April 7, 2011

Celebrating the Win!

Day 97: 33.5 miles/1:52

Man falls from the pursuit of the ideal of plain living and high thinking the moment he wants to multiply his daily wants. Man’s happiness really lies in contentment.” ~ Mohandas Ghandi

One of the very interesting, recurring questions I have been asked starting late last week was “what are you going to do on day 101?”  It is a pretty challenging question.  I have been focused on realizing my goal, I have not thought much about what happens with 100 Pedals once I reach it.  I simply expected to rest a day from the bike and take a moment to celebrate my accomplishments.  However, there is so much more involved with 100 Pedals and there is a habit and routine to much of it that there is a part of me that says “why not keep on?”

This is the challenge I think many of us don’t plan on facing or dealing with when we set our goals.  There is something so intensely challenging about going after our goals that besides the celebration of success, we usually don’t think about the day after.  While I had originally intended to take a day off from everything—and I likely still will—I didn’t plan or consider what I am going to do to continue the lessons, experiences, and spirit of 100 Pedals.

How do we find contentment and peace with our accomplishments?  How do we celebrate and carry these experiences forward?  How do we resist the urgent pressure to do continue to push ourselves?  Or, are we supposed to continue to push ourselves once we reach a new height or level of success?  These are all deep philosophical questions for which I am not sure I have all the answers, yet.  Here are my initial thoughts as it relates to these questions and my 100 Pedals experience.

Whenever we accomplish something incredible, we must take the time to acknowledge and celebrate the result.  Part of the journey is celebrating our small success every day.  If that is a valuable and necessary part of the accomplishment process, so is celebrating achieving our goal.  This is the only way we can internalize and relish the significance of the achievement.  Contentment is peace.  Peace is joy.  And joy is what we need more in our lives.

As far as what’s next?  I am not sure.  I have learned a lot through this journey.  I have found strength, energy, wisdom, powerful connections, and my passion.  Those lessons and experiences have been recorded and stored.  Anything I do in the future will leverage these lessons.  I do not need to task myself with an incredible goal at this immediate time.  What I do need to focus on doing in putting into practice the experience and lessons I have learned in everything I do going forward.  That alone extends the accomplishments of 100 Pedals into another realm.

I am going to celebrate my goal as I defined it.  I will build on it and I will utilize the lessons from it.  What I will not do is cut short my celebration or force myself to focus on “what’s next?” until I give myself appropriate credit for a rewarding and productive outcome first.  Then–look out!

About Dave Cooke

Dave Cooke is a dad on a mission. His mission is to help parents get control of their lives over the powerful, destructive influences of a child's addiction. As the father of a son in a ten year heroin battle, Dave knows all to well the challenges parents and families face. He also knows there is a way to find peace in the chaos. It is his mission to help parents discover their path to a healthier, balanced life even if a child's active addiction is still part of their daily journey.