Basic things to keep in mind

What I’m setting up for myself to successfully train for the marathon uses the same principles I’ve followed for every other long-term project or big goal I’ve wanted to accomplish. It’s how I started my first business. It’s how I became a coach. It’s how I climbed Mt. Hood.

Here are the basic things to keep in mind:

  • Know your goal – understand why it really matters to you
  • Create and follow a plan – it doesn’t have to be elaborate, but knowing what you need to do really helps
  • Build a base at the beginning – keep it small and doable as you gain experience and build new habits
  • Intensify over time, as your skills improve – challenge yourself to steer clear of ruts
  • Cut yourself slack, you aren’t going to be able to do every single step perfectly – know that, be okay with it and keep going
  • Enlist the help of other people – don’t underestimate the power of having people in your corner

Training for a Real or Metaphorical Marathon | Perception Studios | Shannon Wilkinson, life coach & more

Be honest with yourself about how hard you’re willing to work. One thing I noticed as a trainer and as a professor is people want to achieve something, but aren’t willing to put in the effort to get there. They say they want to work hard but when you work them hard, they run. Don’t be the person who runs. The discipline it takes to do that is uncomfortable and unpleasant sometimes and you must be willing to enter that discomfort. Look at advanced degrees: two out of three people don’t complete their PhD. It’s punishing. I’ve cried because of the stress numerous times. Every day I have to reaffirm my efforts at my dissertation, at lifting, at personal relationships. But it’s so, so worth it in the end.

What you are aware of, you are in control of; what you are not aware of is in control of you. You are always a slave to what you’re not aware of. When you’re aware of it, you’re free from it. It’s still there, but you’re not affected by it. You’re not controlled by it; you’re not enslaved by it. That’s the difference. —Anthony deMello, from Awareness: the Perils and Opportunities of Reality

Consultant vs. contractor

Alan Weiss, of whom I am a groupie, just published a quote that rocks my world. The full article is in the June 2012 issue of Balancing Act.

If someone pays you for your wisdom and advice, you’re a consultant—a “brain.” If someone pays you for your work and delivery, you’re a subcontractor—a pair of hands. Both constitute legitimate and respected work, but the former can charge based on value delivered and the latter can charge only on time spent on the job.


Consultant vs. contractor

Lawrence Pearsall Jacks, a Unitarian minister, summed it up decades ago:

The master in the art of living draws no sharp distinction between his labor and his leisure, his mind and his body, his work and his play, his education and his recreation. He hardly knows which. He simply pursues his vision of excellence through whatever he is doing and leaves others to determine whether his is working or playing. To himself, he is always doing both.