Building on part 1 3 simple steps to be Fit2Thrive and part 2 competing demands of my campaign the core message is to always be true to yourself. Losing weight and improving your health are only a challenge if you make it that way.
I have always noticed how the most successful people in any field are always those most true to themselves. Whether I look at sporting greats like those in tennis , formula one, football or snooker or whether I look at art or tech the industry or area doesn’t really matter. To achieve great things you must do it your way which means making an asset of your strengths and managing your weaknesses. Even better is to make an asset of your weaknesses.
Enjoy your unique path
That is why learning to play and learning to compete are so important. What ever you do you should do it because it adds to your life in some way and makes you either a step closer to greater freedom and happiness or gives you a moment or two of pure pleasure right now.
The secret of life is enjoying the passage of time – James Taylor
If you learn to find the play in your existing life then your experience of life becomes richer with each new day. When times get tough as they always do it is the inner smile that will get you through because it is hard to be hurt and tired when you are smiling and even harder if you are laughing. I also find that being a parent can make you stronger if you let it because kids prove to you that laughter is the best medicine.
That is the value of play, now let us consider competition.
Live YOUR life
We are all basically the same, one head, some hair, two hands two feet, What makes up a human is pretty standard though we all get subtle variations of the basic recipe. Which means that we are all unique with our own challenges, strengths and weaknesses. It always helps me to remember that while I may be different from every one else there is always an example of someone like me that has achieved greatness, whether that is losing weight, running a country or running a marathon.
For example if I had the opportunity to pursue one of my dreams to play tennis professionally then at just under 6 foot I am actually shorter than every grand slam champion for the last 10-15 years. What would give me confidence is that I am the same height as Andre Agassi who won 8 grand slams.
That is a very specific example but you will find that every where you look there are people similar to you in some what that have achieved their dreams or are doing so right now. The one thing that links them all is the mindset they have that led them to their achievements. They believed they could do it and simply looked for ways to achieve what they wanted instead of accepting the notion that they were too short or tall, black or white, old or young. They only considered how to use what they had to get what they want which is the mindset of achievement and the mindset of all people who achieve great things. Nelson Mandela summed it up perfectly…
It always seems impossible until its done – Nelson Mandela
Where you are and where you want to be
In summary the emphasis on Play is about fully realising what you want your life to be about. Focusing on smaller goals like losing weight is part of this because it is as important to ask why you want to lose weight and what you will gain as it is to ask how much weight you want to lose and what kind of weight.
The emphasis on competing is about learning and accepting who you are. Finding solutions that complement you and using each day to become more of yourself, not less (of course technically losing weight does mean less of you :-)). The mistake I see a lot is trying to get healthy by being something you are not which ultimately makes you unhappy and undermines your sense of self. In the short term this approach is rarely a problem because it is just part of learning but in the long term you never really reach your goal because you don’t learn to live in a way that makes you who and what you want to be.
I hope that makes the relevance of Play and Compete clearer though I do expect questions so please ask away in the comments below.
The question I would like you to answer is “what were or are the main things that have got in the way of your health and fitness goals before?”