Wednesday, November 04, 2015

Of Stones and Success

So something happened for two Games in a row that has never happened before: I did not come in last in every event.

The events of choice?  Braemar Stone and Open Stone.  In both cases my throws exceed someone - perhaps not by much, but by some.

This is something I would never have predicted.

I am not an athlete by nature (or at least, I never thought I was) and the point of this exercise is not to glory specifically in my own abilities - after all, ultimately we compete against ourselves.  The point, however, is to understand what has brought to the point that I am at least minimally competitive in something that is not something I would have said is in my mental DNA.  In other words, why can I not take this kind of focus and effort and pour it into every other area of my life.

Imagine: If I can do this in approximately 4 years with something I have never done before, what could I accomplish if I was doing it in something I was already skilled at?  What is the thing that enables me to push forward in this area when in so many others I feel like I am simply on hold?

My initial thoughts were not all that grand.  It is something I enjoy - but that is something that is not necessarily that transferable to other things.  It is something that I can quantify progress in - but again, not necessarily that transferable to other things.  And it is something that I do not worry about failing in.

Hello, what is that?

I do not worry about failing in Highland Athletics - if I have a bad game or bad event, I merely move on to the next thing.  And it is not like I ever really fail - just by competing and continuing to compete, I succeed.

But this does not feel true in the rest of my life.

Things have consequences - or perhaps I merely put consequences on them.  Call it old habits of the perfectionist - if I cannot do it well, I will simply stop doing it.  Or, if I cannot move forward in doing it but cannot quit it, I will simply slowly lose interest until doing it feel like doing something something in rote.

So how do I change this?  The answer is seems surprisingly simple:

1)  Do not worry about succeeding or failing.  Simply do. If you fail, just let it go and move on.
2)  Where possible, do things that you enjoy.  You will always do things that enjoy better.
3)  Figure out some way - any way - to quantify progress and keep track.  You work better with goals or targets to hit.

The question is, is this as simple as it seems?  And if so, can I implement it?

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