Do you ever get stuck thinking too far down the road? If only this would happen then I could move forward. Or, Once I reach this goal, then everything will fall into place and I’ll be happy. It can be easy to think our outside circumstances hold the keys to a peaceful existence, especially when we live in a culture that heavily focuses on personal growth and seizing every opportunity.
But what if that achievement or milestone you’re striving for isn’t actually what you’ve been searching for?
When I first started training Jiu Jitsu, it was easy to be motivated. I had my eyes set on earning my blue belt and it seemed like nothing would get in the way. When that blue belt was finally tied around my waist, I was elated. All the hard work, long training sessions, and emotional challenges had paid off – I was over the moon. However, with each passing day the newness wore off and the training sessions seemed harder. It just wasn’t as fun…and I felt at a loss. The drive I had felt so strongly seemed to have disappeared. I was exhausted. There was so much build up to achieving this huge goal, but what was next?, The only thing that kept me going was knowing what I didn’t want, which was to be one of those blue belts who disappeared. So how do you find your groove when all that motivation is gone?
In the months that followed, I reflected on this a lot and realized a few valuable lessons. When I only focus on the destination, the celebration is short-lived when I get there. The magic of Jiu Jitsu and training isn’t just about the belt color around my waist; the things that keep my tank filled are my training partners, the friendships formed on the mats, and my growth. Also, when I choose to live in the moment, then every day becomes a celebration. Do I still push myself to get better? Of course. Are there days I just show up to have fun and see my friends and training is a byproduct? You bet. I now realize the friendships I’ve formed and the lessons I’ve learned about myself go far beyond any physical techniques or achievements.
I’ve been applying these lessons off the mat, too. The truth is, deep happiness extends far beyond external circumstances because it’s rooted in living out my values across every area of my life. When I am grateful for the things in my life today, I realize everything will happen when it should. Shifting my focus from What do I want to achieve? To Who do I want to BE as I’m doing this allows me to live with greater purpose and discover deeper peace and fulfillment in the present moment.
Katie is a blue belt training at Elite Team Visalia in California under Professor Tom Knox. When not training, she works as a Life Fulfillment Coach helping people discover their purpose and reach their full potential, facilitates trainings to improve team dynamics, and co-hosts a podcast called Life Off the Mat with fellow teammates. You can connect with her on social media @legitkatiewilliamson and learn more about becoming your best self at www.katiewilliamsoncoaching.com