When my colleague, Coach Nancy Chrisman, challenged me to write a top ten list every day for a week the challenge didn’t just come out of the blue. We had been discussing how to get my writing muscles into shape and doing the lists was just one of the options, one that I said I would undertake.
On the last day of a week of utter failure trying to put lists together I took one last try a couple of hours before a scheduled call with Nancy. As is sometimes the case, even through we miss a goal we can get so much more in the process of trying just because of the effort taken. I started looking at WHY this task was so hard. Typically things like this just happen for me, seemingly with almost no effort. Why was I stuck?
I came to the conclusion that I really just wanted to write about the things I had learned during the week, so that is where I started. At item number 7 I realized I was about to have my first completed “top 10” list.
I sent the completed list on to Nancy. At least I had done ONE for the week.
We had our scheduled call and the topic of transparency came up. OK. I’d done the list… now what?
“Am I going to do this stuff in my cave and stay safe or will I embrace the risks and get out and play in the light?”
This blog is my answer and the list I did that day is my first entry.
Welcome into my version of “playing in the light”!
Top 10 Big Lessons From This Week – Dec 22 2014
1. Top 10 lists can be hard to write.
I think that is because I headed out in search of the lists instead of just paying attention to what interests me. Who really cares about some list in the abstract? All I really care about is, “What am I learning and what is important about it?”
2. I am not really happy unless I have a feeling of freedom and playing.
From now on, as soon as I get a sense of working hard on something I want to drop it down a notch and look for a sense of “easy” as in “easy going, easy does it.” Effort is fine; struggle, on the other hand, sucks the joy out of things. Lesson learned from reading “Born to Run”:
Caballo Blanco: “Easy. Light. Smooth. Fast.”
Eric Orton: “If it feels like work, you’re working too hard.”
3. Planning is important but action is essential.
Planning to avoid action destroys energy. Setting a course and moving ahead with a strategy – that creates energy. Think of an ultra-run: you can’t plan the entire course run but you can have an overall strategy and work in the moment within that strategy.
4. Long lists are joy and action killers.
See ultra-run reference above.
5. When my body is hurting I am best off finding physical activity I can do anyway, regardless of the injury.
In other words, exercise is NOT optional. A painful hip, a disabled shoulder, painful knees, lower back and upper back pain, neck pain, and more; they all came together this week to knock me off of and out of my game. They robbed me of sleep and mobility. But I am rebounding with walks, playing with my dog and learning to throw a frisbee with my left hand, enjoying the woods near my house, and doing conditioning exercises to counteract the disability.
6. I need to fully recognize my anger, fear, resentment, etc. and let them go.
Move on by finding a place of love and joy. I will find that place in service to others.
7. Anger, fear, resentment, etc., really do hurt – literally.
Joy and love are healing. Attitude really does rule.
8. Writing flows when it comes from a place of truth and an honest quest.
9. Writing with a desire to serve is joyful.
So, is it OK to write to serve so that I can have joy? I think so. Do it for the joy, for the service, and enjoy myself. (See Caballo & Orton above.)
10. I like running. I want it to like me.
I’m willing to put in the effort to figure it out.