The Founded On Freedom 5k finisher medal hit my mailbox this weekend. Later this month, I have the Mayport Mud Run and the Summer Sun Run. I don’t compete in these events to win. I’m all in for the fun—and, yes, the medals!—but participation is something more. The most important reason involves keeping the commitments I make to myself.
We all have goals we seek in life and work. We dream, we imagine something more. We humans seem created to hope and strive. It’s not a lack of contentment in the now. Instead, our gift allows us to consider what might be beyond our current horizon.
Truth be told, the worthiest of our objectives require a price. We might pay in time, energy, critical thought. We may need to invest funds. Regardless, we must commit. And there we come full circle. When we pursue lofty goals and prioritize what we value, then it’s our commitment that keeps us on track.
Our aspirations, whatever form these take, may have two pieces. Desired endeavors may involve a “long game.” As an example, when I returned to grad school for a doctorate, that required a months of study and effort, culminating in my dissertation research and defense.
The second element entreats us to choose how we can live for today, not someday. For me, finishing events like the Cooper River Bridge Run require me to follow a fitness routine. Every day. Because I value the health, strength, and endurance. Exercise increases my brain function. The endorphins make me feel good.
We make many decisions every day regarding how we will live in the moment and for the future. No matter how “stuck” a person believes his or her self to be, there are always options and choices. We need to know ourselves deeply, understand our values, and use our time wisely. We must commit, and keep the commitments we make to ourselves.
So I sign myself up for events throughout the year. And I stay on track to finish these, one after another. And I collect the medals, because each reminds me how I live my commitment. I make many commitments. To my family, to my community, to the clients I help through coaching and other engagements.
For the most part, I keep them all. But I’ll be the first to confess I allow myself periodic diversion. None of us can adhere perfectly all the time without rest, renewal, and creative breaks. We need to be kind to ourselves and seek out others who enable our encouragement and accountability.
How would you love to experience your life and work? What you can imagine, you can design for and do. How will you know you’re making progress? The medals, as an example, provide evidence of my commitment to personal health. When I struggle, they offer a symbol of consistent effort. I can look at them and remind myself what I do is important to me and that I’m living my goal every day.
Is something more, something different on your wish list? Lace up for your today, for the adventure that begins now, with a choice. Share your thoughts and feel free to reach out.
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