A friend of mine from aikido recently started working freelance as a "lifecoach" for lack of a better word. Normally I would raise an eyebrow at this but he really has a natural ability to connect with people so I think is a great move for him. The other day he was telling me a little bit about what he does and he made what I think is a very interesting point that applies to readers of this blog.
Currently my friend works almost exclusively with senior management types -- people who are very successful in their careers. These people are very driven and focused. In short they know how to get things done and as a result they have an unique dilemma. Because they are so talented they can accomplish almost anything they set their mind to. So how do they pick? With so many options and so much pressure to be successful how do you find what will make you happy? And then how to you convince yourself to go for it once you decide?
Thinking about it I think this is an issue many readers of this blog face. Most everyone I know who reads this blog fits the bill of my friend's clients. You really can't train and compete at the level many of us do otherwise. Especially now as many people are beginning their training cycles for 2010 I started to thinking about how we pick our goals. But this just led me to thinking about a question I feel we rarely ask ourselves:
What is the little voice in our head telling us to do?
Most of us have been doing the sports we do now for years; we have lifetime goals, we know exactly how to train and we have grudges to settle with other runners or with certain races. It's hard to walk away from that. But what if we pursued those little thoughts we disregard as fantasies?
I'll use myself as an example. Looking back on it, it seems obvious that my whole life I have wanted to fight. Every training scene in any martial arts movies fascinated me. I never had any doubt that I wanted to be the main character who pushed themselves harder than anyone else and became a great fighter. Except of course, I had every doubt in the world.
I was (and still am) skinny. I'm not particularly quick or coordinated. I'm not particularly aggressive and other than a few months of wresting I had in gym class in high school I haven't been in anything even resembling a fight (thankfully).
But in the fall of 2008 a variety of things came together and I gave it a go. I was determined but oddly embarrassed. I didn't even tell my my gf at the time till after about a week and told no one else for about a month. I knew no one at the dojo and I was the youngest one there. I took me a few weeks just to figure out how to tie the obi (belt) on my gi (uniform). It was a month before I could stop greeting every new training partner with "Hi, I'm new, I have no idea how to do this technique."
But it worked out. Doing aikido has made my life better. I realize now that it's something I've always wanted but was too embarrassed/scared/uncertain to try.
I just wanted to put that idea out there; getting over you hesitations and trying something completely new to make your life better.
Are any of you trying anything new in 2010?
Or, are the sports you're training for now the result of listening to that little persistent voice? How many years did you wait till you tried that first triathlon, marathon, Ironman, etc?
Thanks for reading!