing to cover the same ground, for longer periods of time, all due to switching to short steps instead of one long stride.
This is where I’ll be starting with business. Small steps. Trial and error. Pushing myself through boredom and distraction until I achieve something that I feel will be my difference to the world. I have many obstacles to overcome and fears to get through but during those moments, I’ll remember my exercise and running and the thing I always repeat in my head when I’m negative about pounding the road “Keep going, keep going. Slow down if you need to but never stop. Catch your breath and catch up. Keep Going“