Have you ever had what you would call an “A-HA” moment?
You know what I mean. They’re those moments where a light bulb goes off in your head and all of a sudden you have this new way of looking at something.
Don’t you love those moments?
This week I thought about one of those “A-HA” moments that I had several years ago. I thought it’d be useful for you to hear about it today.
It was the winter of 2015 and I was in my office talking with a client. During our conversation, he illuminated something to me about succeeding at reaching your goals.
The client I was working with was Tony Watson, who was a relief pitcher for the Pittsburgh Pirates. This was a man who had certainly achieved a high level of success in his chosen field of pursuit.
Out of the hundreds of thousands of high school baseball pitchers, only a tiny fraction make it to the professional level. Out of that tiny amount, only a small fraction have prosperous careers.
When I met Tony, he had already been a big leaguer for several years and was statistically getting better and better. He was playing well enough on a winning team to make his first All Star game appearance (a top honor for a pro), and he had been signed to multi-million dollar contract. You could definitely say that he knew a thing or two about reaching goals.
After several months of working with him, I felt comfortable enough to ask him some questions about what it’s like to “be him.” One of my questions led to my “A-HA” moment.
As I was working with him on my table, I asked him what he liked most about having that level of professional success. I assumed he would say something about having huge crowds cheering for him, having people treat him with honor everywhere he goes, having all those millions, or something else along those lines.
He instead said, “stuff like this.”
“Stuff like what?” I said.
“Stuff like what we’re doing. The preparation and the training.”
Stunned, my first response was, “really? Why?”
He said, “because without it, none of the other stuff would be possible.”
I interrogated him about this for the rest of the session and by the end, my mind was blown.
This is a guy who lives a life that others envy, and the thing he enjoys most about it are the daily and weekly disciplines it took to get him there. Clearly, he is one that understands that success requires a love for the process and not just a love for the results of the process.
Considering this example, reflect on how often you find joy in the process of reaching goals.
How often do you truly enjoy the practice of a sport, the daily habit of exercising, the hourly decisions to eat healthy, or any of the other regular, routine things that you know you “must do” in order to get where you want?
I’ve struggled with this too. If I’m not careful, I will often think too much about the desired results and fail to find joy in the process of getting there. I’ve learned the hard way that this leaves us open for frustration, discouragement and sub-par results.
I’ve learned that to be successful, I need to be more like Tony and get more joy out of the process.
What if we shifted our mindset and began to find joy in the completion of a workout, the eating of a healthy meal, the drinking of a glass of water, the 30 minutes of practice, or any of the other things that when added together, make something amazing?
How would that change our experience? How would that change our results?
What do you think about this? Have you seen this true in your own life? Does this resonate with you at all?
I’d love to hear your thoughts. Feel free to email me back. Also, please forward this to someone else who could benefit from it.
Blessings for the journey,
P.S. This week I also got to thinking about an “A-HA” moment I had in 2005 when I heard a lecture by Greg Roskopf for the first time. Greg is the developer of Muscle Activation Techniques, which is something I’ve been certified in since 2006. Greg was one of my teachers.
His story is fascinating. In a recent podcast episode he shared the incredible journey that led him to become a sought after specialist by all types of healthcare practitioners as well as by professional athletic organizations like the Denver Broncos, the Denver Nuggets and the Utah Jazz.
Definitely worth a listen if you can spare an hour. Here’s the link-