Ah yes, the unique power and influence of a fortune cookie. Every once in awhile I will get one that gets my attention. The photo is from the latest of those incredibly insightful, well-timed fortune cookies.
I have always been a huge believer that a focused effort delivers desired outcomes. Put your head down, plow forward, stay focused and committed — you will get there. Even though I initially felt that much of my original 100Pedals success was the result of a focused commitment to a desired outcome, I discovered that I really didn’t have a great understanding of what my desired outcome was until I had an opportunity to reflect on the accomplishment.
Initially I believed that the challenge of 100 consecutive days for one hour was my test. I focused on one hour, every day for one hundred days. It was this activity and this outcome where I courageously focused my efforts. I had initially created a big goal, with a big challenge, that was going to test my mental and physical abilities to accomplish them. Achieving this was going to take all of my abilities of will and determination to get there. This was where my head was when I first started out on the 100Pedals quest. As I celebrated the completion of my early rides, I reminded myself about the importance of the power of my commitment to get there. I believed my effort, my attitude, and my sheer determination was going to get me through to the finish line — I was partially correct.
What really brought me to the starting gate and through to the finish line was the creation of a clear purpose and direction for my life. I was unhappy, frustrated, and destroyed by my son’s addiction driven choices. I was frustrated in my experiences helping him fight a battle he wasn’t yet interested in waging. My life was out of control and I knew I needed to do something different to get control and clarity in my life.
Control and clarity in my life was my purpose. The direction I chose was a series of bike rides. My commitment to my purpose and the path I selected is what made 100Pedals an accomplished journey. The one hour rides were not the challenge — embracing a path to control and clarity was my challenge. Because I was committed to this transformation in my life — my purpose and my direction were clear.
When you examine the challenges placed before you — focus on your purpose and discovering a simple path for heading in the necessary direction. You do not need to map the course, the journey, or the path before you start. In fact, mapping it out, eliminates the freedom to get lost, to discover, to experience the unknown or to roam on your journey. All these are essential aspects of your journey.
I have been excited by the experiences of many who are on their 100Day Challenge. Those who created enormous challenges without much clarity of purpose or a tightly defined path, struggled. Their struggle was not the result of a weak desire to impact their life. It was more associated with the fact their purpose was not clear and their path was too defined or structured.
Successful journeys are best accomplished when we simply start on one. The path is yet to be defined and the outcome reflects a clear purpose or vision. This allows us to embrace all that is introduced to us. It enables us to wander — where we learn, discover, and experience the road our journey takes us on. Because we are clearly committed to an unconstrained and loosely defined trip, we find energy in doing the little things every day we need to do because our vision, purpose and direction are clear. The positive experiences associated with a journey of this type takes little effort, offers incredible inspiration, and gives us energy which makes this activity something we want to embrace, celebrate and enjoy every single day.
Next time you take on a challenge — keep it simple. Focus on your purpose or vision and merely define the direction. Trust your heart to give you the path and you do the rest by simply honoring your commitment. The outcome of this journey will be something you could not have defined or predicted when you start. And, the lessons, the experiences, and the energy in your accomplishment will amaze you. My personal 100Pedals journey is a testament to this truth!