I can’t pinpoint the exact day, but one day within the last 6 months I began to feel something was pulling at me. I had felt it for a while but on that day, whenever that day was, it broke loose. It overtook most of my daily thoughts. It was a call. A call to action like I have never felt before. Something somewhere exploded in my mind and planted the notion that I needed to unleash my best self.
The feeling was strong. The truth of the realization was uncomfortable. It was not a good feeling to realize that I was not living all of my moments to the best they could possibly be. I fell into the habits and mindset we all are susceptible to when faced with the opposite of comfort… I resisted. I tried to convince myself that my realization wasn’t a true representation of my reality. I tried to convince myself that I was doing fine and I should just stay the course. But I knew. I knew that it wasn’t authentic. The concept had taken hold of my mind. I needed to be the best person my human brain and body was capable of becoming.
Once I realized that becoming better couldn’t be denied I set out to do just that, be better. The first thing I wanted to do was shed the burden of my outward appearances. I cleaned out my closet. I had just finished a book on minimalism that I wrote about earlier this year. I realized to be the best I could be I needed to start with shedding America’s number one ideological export, consumption. My closet was the easiest place to start. Why did I need all of those clothes? Shirts, pants, shorts, polos, ties, why, why, why? Once my eyes were opened it disgusted me. I had way too much. I had “back up” clothing that was the exact same as other pieces in the closet “just in case”. In case of what? I didn’t know, and I still don’t know now.
I began to pull it all out. One piece after another right to a pile on the floor. When the dust-up finally settled I had nine trash bags full of clothing ready to donate. NINE!! I was shocked. I donated it all as fast as I could. I hope there is now someone somewhere who needs the clothes I gave up and are happy with them because they certainly didn’t make me happy or make me my best self. I didn’t quit on that day though. I have probably donated a total of 12 bags now. It’s amazing how little is actually needed. I hope to pare down even more as time goes on.
So, the clothing was a start. But the pull was much deeper. I wanted to get my mind on track but also my body. Around the same time is when I signed up for 5 triathlons for the 2017 season. If I signed up and paid the money it would make it much harder to back out and quit. I would have to train if I wanted to finish the races. It worked and as a huge bonus it kicked off a habit that is still going now even though race season is long gone. I train nearly every day. If you want to check out the stories of this year’s races look here and here.
It was about at this point that I thought the call in my head and heart would subside a little. But the opposite has happened. It is stronger now than it was on that whenever day 6 months ago. I think that means I am on the right track. I don’t think I will ever say that I have arrived, but hopefully, I am pointed in the right direction. I know that it is going to take many years to get there. Many trials that will need to be overcome. But at least I am looking towards the horizon.
As of right now, I can’t even predict where I am going from here. I can’t see the future. But I do have some guiding goals. One of those goals is to see how many people I can get started in the sport of triathlon. It has been extremely rewarding for me which means there is someone else out there that would feel the same way if they just entered their first race. They need help to get going and I want to be that support. A second goal is to throw myself into reading. I have mentioned an experience before regarding my resolution and reading, but I want to put that goal to shame. I want to be voracious. I want to be relentless. My goal is huge. My goal is to read 2,500 books in my lifetime and at the same time spread that knowledge as far and wide as possible through the Friday Rally.
I read an amazing quote this week in the book Business Secrets of the Trappist Monks by August Turak. I will let you see it for yourself, hopefully, it is as powerful for you as it was for me…
I wouldn’t say that I am at my best yet. I don’t know if I will ever get there. But I can say with 100% conviction that I feel the exact same way as that quote. I don’t ever want to go back to what I was. I hope I feel the call for the rest of my life.