Last week I got off track. I let worry and anxiety get the better of me. I made food choices I have not made in a couple years (hello Halloween candy) and did not work on my pull-up goal. I share this because I saw several of my friends were struggling as well. this morning my SHINE text introduced me to the term “Autotelic”. From the Greek Autos (self) and Telos (goal). The definition is: having a purpose in and not apart from itself. Meaning we need to be internally driven, not external. We set goals, we post them online, then see how many likes or amount of praise we get. We set a weight loss goal and let the scale decided our success. What if we lived our lives so that we did not wait for a future benefit, but made our choices based on doing them was the reward . What if feeling better was enough, being independent and providing for our families was enough, being there for people that depend on us or making their lives easier, was enough. What if we stopped chasing happy and embraced our “why” in the work we have today. All though I talk about this all the time, I lost sight last week that I had a choice. A choice in what I read, how I let it affect me, and how I let my emotions affect others. Friday is a good example, my husband and I went out and had a great time at a festival, walking distance from our house and had dinner at one of our favorite restaurants. It was an unplanned, super fun night. I came home and went online into a group page to see several parents got phone calls from their kids. All our boys are in Boot Camp together and I knew this meant my son’s Platoon did not win a challenge that they were hoping and my son had been working hard to get that phone call home. My whole mood changed and my poor husband reminded me “we had a great night”. A lot of you will say I am a mom and I deserve to be upset, but I let something I have no control over take over my “why”. I had my phone on me waiting for his call, I already knew that he was not going to call that night. I let it take my “why” of my food choices this weekend and I let it take my “why” I need to be a strong support for my son and my whole family. When faced with a challenge, we can step back and remember we choose what affects us and how we choose how to respond. There is meaning in everything we do, everyday. What we choose is up to us. So my “whys”: I choose to eat in a way that makes me feel strong and healthy, I choose to continue on my goals to make my body stronger to feel energized and tackle any goal I set for myself. I choose to be a positive light for my family, friends and clients in my classes because I love that I have that opportunity everyday. I do not need a scale, social media likes or pats on the back. I need to remember that every “why” I have, I choose. I am going to honor it by being the best version of myself. What is your “why”?
This is a saying I use a lot in my fitness classes. I usually get a groin or an eye roll, but as a group we push through and finish. The depth of these words never truly hit home with me until I wrote them to my son in the 1st letter he will receive at Boot Camp. “Tell yourself you can do anything for 10 seconds and if you need 10 more seconds, say it again”. We all have times we need to push through those 10 seconds to reach a goal. Small things: I can do push-ups 10 more seconds. I can walk away from that cookie. I can focus on this project. Then there will be moments that it will take all your inner strength to get through. Those 10 seconds will be the most challenging of your life. Knowing my son is facing that repeatedly over the next several weeks means I have been relying on this phrase heavily.
Sometimes, you need those 10 seconds to breath. Throughout the day we all face challenges that can cause us to react in a way we may regret later. Traffic, a screaming toddler, an unreasonable client, a salty teenager or a situation we have no idea how to handle. We need to take 10 seconds, to not cut someone off or make a gesture. To see the tiny, hungry, tired person in front of us. Or most important, to not say things we can’t back. Sometimes 10 seconds to breath is what will help look at the situation from the outside. The person in the other car doesn’t know me, they clearly are having a bad day. Does it really matter what strangers in this store think of my child’s behavior. Does this client understand what they want from this project? Is this battle worth picking? You are not going to be able to solve every problem in 10 seconds but it can help you connect with your inner self so in the next 10 seconds, you are expressing who you want be.
We can use 10 seconds to be kind. We often say we want to do more but we don’t have time. You can roll your eyes when you see a shopping left in the parking lot or push it as you walk up to the store. You can send a text to a friend having a rough time. You can hold a door open for someone. You can tell someone thank you. You can tell someone I love you. Now, with a fresh perspective, you can do anything for 10 seconds.
It is National Honesty Day. I thought a lot about what that means and how we deliver our honesty. Are we really helping one another, what is our goal when we are honest. Yesterday, I watched a video by an incredible man that gave a challenge ” find 3 people on Monday and convince them to believe in you, now find 3 people on Friday and convince them to believe in themselves.” Leadership is all about getting people to believe in themselves. A big piece of that is honesty, not patronizing or being aggressive, but true open, sincere, straightforward honesty. When we tell someone they have food in their teeth it is not to judge, it is not their fault, we are here to help. How do we convey that help to the other person? We need to be invested in their growth and care personally about their success. A lot of us don’t see the truth in ourselves and need a mirror to reflect back the best parts of ourselves. Then there are times we are not breaking through to the next level and are not sure why we are missing the mark. Honesty given with love and guidance is what truly helps. Watching someone find themselves and believe in themselves is a true sign of a leader. Our words have the power build others up or tear them down and leave them filled with doubt. How will you use honesty and will you choose to be a leader?
Todays motivation Monday quote come from our book club book, You Are A Badass by Jen Sincero. In our online discussion this weekend, one of our readers shared that this quote spoke to her. I woke up this morning wanting to take on a 14 day challenge that I have attempted before and have not been successful. I immediately began to think about my past failure and what temptations might side track me. This quote made me recognize that I am derailing myself by not just staying in the moment, enjoying the present and actually creating anxiety that does not need to exist. Letting our past attempts define what we can accomplish in the present sets us up for another perceived failure from the beginning. We need to start with our head high. If we must look back, remember a time you felt like your best self, focus on your personal strengths and use that to work towards your goal. More important, changing the goal to self improvement through positive change and not just running to a finish line, helps us connect to our true purpose and express our true selves.
This spoke to my soul today. No matter what you face, you get to choose. I am filled with gratitude for this day. I am going to choose a cup of coffee in peace, a laugh in my classes, a hug from my husband, a smile or text from my kids. Even if my house is messy or I don’t live up to my own expectations. I treasure the opportunity that I have tomorrow.