I’ve written about having clear goals and looking to heroes as ways to live life effectively. These things give us the direction to go, they keep us on track. A second part to this is the need to let go of things that aren’t aiding these goals, things that wouldn’t be done by the heroes we look to emulate. In order to live the life we want, we need to let go of the things that aren’t compatible with that life.
I write today to reflect on the need to stop doing the things not compatible with the life we want.
I’ll be honest in saying I have a few bad habits and behave terribly sometimes. I’m sure I’m not alone in this regard but I don’t believe the term ‘safety in numbers’ applies. Reflection has given some clarity and some desire to change. I have big goals and great heroes. If I am to achieve these goals and emulate these heroes my actions should be compatible with them, they should be actions that help rather than hinder.
I won’t go into the details of my bad habits. I don’t think that would help. My hero Kim once said to me, “Chris, don’t you ever, ever, ever look back.”, I’m going to channel that. Eyes forward, embrace change, realign my actions. I’d encourage you to do the same. Pick something that is not compatible with your goals, something like smoking or drinking, too much TV, giving in to stress, and let it go. Be honest with yourself and be brave. If it’s not helping, it’s probably hindering so eyes forward and embrace new things.
I attempted a career racing motorcycles. I never quite got there but it taught me a lot and I still think about the lessons I learnt. I learnt about perseverance, about helping those around you. I also learnt, very practically, that when racing there is no point in coasting. You need to be either accelerating or braking, coasting is not helpful, coasting is a hindrance. Having behaviours that aren’t helpful is like coasting, you know you shouldn’t be doing it but you catch yourself there every time.
Fear often held me back when I was racing. It once caused me to hesitate on the up ramp of a jump, I stood when I should have seat-bounced. I came up short on a twenty something metre double and wound up with a broken humerus. Hindsight is beautiful isn’t it, why oh why did I hesitate? I wish I hadn’t, I wish I’d been braver and fully committed. While I no longer race motorcycles I’m sure the lesson I learnt there can still be of use. Giving in to fear is a hindrance, it’s not compatible.
I have picked a behaviour I don’t like, a behaviour misaligned with my goals and heroes, and I am going to drop it.
Maybe you should too.