It’s official. Training starts today. I have accepted the challenge to race in the Muddy Buddy Bike and Run on June 20, 2009. The Muddy Buddy is a 10k race through the woods, on bike and on foot, featuring “Survivor-type” obstacles and a finishing crawl through a mud pit. These fun events happen all over the country and benefit an excellent cause – The Challenged Athletes Foundation. Learn more at the Muddy Buddy site and watch the video below from last year’s race.
Accepting challenges, of all sorts and sizes, is the way we maintain a powerful and purposeful orientations to life. Challenges enable us to grow and inspire us to transcend our present limitations or circumstances. We can deny and forestall those challenges, or we can accept them.
When we accept a new challenge, something truly spectacular happens. We engage new forces and resources to help us prepare for and complete our intended goal. We engage a wide range of emotions – excitement, fear, uncertainty, and empowerment. Ordinary events and circumstances take on new characteristics. Our focus becomes sharper. Growth happens.
The Muddy Buddy example is a fun physical challenge and an opportunity to add a new dimension to my relationship with my wife, who will be my partner for this event. She strapped on sneakers and went for a jog this morning, and we are already tossing around ideas for costumes (watch the video, and you’ll understand).
This might be something you want to do, as well. But more, likely, there are other things happening in your life that will provide the necessary push you are looking for. Perhaps yours will be a:
The choices are limitless, and they are YOURS to make. We must be off balance in the direction of our desire in order to make something meaningful happen. Off balance on purpose!
Here’s what I want you to do. Tell me about your challenge by posting to the comments section of this blog post. What do you intend to do, and when do you intend to do it? You can also send me a private email via firstname.lastname@example.org, which I will reply to. But if you write in the comments section, you will inspire others as well! We are all in this together, and by voicing our commitments, we will undoubtedly help one another stay focused and determined to complete what we’ve set out to do.
1. Start with Purpose. What are you really trying to accomplish in life? Why is it important? How are you growing toward the person you hope to be?
2. Pick your Target. Just choose one new challenge, small or large, which you are ready to commit to. It could be something you’ve been intending to do for years, or it could be a brand new thought. Perhaps it’s something you are already doing, but are ready to commit to a new level.
3. Say “Yes” to Start the Process. Accept the challenge and tell me about it, or express your intentions to other people in your life whom you trust and respect.
4. Leverage your Resources. After you commit, new resources will become available, internally (because you are focused and emotionally engaged) and externally, as you will notice new opportunities around you. Use those factors to your advantage to sustain and grow your commitment and keep your momentum moving forward.
5. Follow Through. There will be many tests along the way, especially as you near completion. Just continue making strides and remember your reasons for accepting the challenge in the first place. Ask for help when you need it. Rest to renew your strength. And continue.
Today is different because of the challenges we have accepted. And every day we renew and confirm our commitment. By taking responsibility for the direction of your growth and initiating action, you reclaim control of your destiny. The challenges are still challenging, but they are more manageable and more rewarding … because they are yours.
With encouragement always,