20 Jun 2012

How do you keep at it like that?

Noel wrote a post, "Is it really necessary?" and other (similar) questions, about parents of dance students always asking if the next class or event is required. The perspective struck me - that "Do I Have To?" response to an obligation - and it got me thinking about how people handle large goals...

For example, I often hear how others can't believe I keep running as much as I do. I'm training for a half marathon, so I'm running pretty frequently and setting personal bests on my mileage. Even so - I don't get the feeling that they think I run an inhuman distance, or that my schedule is completely incomprehensible to them. The feeling that I get, when I hear them congratulate me on my hard work in that manner, is that they think they wouldn't be able to keep themselves from slacking off while working towards the goal.

That they wouldn't be able to keep from asking themselves 'Do I have to?'.

That they wouldn't be able to tell themselves 'Yes.' each time they asked themselves 'Do I have to?'.

I was thinking earlier today, after my run, about how we spend the first two years of our lives figuring out object permanence & the rest of our lives trying to come to grips with impermanence. Now, after reading Noel's post, I'm thinking about how so much that we observe/learn as children affects our behavior later in life. Maybe many of us figured out how to question the necessity of each of the individual steps that go into attaining a larger goal to such a debilitating extent that we prohibit ourselves from attaining our goals. And from the perspective of Noel's post, I wonder how many of us figured that out by watching our parents talk to our teachers.

You have a goal. You have the steps required to reach that goal. All of the steps are required.


dance goals impermanence object-permanence obligation perspective running

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