Thoreau, Thoreau, Thoreau Your Boat…

11 07 2010

So, we’ve all heard it… A rolling stone gathers no moss. But is it true? Maybe we should ask Mick Jagger… he’s still rolling and rolling and rolling, as the lead singer of one of the longest running, constantly performing, still touring, and still rocking bands on the planet. The fact that his band is called The Rolling Stones is just a coincidence… it’s his inner momentum that keeps him going forward at full steam, and keeps him looking fairly young (all things considered).

In the last post, I talked a lot about changing your life and changing your story. I talked about shifting your perspective away from what you have been doing, to what you WANT to be doing. Now, the big question… How do you keep moving in that new direction?

One Word: MOMENTUM

For me, momentum has been one of the tenets of my life… a belief that I have had and utiilized since high school. The theory is simple, in the morning, start yourself in motion… and never stop moving until your day is done.

I remember many long, late night cramming sessions, trying to fill my brain with everything I would need for a test the following day. I remember being up until 1 or 2AM, and then waking up at 5:30AM, jumping out of bed (to start the momentum), then a quick shower, get dressed, hop on my bike, and ride towards school. I would stop at a nearby Denny’s, and grab breakfast, and keep studying, cramming, absorbing as much knowledge as my poor sleep-deprived brain could handle, and then heading into class. As long as I didn’t STOP… as long as I stayed focused and present, and refused to lie down and rest, I would be fine, I would power my way through the day… ACE the test, finish the rest of my classes and head home…

But it wouldn’t stop there. I’d get home, and you would have to maintain the momentum. Read a book, do my homework, write a little, dinner and then keep it going until I was fully spent. Most of my life, I have survived and in fact thrived on a bare minimum hours of sleep based on this concept. I have a lot to do in my day, every day. A lot to do in my life. Goals, hopes, dreams, plans. It never stops.

Someone told me the other day that he only had so many hours in the day, and I laughed to myself… If that’s true, you either need to use those hours smarter, or sleep less… or in my case, a little of both. If you put your mind to it, there is always enough time in a day to do what is TRULY important to you. Most of us waste at least half of our days with television, facebook, movies, twitter, and other mind numbing activities that make us feel busy and productive, but actually accomplish nothing more than making us FEEL busy and productive. In most cases they do not further our hopes, dreams, businesses, and higher purposes. That’s not to say you have to completely stop doing those things, especially if you enjoy them… just recognize them for what they are. Everyone needs some downtime, and some time to (pardon the phrase) fuck around… but it should be the dessert of your day, not the main course.

I say it to you, because I need to hear it for myself.

In fact, everything I talk about in this blog is as much for me to hear as for anyone. That’s how my brain works. We teach what we must learn the most. My personal struggles and challenges have always been the biggest inspiration for what I write about, so don’t think I have mastered any of these things. I am still a student, and I am merely speaking out loud the lessons that I need to take in. If they help you or anyone else along the way, that’s just the icing on the cake.

So, back to momentum….

About a month ago, I had a life altering experience. I raised the bar in my own life. I challenged myself to show up differently. To hold myself taller, stronger, to stand up straighter. I realized a greater value for who I am, and I found my higher purpose. But that was just the beginning. Each morning since that realization, I have found myself back where I used to be. Back in my comfort zone. Back where I think I’m not worth anything. Where I question my drive and my direction. Where I doubt myself and my value. And every morning I must remind myself of where I am going.

That’s what MOMENTUM looks like to me today. It’s a way of connecting each day to the prior day, and to the day before that. Remembering where I’ve been, and what I’ve learned. Acknowledging that the voices in my head, the fears, the doubts, the confusion is all a pattern I don’t want to be a part of anymore. It’s all an old tape loop. By being present, aware, focused and in complete recognition of the path I am on, I maintain my direction, and move it forward another day.

One tool that has helped me is to ask myself (and those around me) a revealing question every day… here are a few of the one’s I have used:
* How will you help another person today?
* What will inspire you to stay focused today?
* What lie that you tell yourself regularly will you dispel today?
* What fear will you face up to and overcome today?
* How will you know that today was a successful day?
* Where do you want to go today?

Each day… each question… each answer… reveals something about how I am evolving. Each moment is a chance to live my higher purpose. Each day in an opportunity to move one day closer in the direction of my dreams.

One of Kurt Simon’s favorite quotes (other than this blog’s namesake), was Thoreau: “Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined. “

And so I do, and I will continue to….