What is it exactly that drives you? Whether it's the drive to get on the treadmill for 30min every day, do your P90x routine every day, call your best friend, run 50 miles, read your Bible...you get the idea. Deep down, what drives you forward and provides the "umph" each and every time? Is there a constant need for something? Were you influenced by somebody or some thing?? I read just this past week a race report from a 20-something girl who ran and finished the Rocky Raccoon 100 miler in Texas. It was a post on a website of the CrossFit program she trains with. Clearly by the end, it was a big push/advertisement for CrossFit. Disclaimer: I have zero experience with CrossFit and will neither promote nor criticize it. However, this runner stated how extremely little she ran in preparing for the 100 and stated the following near the end of her post: "I can only imagine the number of runners who participated in the same event who are planning out their 50, 60, 70+ mile weeks leading up to their next event. How boring is that?! Don’t they know time is precious? I guarantee you that if I had been the one putting in all those miles, I either would have wound up injured or been burned smooth out; both of which result in no 100 mile finish." (Read the whole post here.) Again, I'm just a runner. I don't have a gym membership. I pump some iron once a week, do some crunches, do some planks, do some wall sits, and occasionally knock the tar out of my heavy bag that hangs from my basement ceiling. I eat right, burn a ton of calories every week running for hours, and guess what, "boring" would be defined to me as NOT running. Take the way I feel today...if I could and I didn't have to work, had no family, had no responsibilities, I'd choose to go run and run for as long as I could. I'm passionate about it and it drives me...emotionally...physically. Do you know your passion?
What I talked about above goes hand-in-hand with this. Do me a favor, ask yourself this question and maybe even write it down: "What truly influences you?" Got it? I propose this and yes, I heard this concept on an audio-blog which I totally agree with: What influences you...will in turn be the way you influence others. Put it to the test now. Are you influenced by those who drive colorful, shiny, expensive cars? Are you influenced by those who are servant-oriented? (ie: they serve others as a major part of their life) Are you influenced by lots of money? Are you influenced by "image"? Here's a good one: Are you influenced by others who drive themselves physically to reach previously unreached distances? (ie: ultra-running) Yea...that one I will certainly claim. Once you answer some of these questions for yourself, you may be happy...or not so happy with what you hear from yourself. To make a change, it's not easy. Essentially, you are wired a certain way and it's shaped from so many facets of your life: upbringing, friends, TV, workplace, moral/religious beliefs, and the list goes on and on. However, change can be made by starting at what you "allow" yourself to be influenced by...and then watch this spill over into your influence on others. In other words, you're essentially "paying it forward." I'll continue working on my own list....offline. Maybe you could do the same?
120 seconds. When was the last time you had a full 120 seconds of pure silence. I mean nothing at all. Not the furnace, the clock ticking, kids screaming, spouse snoring, birds chirping, rain falling....nothing. Trust me, it'll be a challenge to find it but try to and just "listen"...it can, and I believe it will be an enlightening experience for you. I personally had it sitting down on the Appalachian Trail a month ago. Remember that post? I can't really explain in words the value of complete and pure silence. It's just something you have to experience. I'm not talking about anything "new age" here or anything meditative. Plain, simple, quiet. Just you and yourself. Now go find your 120 seconds of purity!
Thanks for reading today, friends! I hope you find that you know your passion, embrace your influences, and find your silence. For me and I speak for me alone, I find it being out there...with every footfall on the soft bed of dirt, mud, or snow.