Thursday, October 18, 2018, 19:10 | No Comments »

 

 

purpose

 

Why am I here? Where am I heading? What am I to do?

 

We’ve each experienced a sense of purpose, to varying degrees, at different stages in our lives. A sense of purpose is cultivated within each of us from an early age. Purpose is initially bound to a sense of duty or a sense of responsibility, before we’re properly able to comprehend it’s meaning.

 

Our sense of purpose is further shaped by the culture of our social group as we grow older. People with different cultural identities have varying sense of purpose, and these may be reassessed, over time, according to our experience.

 

Society is driven by purpose and it dictates the purpose to the individual in order to maintain social cohesion. When trust in society begins to erode, individuals begin to question their purpose.

 

Societal norms and the institutions on which society is based, are currently being questioned more frequently and more openly. This has led to a new form of awareness which is having a disruptive impact on the traditional sense of purpose.

 

Our goals are a reflection of our sense of purpose, and consciously moving toward a goal reinforces this purpose. A human with a goal feels that they have a purpose, a reason for being.

 

Personal Development programs incorporate 'goal setting' as a foundational catalyst. The concept can be defined as ‘the development of an action plan, designed to motivate and guide a person or group toward a goal.’ The goal, in this context, is the object of a person's ambition or effort.

 

 

 

 

Let’s consider how we go about choosing a goal. A goal is a future outcome, created in the present, based on past experience. The objective is decided on, through an assessment made, based on reflection.

 

A goal is never something totally new. We must have some knowledge of the destination, prior to making a decision to move toward it.

 

We decide to bring this knowledge into our experience, because we have a desire to know. It’s important to understand the difference between ‘knowledge’ and ‘knowing’. Our knowledge is a second hand account, information we’ve gathered from various sources, while knowing comes from experience.

 

Achieving the goal promises the opportunity to experience life from a different perspective. This is applicable whether the objective is to travel, advance in your career, increase your income, improve your physical performance or physique. We move toward the goal in order to extend the boundary of our experience.

 

Goals arise from discontent. We make a decision to move toward a goal because we’re unsettled in our present state.

 

Setting a goal and moving toward it means that our vision must be future oriented. We necessarily have to remain unsatisfied with the present moment in order to maintain the desire to move toward a goal. This becomes habitual over time.

 

The habit pattern of being unsatisfied with the present moment shifts our attention to a future outcome based on past experience. Our focus is therefore diverted from the here and now. We are no longer fully present, and miss the experience of life, which happens only in the present moment.

 

Those of us who set goals are familiar with the feeling of achieving an objective and remaining unsatisfied. We’ve developed a habit pattern of being destination driven. When the destination is achieved, the habit pattern remains, and so does the feeling of being unsatisfied.

 

This might appear to be an unorthodox view of goals and goal setting, especially for a Performance Coach. Why not continue down the path of setting goals guided by SMART criteria?

 

An individual who sets goals tends to calculate their self-worth by their progress toward, or achievement of, the objective. If the objective isn’t achieved within the expected time frame, or not achieved at all, this has a negative impact on self-esteem and sense of purpose. Evaluating our self by these criteria is also detrimental to maintaining momentum, which in turn has a negative impact on achieving the goal.

 

So what are we to do?

 

 

 

 

The answer may be to reconsider our sense of purpose, and shift our mindset from one which is goal defined, to one which is direction driven. Choosing a direction for our life instead of fixating on a destination, and being open to course correction when necessary. Moving in a chosen direction is completely within our control, in every moment of our experience.

 

This autonomy of purpose has a positive impact on self-esteem, and translates to increased momentum.  We remain present and conscious of our direction, and  appreciate the experience as it unfolds. We can also change direction at any moment depending on what feels right, and are no longer bound to an objective created in the past. 

 

How boring, and impossible, to know the future. Life would be dull if everything unfolded exactly according to a predetermined plan. We should trust in the newness of each experience and embrace the things we cannot predict. It’s the unpredictable that’s most interesting, that's most exciting.

 

The real excitement is in the experience of moving in your chosen direction. Encountering unexpected challenges and responding to them. A fulfilling life is one in which you are following the direction you've chosen, and at any moment you are open to changing direction, as it suits you. There is no thought of success or failure because at any moment you are going in your chosen direction.

 

Judging your self by your achievements is counter productive to your growth and personal development. There will always be something more to achieve, and so you remain on the wheel and unsettled.

 

The concept of goal setting doesn’t work for everyone, and is heavily influenced by the social group in which someone has spent their formative years. In fact the overwhelming majority of people don’t set goals, or are unwilling to do so based on their past experience or view of the future.

 

Choose direction over destination. This is a concept which works for anyone, irrespective of cultural background, socio-economic class or identity. The objectives society had humanity working toward, in order to maintain social cohesion, are fast becoming irrelevant. People are increasingly reconsidering their sense of purpose as we move into an exciting and uncertain future. Maintain your momentum by confidently following your direction, and be less fixated on a goal.

 

Everyone has a different journey, a different path. The goals you set may not be part of this journeys unfolding. Don’t let the objective make you anxious. Don’t measure your self-worth against your achievements, or the achievements of others. This will either make you a proud egoist or a jealous defeatist.

 

- Life is the Purpose of Life and You are effortlessly realizing that Purpose -

 

 


Tuesday, October 9, 2018, 19:01 | No Comments »

 

 

trust

 

Benjamin Franklin is attributed with the saying ‘ If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail’. An adage that carries weight, for good reason. Benjamin was an American polymath, founding father of the United States, and a major figure in the American Enlightenment and the history of Physics.

 

What does this have to do with trust? Your receptivity is directly related to your trust in the source. A Ben Franklin maxim is therefore a perfectly trustworthy way to begin.

 

Let’s start by considering relationship.

 

In order to know, we have to experience. In order to experience, there has to be two. A subject and an object of experience. 

 

We are always conscious of two. Our self and the other. The other may be animate or inanimate, but we are always conscious of a subject and an object. Even when observing ourselves, there's a separation between the body and the observer.

 

To relate means to make, or show, a connection between things. When there’s more than one, a relationship exists between entities. When there’s only one, there can be no relationship. So one needs to be divided, in order for relationship to occur. We are only able to understand our connection, by experience, when we are divided.

 

What is it that keeps everything connected, what is the quality of the primary relationship between all things? What is the substance that binds us?

 

All Life in the Universe is bound together in a relationship of Trust.

 

Trust exists between all things, in order for existence to unfold. Before an interaction can occur, irrespective of the objective, there has to be a degree of trust. This holds true whether we consider a relationship between a child and it’s mother, between partners, or between a flower and the stem from which it blooms. 

 

Growth is made possible when there is a relationship of trust.

 

 

 

Trust in existence is rooted in a deep trust in our self. The quality of our Life is influenced by the quality of our relationships. Trust is the primary quality of relationship, so a fundamental trust in our self is at the core of a harmonious experience.

 

Trust is the cornerstone of growth and development.

 

Personal Development requires trust in our self and our ability to achieve the objective, and a trust in the process required to reach the goal.

 

When we select a goal to move toward, we form a relationship, a bond, with the outcome. The primary bond between the individual and the outcome must be a relationship of trust, in order for the goal to be achieved.

 

Working toward a goal requires a process, and there must be trust in the process, for it to be effective. When we seek out a performance coach or trainer, to assist in achieving the objective, there has to be a bond of trust between the teacher and the student for the empowerment process to be of any value.

 

Doubt may arise when the goal appears to be hard to achieve, and trust in the self may diminish with perceived failure. Remember that there is in fact a relationship between achievement and trusting your self, but it’s exactly the opposite. Objectives are achieved when we begin to trust our self and trust our direction.

 

Trust in our self is not predicated on achieving a goal, but trust in our self is pre-requisite for achieving a goal.

 

Trust interprets all outcomes as part of a necessary process of development, that will eventually lead to the most beneficial outcome, for our self and for the whole. This holistic point of view forms a bond between our personal development and the whole. 

 

We become more receptive to the idea that things unfold as they should, when they should, in order to maintain balance. We're less fixated on the urgency of progress, and enjoy the process moment by moment.

 

The final destination of life is death, but we're not fixated on the urgency of reaching the goal. Instead we'd prefer to appreciate the experience fully, prior to reaching the destination.

 

You are the source of your ambition and you are the goal. The source is the ultimate goal. So all goals are leading us to an understanding of our self.

 

A river flows toward the ocean, which is the source of the rain, which in turn becomes the river.

 

From the moment you draw your first breath to the moment you breathe your last, you are sustained by your unconscious trust in every breath that you take.

 

Trust is from the Heart. 

 

- Let Trust Be -

 


Sunday, September 30, 2018, 20:40 | No Comments »

 

 

movement

 

Life as we know it is characterised by Movement. This is the basic condition. On some level, everything that’s alive displays movement, is animated. The word ‘Animation’ is derived from a latin root ‘Anima’ meaning ‘Breath’ or ‘Soul’. Anima, the soul, the breath, is what seperates life from the lifeless.

 

Understanding that animation or movement is the primary affirmation of life is an important underlying principle. You may not have considered life from this perspective before, but doing so provides a solid foundation. We can work from this platform toward achieving a goal, or when moving toward self-understanding.

 

Beyond Fitness takes a deeper look at movement, and the shift toward 'Movement Culture’, through the wider lens of Personal Development. We go beyond movement as it relates to Fitness Science, and consider why we move? and why we choose to move in a particular way?

 

Understanding why we do what we do is the first step toward developing excellence in what we do.

 

The way in which life moves is an expression of the life force within it. On a fundamental level, it can be considered a visible expression of the soul.

 

Movement brings about change over time. Change occurs as a result of movement, whether it’s brought about through conscious action or happens unconsciously. We move to alter our state of being. This applies to involuntary movement like the beating of a heart, digestion of food, or adaptation at a cellular level. It’s also applicable to moving toward a pre-determined goal or destination. In each case, movement is the facilitator of change.

 

Life is movement and movement brings about change over time. The change could be an improvement to our physique for health or performance reasons, it could be to elevate our lifestyle, it could be self improvement through study, or it could be moving toward self realization. All forms of Personal Development require an effort, movement, by the individual to bring about change over time.

 

Personal Development can be seen as an effort by an individual to extend the boundaries of their experience. To go beyond the limits of their being. The objective may be a predetermined goal or a deeper understanding of their self. In either case, the individual seeking to develop themself is motivated to move toward their destination.

 

The way in which we choose to move is an expression of our individuality. Running or reading, walking or talking, singing or scrolling; our choice of movement, at any given moment, is a superficial reflection of who we are. We may aspire to become or achieve, but before we can successfully accomplish the goal we must make an accurate and honest assessment of who we are.  

 

The way in which we naturally move is a clue to self-discovery.  

 

 

Different animals move in accord with their nature, and humans naturally move in harmony with their individuality. Observing a human being, who isn’t aware they're being observed, will give you insight into their individuality. Observe the movement of a human who knows they’re being watched, and you'll see their personality on display.

 

We adopt postures and move in ways which, unknown to us, reflect who we are and how life has shaped us. Upper-crossed syndrome, forward head posture, a slow meandering gait, or shoulders back, chin up, a firm handshake, and a brisk confident stride. We reveal ourselves by the way we move unconsciously, and in the way we consciously choose to move.  

 

Consider the spiritual freedom of breakdancing, or the formal precision of a marching army. These are polar opposite human responses, through movement, to the world in which we live.  

 

We each have a natural inclination toward certain activities, particluar movement patterns, and we usually move in line with this. Some of us love to dance, others feel more at home swimming in water, while some would prefer to climb a mountain or travel. Choosing a form of movement, or a goal to move toward, comes out of self-discovery.  

 

A deeper observation of movement reveals that all living things move in order to achieve balance. We continually shift between states of rest and motion in order to find a degree of stability.  

 

A tree in the wind, clouds in the sky, the ebb and flow of the tide, all living things remain in motion, and in doing so bring stability to the whole. Understanding movement from this holistic perspective, we're able to engage in what we do more purposefully.

 

Achieving stability in our life results from finding the proper balance between Rest and Motion. We can accomplish this by understanding that movement is one energy, and that rest and motion are at opposite poles.  

 

This appiles when we're moving toward a goal, or when we're engaged in a form of movement for exercise. Our bodies adapt to physical exercise during a period of rest, and similarly the goal is achieved when we open ourselves to receiving it. Rest restores equilibrium and ensures that the necessary progressive adaptations are made.    

 

The way we move is in union with existence, and existence unfolds in harmony with our development. 

 

Now that we’ve had a look at the root of movement, and why we move in the way we do, we can better understand the innovation toward Movement Culture.

 

The current fitness trend toward ’Movement Culture’ has grown rapidly in the last few years, and proponents from Kelly Starrett to Erwan LeCorre and Ido Portal, have recently been at the forefront of popularising this method of training. It's popularity has grown to the extent that it's been described as 'an all encompassing, democratic form of fitness training, on the rise, and a new path to health and well being.’

 

The rise in ‘Movement Culture’ can be viewed as a form of response to the societal imbalance we're experiencing. More people are finding, and sharing, natural ways to move and develop the human body and enhance their experience.  

 

There's a fast-growing wave of athletes, dancers, martial artists, yogi, and other movers who are championing the benefits of enagaging in 'non-specific movement patterns'.   

 

We have chosen to participate in activities that ‘move’ us in one way or another, as an affirmation of life and our collective experience. We also do so in response to the life negation we see around us.  

 

Animation is our essence, and movement is the primary affirmation of life as we know it. You and I remain in motion as a positive expression of life, in union with existence.    

 

- find your flow and go with it -

 


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