I ran in the sewers of life’s rat race
Sprinting to keep up I quickened my pace
Once in the lead I thought I would see
My wildest dreams waiting for me
Instead only darkness and a stronger stench
Tired and confused I sat on a bench
When I closed my eyes and my ears found the light
A familiar sound pierced through the night
It was there all along inside from the start
Only when I stopped could I hear my heart
The same is true in this life of yours
Only a key can unlock doors
The key of life cannot be bought
The faster you run the quicker you rot
Stop and listen to the beating sound
Your heart will find what needs to be found
You will lose the race and the shallow prize
A shiny award pleases only the eyes
The pleasure you seek is under your skin
In the left of your chest, The Champion Within
- Garret Garrels
How do you spend the majority of your time? Do focus on efficiency or sufficiency? The Bare Necessities do not equal Success’ Recipes.
Recently, I finished ‘The Time Paradox,’ an elaborate read by Dr. Philip Zimbardo and John Boyd. The book suggests that humans subconsciously manage our decision department based off of our perception of TIME. Though I do not have the time to elaborate on the 6 different orientations the book defines, I think that their research is 100% applicable to our constant endeavor towards achieving our life’s goals.
The present-minded individual has a blurred vision toward anything outside his immediate experience. My friend Mike’s hedonistic black lab, Popo, represents a fine example of present oriented behavior. Popo’s daily agenda consists of avoiding pain and seeking pleasure. He has absolutely no concern for future dog holidays or adding to his K-9 retirement fund. Popo is clearly a tension reliever.
In contrast, his future oriented owner, Mike, spends the the better part of his day planning for his family’s forthcoming. He manages a high-paying stable job putting everything possible in his retirement fund. Mike is without a doubt a goal achiever. Much like his idol, Warren Buffet, Mike is also enthralled with the power of compounded interest.
Which is the better path? May I suggest that the answer is not as simple as it may seem. Mike was expressing a concern with me (a fellow future oriented individual) that at the end of a long week of preparing for a hearty future, an emptiness sets in when he thinks of the missed opportunities of ‘enjoying the moment’ in the past week. “What is the point in planning for tomorrow if I didn’t have fun today?” Mike said. “Tomorrow never comes, and I vow to find a healthy median between planning and living.”
I have written that happiness is a journey and not a destination, but writing and acting are two completely different mindsets. Though I advocate Goal Getting, I also cannot stress enough the importance of enjoying the little things in life. The trick is to find a happy median. Therefore, the next time you find yourself in either one of these extremes, please think of the lesson of Mike and his trusty sidekick Popo. You can have your cake and eat it too. Spend your time moving forward on the continuum towards your goals and have a blast in the process.
A long time ago, there was a generous prince, Imago Sui, who was preparing for marriage. He was to meet with three women and make his choice of marriage after dating all three. He was a very new age prince, and wanted to make a careful decision choosing not only the woman that he liked most, but also the one who liked him most.
As a gift for his future wedding, a Wiseman gave him a gift. “Imago, this is a magic mirror. It can answer two types of questions. First off, it can tell you what other people think of you. Secondly, it can tell you what you think of yourself. Be careful with your questions. Its responses can change the foundation of a your well being.” *
Imago was very exited to try his new gift out, and his date with the first woman was in 2 weeks. At his earliest convenience, he asked the mirror, “Mirror, does this girl think that I am physically attractive?”
To which the mirror responded, “She has been known to comment on the size of your nose. She wishes it was smaller.”
The young prince did not want people to criticize his face. He thought princes should have perfect faces and instantly got the best surgeon around to downsize his nose. “Perfect,” he thought. Soon after the surgery, Imago had his first date. Everything went very well, but he was eager to go on his second date.
Again, he questioned the magic mirror. “Mirror, does the second girl think that I am physically attractive?”
The mirror thought for a second and quickly responded, “I can hear her commenting on how your ears stick out from your head. In her mind the perfect man’s ears would sit in close to his head.”
“No problem,” Imago thought. “That is a quick fix.” He set up another surgery and had his ears fixed. The second date went even better than the first and the prince was again eager to meet the third girl. Just like before, he asked the mirror. “Mirror, does this girl think that I am physically attractive?”
The mirror sighed as if in deep thought before responding, “There is nothing physically that this girl wants to change in you.”
“Finally.” Imago said with clout. “I am the perfect specimen.” One week later, he met the third girl for his final date. She was a stunning beauty and very enticing to speak with. “This is the girl that I will ask to marry me.” The prince thought to himself. Despite his attraction to this girl, he sensed a disconnect in her behavior. He couldn’t quite figure it out. Speeding through the date, he couldn’t wait to ask the mirror what the disconnect was.
Right as he returned home he asked the mirror, “Mirror, you told me that this girl thought I was perfect. What is this disconnect I feel?”
“Ahh,” the mirror sighed. “I never said that she thought you were perfect. I simply said there is nothing physically the girl wishes to change. However, she feels that you are insecure and she finds your worry about physical features unattractive in itself.”
Imago was furious and he immediately sought out the Wiseman who gave the gift to him. “This so called gift is no gift at all,” the prince said. “The girl I wish to marry does not like me because of it.”
Pondering for a moment, the Wiseman stated, “I warned that you must be cautious. Have you ever asked the mirror how you think of yourself?”
To which Imago turned to the mirror. “Mirror, what do I think of myself.”
“Imago,” the mirror responded. “Once a courageous and confident man, you soon lost the very feature that brought you to power. Transformed like a butterfly turning back into a moth, you are now insecure and resentful of yourself.”
In dire frustration Imago shattered the mirror with his fist, and traveled to see the girl of his dreams. He apologized and explained that he would no longer worry about changing his physical features. He dropped down to one knee and with all his heart pronounced, “I have faltered from my self before, but will never again. My promise to you, my dear, is to always be the best version of myself and love you for who you are.”
The festival of marriage was vast and joyous. And Imago, the prince, soon became one of the greatest leaders the kingdom had ever seen.
Imago Sui was forever remembered as synonymous with self-image.
* Dr. Maxwell Maltz states in Psychocybernetics that self-image is the foundation of a person’s well being.
A primary difference from the mindset of a champion and that of the defeated becomes clear when adversity strikes. Goals seem easy to accomplish when nothing is standing in your way, but only then are they possible.
If David defeated a child, history would not have been made. If Buster Douglas won a match against anyone other than the #1 ranked, invincible, ‘Iron’ Mike Tyson no one would know who he is. In the same way, if you don’t overcome an obstacle in the journey towards your dreams, you have yet to meet victory.
Get excited when something stands in your way. That is exactly what professional bull riders do. The sport of bull riding is scored on a scale of 0-100 in two parts. The rider is scored from 0-50 and so is the bull. Bulls are randomly drawn by each rider, and eagerness encompasses a rider with a tough draw.
The athlete knows that an easy bull will not give him the opportunity to stand in the winner’s circle. Therefore, every rider desires the best bull in the pen.
The next time something or someone stands in the way of your goals, get excited. Now there is something to accomplish!