Sunday, 16 November 2008


In one of the teaching rooms at the University there's a great poster of Steve Prefontaine (see today's photo) with an amazing quote that has stuck in my mind since the first time I read it...

"To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift"

How often however do you hear people spouting out such motivational quotes only to follow a path through life which pretty much contradicts their every single word? Anyway, it got me thinking about myself and how I approach the various areas of my life... how often do I sacrifice the gift? Quite often actually!

I feel like giving up alcohol four and a half years ago opened my eyes a little more to ‘who I am’ and Ironman has shown me not only what I’m capable of but how great it feels to ‘achieve’. Over time however this improved 'vision' has not only made me feel good about myself and my achievements but has also made me aware of the disparity in my application between the various aspects of my life.

Anyway, to cut a long story short on Friday I reached some kind of tipping point where following lunch at Salvo’s with AKJ I finally decided enough’s enough… I’m no longer going to guff around staring out of the proverbial window and ‘sacrificing the gift’. If I can marry the girl of my dreams and run across Ironman finish lines around the world it's about time a 'gave my best' to every single other second of my allotted 'three score and ten'.

This weekend therefore I read half of Steve Pavlina’s ‘Personal Development for Smart People‘ and all of David Allen’s ‘Getting Things Done’ with the latter providing valuable insight into possible reasons why things have been getting on top of me recently (my lack of drive in areas outside Hels and endurance sport was beginning to frustrate me). The bottom line being, according to Allen (and I'm inclined to agree) that in the absence of stating clear ‘points of next action’ for the large number of ‘projects’ in my life and in turn collecting those somewhere not inside my head, my mental ‘RAM’ had given up the ghost.

As part of the Getting Things Done (GTD) strategy I’ve attempted to identify all the ‘open loops’ (aspects of your life which aren't where you would like them to be but you haven't decided on the best course of action to change things) spinning around my mind and have processed them into ‘next action points’ which I’ve then 'captured' using the productivity tool ‘Remember the Milk’. Defining every single thing in your life that isn’t currently exactly where it should be is at least as difficult as it sounds but hopefully the 55 'next action points' that I know have contained, a safe distance from my brain, represent a significant portion? Even as I write, more and more 'loose ends' are floating into my consciousness... perhaps by the end of the day I might have in excess of 100 previously unanswered questions safely tucked away in my online to-do list and no longer able to dull my thought process and motivation... pretty amazing when you think about it!

Anyway, I've been up all weekend (almost literally) reading, writing, plotting and scheming and will no doubt revisit this topic extensively over the next few weeks or so. However, as part of 'giving my best to everything' I've committed to 'no Internet use after 7pm' in an attempt to concentrate my work into fewer (more productive) hours and in turn increase the amount of time I spend kicking back with H, friends and family.

For the moment I need to crack on and get a few things done, see you next week.


p.s. seeing as we've already had an athletic quote today I'll leave with something from one of my favourite films....

"See, you get yourself 3 or 4 good pals; then you've got yourself a tribe. And there ain't nothing stronger than that."

any idea Jevon?


Russ said...

Funnily been thinking and planning along similar lines over here. Maybe it's having fatigue knock my last training week a little off track, but I've been feeling I'm not focussing enough on the job at hand.

When I'm back from WA, there's a few changes coming! Both in my setup over here and some of my approach. I can put out the hours every week the test now is can I do that with enough quality and the nutritional and recovery back-up I should!

I'll keep watch on how you go.


Jevon said...

things were going so well. I was just about to say 'great post' until you stumped me with a film quote.
I've seen the movie but frankly I'm struggling.
I keep coming back to 'Goodfellas' for some reason but don't think it is that - don't think they'd have said the word 'tribe'. Sounds musical or similar.
Anyway... APART FROM THE QUOTE... great post.
We can do anything in life. All we need to do is get it on and get it organised. Sounds like you're well on the way.
But I knew that anyway...

Anonymous said...

Young Guns!!!!