Here’s a favorite quote I learned as a young coach:
We do the minimum necessary to achieve our goals.
There’s a lot in there.
For me, it’s a reminder that a goal balances my tendency to slide away from excellence.
For my family, it’s a reminder to listen to, and support, their dreams.
Related is an observation by a former Olympian, now the mother of a young family:
My life is so challenging right now, I have to give myself every advantage.
This touches on a technique I use in my own life.
Fully commit to a simple goal… “train every_single_day before my kids wake up”
Then let the simple goal nudge me away from my unhelpful habits.
Olympics, marriage, parenthood, business… we can find meaning when we commit to doing whatever is required to give our best.
I have a scrapbook from my last mountaineering expedition, May/June 1998 to Denali.
Looking at the photos, I remember nothing!
What I do remember is spending the mid-1990s, sitting in my harbor-view office, wishing I was living the life I have now.
Glad I had the courage to change.
Anyhow, my son loves big mountains and he’s got it in his mind that he’d like to do a trip to Alaska with me.
So I’ve told him that he’s going to have a series of tasks to complete before we’re going to be able to consider something that large. Things like…
- Skin a 40# pack to the top of Vail
- Do it again, this time tow a sled, then ski it down two-man style
- Carry the same pack to the top of a 14er
- Camping trip from Fish Hatchery to Shavano Trailhead via Collegiate Peak Wilderness
- Rainier in a day
- Run the navigation for the family, for a year
- Backcountry First Responder course
The life that results from the process – a good life, that crowds out a lot of potential difficulties.
I was fortunate to replace mountaineering with triathlon. Endurance sport enabled a daily fix of incrementally working towards my big goals.
As my life become more connected => spouse, kids, community => the nature of my goals grew simpler, but the essence of the game stayed the same…
One positive step, each morning, avoided a lot of self-generated angst.
Creating an incentive to reach towards better.