No Goals, No Thinking....

That’s what I am calling my next motivational speech. Want to come? OK, so I do not not have a motivational speech to invite you to, but who would want to attend something titled that pointless?

This summer has been filled with the greatest successes in my entire life. That's a lot to say. This summer I have surpassed many goals from my past. There was that summer when I started using the potty all by myself, that was good. The summer when I took the training wheels off my bike, hello scraped knees. The summer I learned to drive, the summer I went to college, the summer...OK you get the point; these past months have been good ones. Why you ask?

No goals, no thinking...only purpose.

If you happen to be a daily reader of this blog then you know how the events of this summers have transpired for me. If you are new to the blog, Hi! You can catch up on my life (HERE).

I started off this summer simply being, there was no point of failure for me at any time. If I woke up and placed effort into my day I was a winner. What would I win? The chance to get up and do it again. It was like that movie “Groundhog Day”, madness at times. I turned into a witness of my own life, observing the object self. Very trippy indeed.

A snowball's chance in Hell, that was my summer and the snowball survived. How did the snowball survive? By placing purpose and effort into the moments of now. Never planning beyond...(p.s. I am the snowball, trippy, I told you)

Things arise all around us all the time: the sun, the wind, our thoughts, creative passion and our health. The only thing is, we need to notice them.

That's where things get hard: slowing down, simplifying life to notice. This is where no goal, no thinking, is transformed into a powerful tool.

Let me give you two examples from my own life. The first is taken from a friend on photography advice. In photography my goal is to create something that the human eye cannot see. The advice was to slow down and let the story of now unfold to let the photo arise in the moment of now. Not me creating the moment but by me noticing what is arising and unfolding around us all the time. Good photography advice, great life advice, in turn my ability to see, to take better photos has grown exponentially over this summer. Plus I am a happier photographer to boot because of it.

Second example: health. When I started to up my exercise this summer, instead of hiring a trainer or writing out a must do work out list, I simply went out in my back yard and did pull-ups and push-ups. That was it. No set number, no set reps, no goal, no thinking...simply doing. That went well so next I started walking, then running, then I set a goal and all went to Hell.

The goal was to run a 10K (which I still plan on doing) but my running went from a place of joy, a place that I ran for the experience of running to a place of goal setting, a place of falling short of the goal and a place of thinking and thinking of why and what am I doing wrong.

After three days of rest I had a conversation that would get me back on the path. I sat on the back porch with my Uncle telling him about my summer. Telling him how I set out every day with no goals, only purpose. He looked at me and said "Quit thinking too. Thinking just slows you down. You ask too many unanswerable questions when you think."

So I took his advice.

I entered the woods this past week and ran further and faster then ever before.

I ran to notice what was arising...it felt great, I was back.

Lesson learned: Mindfulness is being aware of what is arising. No goal, no thinking needed, purpose and effort is all that is required.

Do the work.