Saturday, October 20, 2007

The Ability to Flip The Switch

You wake up in the morning, it’s dark, you slip out of your bed and work your way towards the bathroom. Your hand follows the wall feeling for the light switch you know is there; when you feel that familiar plastic protuberance you flip it to “on” and –suddenly –the room is transformed.

Everything is illuminated.

This is exactly the same skill you must learn to apply to your black belt test –and just about anything else you plan on truly committing yourself to.

Your plan is the hand on the switch, and once you flip it, you are committed –and everything changes.

As I write this, UBBT Team 1 member Peter Johnson is on a track somewhere in San Francisco running laps. He’ll be running for the next 24 hours. As I write this, UBBT 5 Team member Andy Mandell is walking, clicking off one at a time, the 1800 miles left in his 10,300 walk around the perimeter of the United States for Diabetes education. He has been walking for five years. As I write this, Team 1 member Rob Anctil is somewhere on the Appalachian Trail. Rob is the UBBT team member who carries the distinction of having run a marathon on every continent in the world. As I write this, UBBT Master’s Video-Diary Project member Chuck Jefferson is preparing himself for another day of judo training, as Chuck is committed to taking home a medal in the next Olympic Games.
At some point, each of these athletes flipped that switch. They woke up one day committed to a goal they had set, and from that day on nothing was the same.

They were driven towards a certain destination, an achievement, a goal. After they flipped the switch, their diet, their actions, their thinking, their focus, their habits, their everything changed.

This is the switch I expect you to throw when you commit yourself to the Ultimate Black Belt Test.

When you sign on, beginning that next day (and/or the moment you “get” your commitment and the power it holds for you), nothing is the same. Your diet, your thinking, your habits, your EVERYTHING changes; you are now “in training.”
Things you might do when you flip the switch:

· Stop eating sugar and/or refined foods.
· Start meditating, seriously and with focus (get help), every day.
· Start keeping a “food diary.”
· Give away your TV.
· Walk, run, or bike your way to your workouts and/or office.
· Train, in some way, five to six days a week.
· Read, study, and associate with others who have also flipped the switch (in any and every discipline).
· Tell everyone you know (knowing that they are a huge part of the village that supports your commitment and progress) about what you’re doing –and show them you’re really doing it.

Flip the switch, as there is no more powerful metaphor for the level of commitment a champion, in any field, applies to his or her quest.

Flip the switch and recognize, feel, believe, understand, and take action upon the idea that you are a man or woman on a mission.

Master the art of flipping the switch; use it to make change on a cellular level.

Train yourself to, when you are ready, flip the switch and know in your core, as if the room had been pitch black –and in the next moment illuminated, that you have the power to flip it on command.

Flip the switch and board a ship sailing out of port. There is no return until the adventure is lived. There is no turning around until the destination is reached. There may be storms, their might be danger, their might be struggle, but you are no longer sitting in your house waiting for something to happen –you’re on a journey; an undeniable, can’t-turn-back, here-we-go journey, OH MY GOD journey.

Flip the switch, now.

“Fear of commitment is perhaps the most deadly sin of all, because it's not simply your failure to commit to yourself, your dreams, your hopes. Underlying a lack of commitment is a low self-esteem. To be successful, you have to believe that you deserve success. You have to have an image of yourself so tangible that you can reach out and touch it” --Peller Marion

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