But I Don't Work That Hard Anymore (Perseverance Problems)

Photo by Dave Miyamoto. Sun Yoga Hawaii teacher, sunset collection. Jan 2016.

Photo by Dave Miyamoto. Sun Yoga Hawaii teacher, sunset collection. Jan 2016.

I have a friend who always knows when I’m going to contradict or oppose myself. I’ll stop mid thought and she’ll immediately say, “why do I feel a ‘but’ coming on?”

I hate that about her, and I love it. It means she knows me, probably too well. This post has a few of those “buts,” so bear with me as I lay out some current thoughts.

 

I was on a roll for awhile trying to learn to ollie. I practiced a few times a week for about a month. At the ripe age of 31, I am for all intents and purposes, perfectly capable of succeeding at this basic skate trick.

But.

 

But it didn’t come easy, and I lost my motivation. Failing isn’t super fun.

It’s also not fun to fail over and over again during my few and precious hours of time off. Time off should be spent charging my biofield with my feet in the sand or being actually productive right?

Well yeah, sure. That’s one truth.

 

I consider myself to be a person who has challenged many of my fears. I’ve stepped out of many of the boxes I used to find comfortable identity in. I’ve been pretty bold in following my gut and taking my own non-traditional path.

But.

 

I’ve really only faced safe-ish fears.

My highest Self was never comfortable in those boxes. They were just familiar.

This path always felt natural.

I haven’t actually faced my biggest fears.

Here’s where I’m wrong about ollies, and practice, and failure:

 

I haven’t made myself an absolute beginner at anything for at least ten years.

 

When we are young, life is new. We are beginners at everything.

As a child I overcame failure on a daily basis. Sometimes that failure came with tears. Sometimes it came with smiles. Sometimes I succeeded and celebrated and shouted with joy! I probably demanded that a sibling or any proximal warm bodied entity "watch what I could do."  Then immediately moved on to the next goal; only to begin failing again.

This is a huge and incredibly important part of childhood.

 

Every adult skill we boast was learned at some point. We tend to take these skills for granted. We forget how hard we worked.

I don’t work as hard for myself anymore.

I don’t feel as resilient. The only brain I have, now resides a few feet higher off the ground than it used to, and I have developed a healthy level of respect for gravity.

Many of the tricks I learned as a child or teen are deeply engrained in my brain and muscle memory:

  • Reading
  • Writing
  • Speaking
  • Walking
  • Running
  • Cartwheels
  • Backhandsprings
  • rollerblading
  • bike riding
  • adding
  • subtracting
  • multiplying
  • etc…

All of these skills took time, practice, and failure before the sweet taste of success. All of these skills have felt easy and natural ever since I stopped failing at them.

But.

I don’t work that hard anymore, and that is why learning to ollie... err... failing to ollie is time well spent.

 

I'm realizing that in a way, I've been quite lazily riding out the strength of mind I developed in my youth. This is fine, and probably a regular and natural human occurrence as we transition into adulthood and start taking on more serious responsibilities; like working, paying bills, working out, and tidying up, so we can extend time and freedom to our children to play, fail, learn, and grow.

I want more than that. Life has to be more than that. So I will play, and practice, and fail. I will build up my resilience.

Persevering through failure builds strength of spirit.

When I can take failure in stride, then I can face and conquer my real fears.

That is when I'll be free. That is when I'll be "live streaming" my infinite potential. ;)

 

What do you think? Can you identify?

How are you strengthening your resilience?

Share your story, or struggle, or fear in the comments. Let's get our chatter on!

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Thanks for reading, make strengthening choices! :)