The Craziest Competition of All

I walked out this morning at 6:30, hoping it would be cool. My dog was, as usual, beside himself with excitement.

As we (my dog and me) rounded the bend, I noticed a young man with the biggest mop of hair  strolling along in front of me. He reminded me of Mogli from Jungle book. He looked like he had just woken up – rubbing his eyes and stretching.

A strange thought slid into my head: I’ll overtake him easily.

He was relaxed and strolling; I was walking as fast as I could.

After about 10 minutes I realized I wasn’t making much progress.

Interesting, since he was relaxed and not in a rush and I was focused on competing with him. (Is it a competition if the other person knows nothing about what is happening??)

Grumpily I conceded that youth may have the edge here.

As we (my dog and me and the young man) walked up the road, a couple, very smartly dressed, walked out of a home. They were much older than the young man, maybe around my age. I chatted briefly to them as I glided past.

Well that was easy, I thought and then relaxed and zoned out as I got lost in my own world of thoughts.

A few minutes later, as we (my dog and me and the young man and the old man and the old woman!)  neared the gate of the suburb I realized that I had in fact caught up with the young man.

Haha, I thought, I do still have it in me.

Perhaps all I needed was to calm down and have patience.

I do know this. I often forget.

In my experience when I am calm and relaxed I perform way better that when I stress myself out with panicky thoughts of time and competition.

It seems like this is a good theme for me for the year: be calm, be patient, be grounded.

Have you thought about a theme for your year? It’s better than setting New Years resolutions.

And if you do select a theme for the year – how do you stay focused on it for the whole year?

Here’s what works for me:

3 steps to keeping focus on a theme for the year:

  • Use notes on your phone to record your self observations
  • Set a weekly reminder to record your observations
  • When the reminder goes off, jot down how well you have lived your theme, what’s not working, what is working.

It’s important to keep the notes short and sweet and honest, so that the task doesn’t become laborious and take lots of time.

Doing this once a week is not to onerous. It also brings your awareness back to the theme – as the weeks go by your awareness grows and you will be able to catch yourself in the moment and make a  change if necessary.

From a relaxed and calm me, to you and your dreams for 2017, have an awesome year!!

Being relaxed, at peace with yourself,
confident, emotionally neutral loose, and free-floating
–these are the keys to successful performance
in almost everything
Wayne W. Dyer

Photo from flickr

About Kirsten Long

Coach. Toastmaster. Prison-worker. Wife. Mother. Friend.
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