Secret #2: Seek Clarity and Conviction – Choose Wisely
“Life is fired at us point blank and we must choose. ” – Ortega
“We can have anything we choose, but not everything we want. Our appetites will always exceed our grasp.” – Philip Humbert
I wake every day affirming that what I do on this day is a choice. Some days it doesn’t exactly feel like it :), but I know this is true. At the same time, I also affirm that what I DON’T do is also a choice. Every single day, every one of us chooses to do (and think) certain things and not others. And there in lies the challenge: one of the traps we can all fall into is the belief that “we can choose to have it all.” I don’t think that is true, at least not all at the same time.
In order to reach your ultimate potential as an athlete, you must decide that is what you want, and then make clear choices that point you toward that goal.
There’s something unique about this day and age we live in that leads many of us to believe we can “have it all.” I often speak with athletes who send themselves off in many directions at the same time. For example, in addition to training for ironman, they might also be starting a new job, raising a young family, buying a new home, or working on their Masters! Yes, these folks are super type-A high achievers with the commensurate commitment to make it all happen. But the truth is, doing all of these things well and reaching our true potential on the race course too, is fool’s gold.
Each of us must choose. We must all decide for ourselves what we want to achieve, and then seek clarity and conviction and a singular focus toward that end.
The problem some have when they read this, hear me speak about it, or glance at Susan’s life from afar, is that they think that they are different. They don’t want to give up certain other aspects of their life while pursuing their racing goals. They “like” dabbling in and pursuing many things all at once. Some say that racing fast isn’t their only goal. Others believe driving themselves into a hole of deep exhaustion from having so many irons in the fire is something to be proud of. As a society, we love to pat ourselves on the back for being able to “do it all!”
Trying to “do it all” leads to mediocrity. Hey, if you’re ok with your race results and your overall progression as an athlete, then read no further. However, if you are truly committed to being the best athlete you can be and seeing what you are truly capable of, like Susan is, you’ll have to make THAT your focus and make some sacrifices in other areas of your life, at least for a period of time.
- Susan narrowed her focus. She makes sacrifices in other areas of her life in order to be on this journey.
- She has built up systems including a support group of friends and family, and has created and nurtures an environment that supports this singular focus.
As many have said, ultimately the “winner” is the person who is most happy with their choices. I believe (as I bet Susan does), that happiness comes directly from having clarity. To quote Philip Humbert, “happiness comes from deciding who we are, what we value, and how we will spend our lives, and that comes from taking time to think clearly, make smart choices, and plan wisely.”
Susan is living life in her own way, according to her values. In this day and age, we often fall into the trap of working harder, doing and buying more, yet not finding the happiness we had hoped to. What we would all benefit from is what Susan has done: choose wisely, create clarity, and live life on our own terms to its fullest.
In the end, each of us is required to accept responsibility for the choices we make and the path we follow. We can’t have it all. What we can have is whatever we choose!
Who knows what lies ahead? Follow YOUR path with clarity and focus and be the very best you can be!
Look for secret #3 soon. Enjoy!