I came across this TED video today and I want to share it with you. In ten minutes, Phil Hansen demonstrates the power of limitations, not only within the creative process, but within life. Interestingly, he points out that often too many choices can lead to, well, nothing.
I hope that you find inspiration in this video.
Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an action but a habit. ~Aristotle
from within Runner’s World article by Amby Burfoot
Amby Burfoot has spent his lifetime running, and he shares his secrets in the article referenced above. I encourage you to take a look – there are some great insights. One of the insights is that the physical act of running is easier than the mental act of running. We have to believe in ourselves to keep going.
For me, this means that I am constantly training the voice inside my head to say what I want it to say. It isn’t easy, but some techniques that I use include:
- Reading daily quotes for inspiration
- Writing myself reminders
- Writing blog posts like this one – if I’m talking the talk, I outta be walking the walk
The voice in my head – and I suspect everyone’s – is very powerful in the creation of our story, and it’s up to us to make sure it’s telling the story you want it to tell.
Do you have any techniques or strategies for training your inner voice? What story did your voice tell you today?
I’ve learned that finishing a marathon isn’t just an athletic achievement. It’s a state of mind; a state of mind that says anything is possible. ~ John Hanc
from Runner’s World Daily Quote email
In order to finish a 26.2 mile race you have to run the first mile. And, in order to write a book you have to write the first chapter.
Jill Weatherholt’s recent post provides some great suggestions for how you can stay focused on your task and be efficient in accomplishing your short term goals, in this case writing.
Finishing a marathon requires focus, effort, and dedication. If we apply the same approach to everything that we do in life – our writing, photography, whatever our interest – we’ll be amazed at the results.
Physical fitness is not only one of the most important keys to a healthy body, it is the basis of dynamic and creative intellectual activity. ~John F. Kennedy
from Runner’s World Daily Kick in the Butt email
Okay, so I don’t think that Kennedy was advocating that we work while on the treadmill, but I do agree that there is a strong connection between mental health/strength and physical health/strength.
For me, the ability to clarify my thoughts through writing is enhanced when I’m physically active. When I take time off from running I find that my mood elevator plummets, my confidence weakens, and my anxiety starts to climb. Which is why it’s so important to ensure that we don’t make the mistakes that moveeatcreate reminds us of in a recent post.
What connections do you see between the body and mind? How do you ensure that you stay balanced?
As I was reviewing the posts from the week, I started to notice a theme related to success, and it reminded me of the above cartoon. I enjoy most of Andy Singer’s work, for both its style and message, and this message got me thinking about how I define the success of my life. Three key points come to mind, with some thoughts about how they relate to the image:
- I’m able to provide for my family. This doesn’t mean that we need to be rich. It means that we can meet our basic needs. Walking and biking are two perfectly acceptable means of transportation (though we do travel by car).
- I have a positive influence on the lives of others. I realize that this won’t always be the case, but in general, I want to help others reach their potential and live happy and productive lives. Minimizing my impact to the planet and setting a positive example are two ways that I can do this. Not yelling at others and being angry with them is another.
- I keep a positive approach to how I live my life and to recognize the gift of life. Taking the time to walk, smile, and enjoy the company of my family (human and non-human) is a key element in accomplishing this goal.
I’m not always successful in meeting all of these goals, especially the last two, but I give it my best each day. And on the days that I’m not successful, I try to learn and adapt so that tomorrow is better. Sure, I make mistakes and wish that I could take things back, but when I think it through, I’m not sure that’s such a good idea.
Every significant mistake or action I’d like to take back has created an important learning opportunity. If I erase the event as if it never happened, I’ll lose the benefit of the lesson learned. No thanks. My mistakes enable my success, so I’d rather keep them with me.
I think that most people within American culture have goals similar to those I’ve outlined above, though I’ve definitely met many that have the materialistic definition of success implied in Singer’s cartoon.
How do you define success in your life? Is it different from, or aligned with, your culture’s definition of success?