and now for something completely different…

at some point I will be posting about training, progress towards the 2021 ironman, and so on… today though, after several weeks of navel-gazing, I wanted to talk about something completely different.

firstly, the navel-gazing… somehow, I always knew things were heading for a low point, after the highs of 2013-2015, after walking (and a little running) 5400km, after thinking my life would head in a very different direction… well, things kind of went into freefall, and landed me back to a very familiar position.

working for the same government department, fitness slowly sliding out the door, fatness slowly creeping back on my frame, and mojo an increasingly rare commodity.

but in recent times, having hit what I think was the low point of this particular cycle, it really came home to me that things are very different now – despite being out of shape, and not as lean as I had become, I can swim, cycle and walk (not really run), have a very different mindset to before, and am actually in a very good place where I can contrast and compare things with how I felt before.

so, effectively starting again, what did I learn and how do I move forwards this time? what brought about all the successes before, and why did it all crash?

I believe three words are relevant to this – law of attraction. It’s something that Napoleon Hill basically talks about in the guise of “Think and Grow Rich”, it’s the topic of the movie “The Secret”, it’s something that gets talked about by every self-help “guru” and zenned-out life coach you can find.

let me make something clear – I believe there is a lot that is valid with this “law”, though the way it is talked about and presented online (in my opinion) makes it inaccessible and incomprehensible to many people.

depending where you are getting the information, it tends to get wrapped in layers of guru-speak, pseudo-science, long impressive psychobabble words, religious under/overtones, completely whacko “out there” storylines and more…

it has put me off the subject many many times – though now when I look back over my story to date, I can see how various things were at play, and one thing I hope to achieve here is to maybe explain that a little, in plain language, and without invoking magical or mystical realms…

as I have noted before, the first part of my journey, getting to the point where I was overweight, unfit, and unhappy, was basically the net result of not setting goals, having negative beliefs, and drifting around aimlessly.

in law of attraction terms, I believed that things never worked out for me, I believed that setting goals was pointless – and that put me in an operating mode where I would generally notice all the things that confirmed those thoughts and beliefs.

next, after a bit of an awakening, I changed my lifestyle, felt amazing, and set a huge goal to prove that “anyone can do this”. riding that wave brought about an epic walk across australia; I was so invested in it, believed it would happen without any doubt, and poured so much of my energy into it, that opportunities and options would present themselves, and my brain was attuned to those, and my default operating mode was to seize anything that would help things happen.

it all flowed, instead of focusing on things that went wrong, I made a basic assumption that everything would work out, and it invariably did. and after 4 months of things working out, I landed in a place where I thought I knew everything about where my life was heading next, what shape it would take, how I would earn a living and so on.

I did everything I thought I needed to do to make it happen – and therein lies the issue. “make” it happen.

it turns out that the moment your ego says “I’ve got this”, and you seize the controls (instead of just having an overall idea, and letting things flow), things actually stop working for you. it seems that the trick is to be obsessed with something, have what Napoleon Hill called a “burning desire” for something, but to make that the thing that burns in the background, and steers you at a very high level.

having a tight grip on the same topic, in the front of your mind, somehow seems to choke the life out of it.

it is now 5 years on from crossing the country, and most of those years have seen something of a downward trajectory. the end result, this year, was a constant feeling that I was about to be ill, absolute dread that I was heading towards an Ironman race and would not be capable of finishing it, and a general feeling of dissatisfaction about many areas of my life – notably, work was not one of these, where I have been on an upward trajectory for those 5 years…

since Coronavirus impacted the world in unimaginable ways, I have yet again been taking stock, trying to figure stuff out, and doing the work to switch my mindset. when i say “work”, I mean trying to meditate, reading, listening and watching all kinds of self-help / motivation content, and observing what did and did not work.

so here I am now, with a feeling that things are moving forwards, the ironman event rescheduled for 2021, and all pressure off. and the main change that has taken place is that I have reconnected with my vision of the future – my triathlon goals, my health and fitness goals, and goals relating to my personal life too – and once reconnected, I have made efforts to let those desires bubble away in the background, not get too bogged down with trying to force those things to happen, and instead just focus on finding things to appreciate, feel good about and draw happiness from.

my prediction? by following these feelings of happiness, most, if not all, of those goals will be realised, and often in ways that I could never have envisaged looking at things right now.

over time I hope to find a way to explain all these things in fairly straightforward language – I truly believe that everyone can benefit from the mindset shift that it entails, and everyone can live the life they have dreamed of…

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