I just got back from the gym and if you’re watching this on video you can see that I literally just got back and rolled right into my office to record this because while I was there I heard two women talking about how they could never run a 5K. They were talking about it as if it the most impossible thing in the world to them. The truth is…it probably was in their version of reality.
It made me think about when my wife and I took our son up to the mountains over the weekend up in here in Oregon to Mount Bachelor. They had a pond skimming contest and I’ve never seen one before except for on tv so we thought it would be great to watch, and it was. The reason that I bring this up is people are coming down in funny costumes, they’re sliding across the water, some make it, some don’t. You’ve got judges with the score card saying, “That person gets a six, this person gets an eight,” et cetera, “this person gets a one.”
People were doing all kinds of crazy stuff. You could tell the alcohol was flowing for a lot of them and they were really enjoying themselves. Then, one skier comes down and this skier had a smile on his face as big as his whole head. It was huge. He was having a great time. He was on one ski because he was an amputee and only had one leg. He was coming down, flying down the mountain and he looked like he was having the time of his life.
Because he looked like that, it was infectious! The whole crowd was into it! As he zipped across the pond, he just barely didn’t make it. But he gets in the water, raises up his arms and you could tell he had the time of his life. All of the judges gave him a perfect 10. Now, they didn’t give him a perfect 10 because they pitied him or anything else, there were actually other skiers there who were skiing on one leg or amputees coming into the events.
They were giving him a 10 because he was out there doing the impossible and loving it.
I can tell you what the conversation was while I was watching it, there are hundreds and hundreds of people if not thousands watching this event and almost everybody’s thinking, “I can’t do this, I would never be able to ski or snowboard across this pond.” I’m talking about 20 and 30-year-olds who are actually really good. And then to see this guy on one leg….he has every excuse in the book to not ski down a mountain, especially to not ski into a pond of water with a ski on. How are you going to get out?
Yet, he took the impossible and made it an adventure.
His energy was so infectious and so full of life. He was soaking up the marrow of life! It was awesome and it made me think and it made me smile. I absolutely loved it and he deserved a 10 for what he was doing. Now, flash back to these two women talking about how impossible it is to do a 5K. All they were doing during the whole time I was overhearing their conversation was complaining. They were complaining and then justifying why they couldn’t do a 5K. I can’t do a 5K ’cause I’m too old, I don’t have enough time, the excuses went on and on and on. Now granted some of these excuses are valid. And they’re especially valid to the individual but is it true that they don’t have time?
No. They were in the gym, taking the time to complain. So clearly they had time that could have been on the treadmill running or at least walking fast. There are all kinds of options. It’s simply a paradigm shift in thinking about what is impossible to what is possible and what is that reality.
What is the story that you’re telling yourself in that moment?
The guy going down the mountain, his story was drastically different than these two women. His story was one about passion, about living life, about going for it, about going all in.
For these two women, their story was about, “Hey, I can get connection by complaining, I don’t have to do the 5K because I am now putting my story as I don’t have to and I’m getting attention, love, connection by complaining about it, by telling everybody my problems and the reasons I couldn’t do this event.”
Now we all do this at some level. We just do, it’s human nature. My tip for you today is, where in your life are you consciously or subconsciously not doing something because it’s impossible?
Is it starting a new business? Is it starting a new relationship or ending a relationship? Is it actually impossible for you to get up in the morning and meditate every day? Is it because you have kids?
The reality is it’s not impossible.
What I want you to do is open up your journal, go ahead and write down something, think in the past. There’s got to be one thing that you’re thinking, “Yeah, it’s just too hard, I couldn’t do that.” Or, “It’s great to see these other people out there doing an Ironman, doing a half marathon, walking a 5K.”
Whatever your goal is, instead of just thinking it’s good for them to do, I want you to think about what could you do? What’s holding you back and what do you find impossible?
Now, when you’ve got that story, ask yourself, is it true? Is it really, really true that it’s impossible? My guess is that you’re going to find that it’s not. I hope this inspires you, certainly the guy coming down the mountain inspired me, but at the same time these two women complaining also inspired me.
You get messages from both people. You get lessons from those that are doing things positively and you get lessons from those people who are doing things the way that you don’t believe they should be done. Great teachers in both scenarios.
Go to your journal, write it down, I really encourage you because it does help.
Share it in the Author of Your Own Story community, that way you can get some feedback. Also by putting it out there into the world, you’re actually being vulnerable and it forces you to play at a bigger level.
On behalf of the whole team here, remember to go out and be the Author of Your Own Story.
If you like these daily growth hacks, it would mean the world to us if you would take a moment to subscribe and review us on iTunes!