We all have strategies for how we live our lives, whether they be effective or not. Many of these strategies we play out unconsciously.
When I was eleven years old I received many learnings — it was actually an awakening year for me and pain was my teacher.
One such painful learning was as a result of a high speed skateboarding accident. I was part of a skateboarding crew and we used to tear it up! One stunt we liked to do was catching rides by hanging off the backs of slow moving cars and trucks. Coca Cola trucks where the best as they would always travel at a steady speed because they were carrying thousands of clinking bottles. I could go from one end of the town to the other hanging off one of these.
Anyway, one day skating through the port, I grabbed hold of the back of a car just as it was pulling out. There was a speed restriction in the port of 20kph so this usually worked out fine. I could cruise the whole length of the front looking cool, because looking cool was important!
On this occasion the driver spotted me and floored it to shake me off. I employed a very poor strategy in this moment and hung on even tighter!
There must of been hundreds of people sitting in the cafe’s and restaurants that stretched along the front of the port all watching this kid fly past on a skateboard at break neck speed. I will add that I was only wearing a pair of bermuda shorts and no T.shirt.
My skateboard had never been at such a velocity, and in a strong protest went into a violent wobble, inevitably catapulting me off. The forward motion sent me tumbling down the road and in the process relieved my body of any unnecessary skin in which to bring me to a halt. Fortunately nothing broken this time — just bruised, skinned and a crack in the ego.
It made me think and ponder why I found it easy to hold on but more difficult to let go, even when it makes much more sense to let go. Just as a snake sheds its skin and grows, I also shed some skin and grew in wisdom.
These days in martial arts I teach the principle of letting go of your weapon as sometimes being a smart move to gain something else. We can be very attached to things and learning to let go can give us a great deal more potency, potential and freedom.
You may right now learn some new life changing strategies, but as long as you hold onto your old outdated strategies — strategies that worked when you were six years old — then there is no room to put the new ones in place and they will only remain as an intellectual concept.
It is wise to analyse how we go about daily living and see if it is working for us on the level that we desire. We often have lofty goals, but just looking at the strategies that we are applying, it becomes obvious that we are never going to reach our goal if we continue with them.
It all starts with thinking. we think a thought, which triggers a feeling, which then triggers an action, which can also be an inaction. So we must analyse our thinking. Why do we do the things we do? To be the highest expression of ourselves we must know ourselves and to know ourselves we must study ourselves!
By the way, just as I recounted that story from 28 years ago, I noticed my hands become sweaty. This is how powerful our minds are. just to reiterate — because this is important — I think about an event from 28 years ago and it has a physiological effect on my body. The pain and embarrassment, I may add, gave me a vital lesson for life.
I realised in that moment that I had a poor strategy and no amount of intelligence made a difference. You can look at your strategies for every area of life. What needs to change? What are you willing to let go of? What are you not willing to let go of? What will be the consequences of this?
Ask yourself the above powerful questions when you are analysing your strategies for living and you will start getting aha moments and life will change before your very eyes as you go about reprogramming your brain with new information and ways of living!
Our deepest fears are like dragons guarding our greatest treasure
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