To Share or Not to Share

Recently I was reminded of my experience during my first body building prep and the process of setting the goal and then reaching it.  More specifically I was taken back to the time of when I decided to share this goal with others.  All in all, my prep was about 10 months long from the point of transitioning my normal routine of lifting and eating, to a more structured body builders approach in terms of hiring my coaches and nutritionist and tweaking my training around building my body to compete.  I had set the date of my first show for September 3rd and fixated my eyes on the goals at hand and didn’t look back.  In the first 6 months however, I didn’t share my goals to compete with anyone except a few people (girlfriend, parents, coaches).  But I do remember the time I finally did share with someone outside my few trusted confidants that I would be competing and that this transition was a complete overhaul to my entire life.  In this entry I want to depict the moment it happened, what I realized after my goals had been met, and what it did for me.

I remember being 6 months into my prep and I had just started a new promotion at work. I was immersed in a new venture both extra curricular with body building and at work with my new position.  In the process, another friend of mine had started the new position with me as we had been hired together.  I had known him for awhile now, and was aware of his highly motivated and determined-goal setting life style he was living.  He was always a staple of positive thinking and a role model of realizing your dreams and being relentless in the pursuit of them.  But for some reason I still didn’t feel comfortable sharing this secret that I had been keeping.  I couldn’t tell you why; maybe it was because fitness wasn’t his passion?  Maybe it was because I was insecure about the vanity of the sport?  Regardless, I had many insecurities in the beginning (still do) and I didn’t know who to trust with this goal.  Until one day we were working late, it was quiet in the office and he asked me some probing questions about my outside life that I hadn’t really shared with him before.

We discussed our 5 year plans and goals.  We talked about where and what we want to be doing in the immediate future but also about what we were doing right now to moving towards those goals.  So I started to mention my thoughts about lifting and fitness, then diets, and eventually BODY BUILDING.  I did it!  Like letting a fart slip in front of the girl of your dreams, I had spilled my secret to someone neutral, unfamiliar, and unbiased to me.  Now being completely unfamiliar to the fitness lifestyle in general, he naturally had many questions about what the sport is and how it works.  The easiest frame of reference to share with my friend was share one of my heroes and main sources of inspiration, Arnold Schwarzenegger.  Of course at that point, we had made a connection since everyone knows Arnie.  After that, he asked me the most important question.  When I was planning on competing?  I told him September 3rd and he smiled as if he knew my dreams were already at my fingertips.  After that day he would periodically check in with me.  He wouldn’t tell everyone else or make a big scene, but more of just reminders and questions about how I was feeling or how training was going.  Finally, the show date was here and I was nervous. Every single tedious and obtuse ritual of prep had gotten me this far and at this point there was nothing more I could do but put on my best show and try to have some fun through the nerves.  The day of my show, however, I remember without prompt or reminder. He had sent me a picture of a phrase written on a piece of paper he used to keep in his wallet that said, “We become what we think about”.  I didn’t realize it at first, but what he was doing my entire journey was holding me accountable.

Through the whole process I had realized a truth about myself that had never occurred to me before.  I prefer to be held accountable for my goals by others.  There’s a sense of purpose and determination that takes over me when I use motivation of doing something for someone else, rather than just completing something for myself.  I work harder and more relentlessly when I know someone else is counting on me to do it.  But this doesn’t have to be the case for everyone.  The flip side of this coin, however, is choosing not to share our goals or passions with others and only holding ourselves accountable.  There’s a quote unanimously told in different ways: “Make goals, be quiet about them, crush them, rinse and repeat.”  Simple enough, right?  For some maybe, yes, but both have to be tried and tested eventually to see for yourself.  I had tried the latter approach for many years, only to yield unsuccessful results.  It doesn’t mean I wasn’t capable, only that there was a piece of the puzzle my brain couldn’t fabricate to manifest my destiny.  The drive of knowing someone else was depending on me to do it.  Goals are the name of the game in order to reach your potential, but setting yourself up for success and learning your best workflow to achieve your goals, is half the battle.  Don’t wait years to try a different approach like I did if your not reaching your potential.  Albert Einstein said, “Insanity is the definition of doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”  I’m challenging you today to find out whether or not sharing your goals with others is your missing piece of the puzzle to success.

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