Why 'Skillful Sailor' Should Top Your 2020 Goals
Updated: Feb 12, 2020
Hello from the other side, Intuits.
New year, new us, right? Well, we thought so last month, anyway. So how's it shakin' now that February is upon us? Have you broken any promises to yourself yet?
Let's discuss one of my favorite notions ever, presented by the late, great Zig Ziglar.
"You have to be before you can do, and you have to do before you can have." - Zig Ziglar -
What this means is that your decisions are simply an overflow of who you are and what you're all about. As such, what you have to show for it reflects those very decisions.
Ouch. If you're anything like me, that can sting a little depending on which parts of my life we're shining a light on. But typically, we like to ignore those parts, right? We'd rather just push them aside and focus on the lengthy to-do lists we've made that'll surely lead us into the circumstances of our dreams. Except, here's the thing. What if neglecting those parts of who we are actually condemn us to a life void of what we want? A vicious cycle of longing and "doing" in vain that only lead back to where we were to begin with...
Reality goes like this: BE then DO then HAVE.
But we get it all twisted. Think about it. Either we blame our circumstances for our behavior and who we've become, or we strive and strive outwardly while foregoing crucial inward changes needed for lasting results. The problem is that both are fantasies and neither are sustainable.
Maybe that's why we've already jacked up our New Year's resolutions by February; why year after year, the same resolutions top the list; why we always end up jumping ship before ever reaching our destination.
So how do we begin with the BE instead of the DO or the HAVE?
First you have to answer the question, "What do I want?" Maybe you want to have health or wealth or a better temper or thriving relationships. Next we take a look around. What kind of people have those things? Think of people that you admire who seem to already have what you desire. What KIND of people are they?
Now be honest. If you just thought to yourself, "The kind of person who is healthy eats raw kale for breakfast." Wrong. I'm not talking about observing outward habits that are perceived as healthy. People who harbor true health are the kind of people who are dedicated, who value self-care, who love themselves, who are knowledgable and disciplined. These are ingrained in their character. So ask yourself, "How can I BE those things?" Dedicated, self-caring, self-loving, knowledgable, disciplined. That's where the real work lies.
Seems basic enough. If only it were easy, right? Ahhh, but easy is not your friend. Easy is your enemy. It robs you of the opportunity to grow outside of your comfort zone and to master a new level of adaptation. Attaining your long-term goals with lasting results requires an internal transformation to who you are. Becoming the person you want to be requires extreme focus on your small, daily habits--which ultimately stem from your collective thought processes. You must identify who your navigator is... Capture your thoughts; redirect your feelings... never allowing these things to solely run your ship.
Now that you know there's more involved than simply trying harder, let's shift our attention back to your goals. What are they and why? A while back I set out a challenge for you.
"I want you to close your eyes and imagine yourself in the best physical, emotional and mental condition possible. What does that look like to you? For me, I imagine my younger self running through fields of green without any notice of my body whatsoever. With my hair blowing in the wind, I'm able to run and laugh and roll around in the grass and just be free. I feel strong and agile, and I'm able to focus vividly on what I want to. My attention isn't split between my bodily limitations and everything else going on..."
This is where we begin. True transformation starts with a clear picture of what we want and where we're going. As the old adage goes, "If you aim at nothing, you'll hit it every time." But most of us have this piece down when we list our goals. It's the next step that is most skipped over, and thus throws off the whole trajectory.
Understanding where the disconnect between who you are and who you want to be takes some serious awareness. Pay Attention.
For example. If you want to BE wiser, but you don't seek wisdom--there is a disconnect somewhere. If you want to think more critically and have a deeper sense of knowledge, but you don't ask better questions--there's a disconnect somewhere.
That next step includes those parts we'd rather not look at in ourselves. And that means being honest about your part in the problem. Where are you lazy, apathetic, uninformed, bitter, codependent, cutting corners? Where is the disconnect? Name it. Focus your attention there--that's where your character needs growth. It's where you are to become different.
So let's reevaluate where we're at this February. Are we on track? Do we have the internal tools we need to actually succeed in this journey we've begun, or do we need to take a step back from the to-do list and focus on some deeper things for a minute?
"It is not the ship so much as the skillful sailor that assures the prosperous voyage." - George William Curtis -
Any real success is preceded by the small daily decisions to stay committed, focus hard, and hold your expectations with open hands, allowing the outcomes to look differently than you imagined. Your health journey is going to be a process of transformation not just to your body, but also to your mind and soul. Embrace it. Stop trying to cut corners and "arrive" as fast as you can. Only then will you become the person who is able to do and have what you truly want.
So as Des'ree would say, you gotta be bad, bold and wiser.
Stick around, my friends. We're about to launch ourselves onto some controversial ground when it comes to nutrition--a shift in thinking about food and physiology that may throw you for a loop. You never know, it may just be the information you need to awaken your intuition and provide a complete overhaul to your health.
So if you're into really discovering the truth, then this is just for you. But if you're highly dedicated to your current way of thinking and are easily offended, you may want to bow out now. The choice is yours.