Competing to Win and Ambition

I had this realization when playing badminton today. I swear if you want to get to know yourself better and have your own ongoing revealing personal development program, play badminton. It is amazing. It lets you know what’s going on in your life based on how you’re playing. I did this talk with another great badminton player about all the wonderful things that happened in our lives from badminton, including being able to see a lot about what is going on personally. It’s not just that you get to see things, you get to apply all these principles you have maybe just read or heard about in a safe context – a badminton match.


Today, I asked to play singles with an extremely well-trained player in badminton. I always have a philosophy to play really strong badminton, however one thing I noticed was my drive to win has been completely absent. I just sought to always play my best game, but since I haven’t been competing, I just didn’t have a drive to win. I had a drive to do well and exercise, but not this strong focus on every shot being engineered for my success.

The other day I was chatting with a friend of mine who is a full-time photographer. I interact with a lot of photographers, and I always have this little jealousy – I know it’s hard and a lot of work to be a full time photographer who is not only doing wedding photos, but oh I so wish I pursued my artistic passion as my career path as well! Aside from telling me I’ll be doing it soon, he told me the most important factor is your ambition. And I was like – oh right! Of course!

I somehow have forgotten about this little (BIG) thing called ambition since leaving a lot of my thought-so dreams. Many dreams that were cancelled from the separation I experienced, or from the jobs I worked not turning out to be positive experiences. It’s not that I completely gave up on them, they just kind of went on backburner mode as I frantically tried to support OPDs – other people’s dreams.

And along with my dreams being quiet was the part of me who is a truly competitive, ambitious badminton player. That ambition to always win regardless of what goes on on the other side of the court and regardless of the end result – that’s the ambition you need in every single match. The opponent may tell you things but you’re fully focused on yourself and your own game. He or she may do something funny but you’re completely focused on yourself and your own game. ALL 100% of your energy is on yourself and what you’re doing – the shots you’re placing, the game you’re playing, the player you’re being. Maybe it’s because I’m not at that high, professional competitive level, but I venture to say that focus on yourself all you need as a “game plan strategy” in badminton, no matter what your opponent is doing. Because experience and intuitive awareness from matches will build the strategy. And sometimes I find strategy not reliable. I was taught so much strategy – if the person is tall do this, short do that, strong do this, stout do that. What a waste of time and energy now that I look back, compared to just placing all of your focus and energy on your own game. Of course it helps and you can win with it, but what’s the point of strategy if you’re not a powerful player already, filled with your own vision and your own ambition and drive to win.

So what happened in my game, I played better than I have in the past 8 years. Maybe in my entire career. With zero training and spares singles games. And I had this realization like what if I approached my entire life in this way? I’ve been knowing I’ve been wasting time regretting some decisions, and trying to forget about that regret. But dropping it and moving on hasn’t shown me to be the answer either. What if I became devoted to my spiritual discipline and practice with this level of ambition? What if no matter what I have to do tomorrow in my job, like it or not, that I just focused on myself anyways? I can see that being a challenge with person after person to interact with in an office situation, but hey – what works in badminton works in real life.

Who do I choose to be then? And what would be different – what would I choose to be different in my life if I apply this?

I’ve been recently coming to a lot of lessons on letting go of pride and choosing to be courageous in that – more posts to come on that.

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Why Can I Not Set a Goal For Others To Like Me?

“Pay no attention to the peanut gallery. Their compliments will draw you in. And then, their criticism will later kill you.” -Abraham Hicks, August 2012 Alaskan Cruise Workshop

I absolutely love when Abraham uses the term “the peanut gallery.” It just cracks me up every single time. The image I get in my mind is walking through a beautiful white modern museum like the Getty and seeing a piece of work that is like a huge canvas studded with styrofoam peanuts in uniformity and patterns of waves, and several other canvases similarly hung up with peanuts (real, styrofoam, any kind) on them..that’s the peanut gallery I came up with the first time I heard it. The “peanut gallery” for those who don’t listen to Abraham as much as I have, is actually referring to the crowd – or anyone outside of you. Abraham often uses it in ways such as “you kind of have to ignore the peanut gallery” to refer to “not giving a rip of what others think of you.”

I think it’s fair to say that if you’ve been sifting through life (probably mostly modern society, anyone who would read/have access to blogs), you’ve probably been experiencing that uncomfortable gut-punching feeling of the peanut gallery’s disapproval throughout life. I know I certainly have, much more than I would like to, but I’m smiling at that thought now – it’s ok! 🙂 When I first started on my journey learning about the Law of Attraction, it kind of seemed bogus obviously, but also, I wondered, “well if thoughts become things then I just have to think of the guy I am in love with (shallowly but in love with) to fall madly in love with me and then it will happen!” And I knew on a basic level that that was not true, but I always wanted an explanation why. I think I’ve kind of got it down now, and I wish someone had laid it out for me 6 years ago when I started hearing about the Law of Attraction.

Most of the time they say like “well it’s just a rule – you can’t make someone fall in love with you” or “the Universe doesn’t like it when you dictate how; focus only on the end result” (to that I used to think, yeah? I’m not dictating how he will fall in love with me (my looks? my mind? my personality? my good-in-bed-ness? Go for whichever you want!) – just the end result that he will!). The idea of making others approve of you is the same concept – I can just imagine everyone liking me (and in my case I would always want to specify who) and then everyone will!

The situation can seem kind of complicated, and I want to lay my thoughts out here with this – on why setting a goal for others to like you is not a goal and not even something desirable.

Using Abraham’s concepts, life gets you to experience contrast and the contrast gets you to ask what you want and form desire. I used to think “I feel bad when this person disapproves of me, I know what I don’t want – I don’t want to feel cornered and the disapproval of this person. So what I DO want is to feel free by being approved by this person!” This is where we start hiding ourselves and telling lies to forcefully manipulate people see us a certain way when we’re just allowing others to manipulate us (by allowing their opinions to dictate how we behave) – the manipulator and the manipulated are of the same feather.

Well that’s not actually the contrast (not wanting the disapproval thus wanting the approval – this will keep the “I asked and it was not given, LOA doesn’t work” perpetuating over and over again). The contrast is that this person is seeing you in a way that is not the Truth about you, and you are agreeing with them on a level (that’s why we feel the need to defend and justify why we were right) which is why you feel bad.

The contrast really goes like this: “I feel bad when this person disapproves of me – this is something I do not want. What I do want is to not feel insecure when someone disapproves of me because I know so clearly who I am that the approval or disapproval of the peanut gallery doesn’t mean anything.” That is the “goal” I work on moving towards now. It’s not forcing myself to not care what others think – that just means you actually care a lot, but to go inside, go within and get curious about who I really am because clearly the disapproval I feel that is really the disapproval I have of myself is not in the direction of where I’m going and realize that it’s not the Truth, otherwise I wouldn’t feel bad. It takes a while to get there so it’s not like oh okay not the truth ha, I beat it! The willingness to be open to knowing the Truth is what takes me there faster. And I’m a pretty resilient person so I’m sure for some other people it would be even faster than it was for me.

The Truth is you are an amazing, perfect human being. The Truth is you have unique gifts to give to this world because only you have been through your particular perspective, so only you can give that gift you’re here to give. We usually can accept the latter through logic, but the first one is the one where we get hung up on and try to affirm things we don’t really believe in. I would say it takes a bit of a leap of faith to trust that we are truly creators and that nothing is wrong about us (and it was just some plain ol’ conditioning that made us endorse in that idea), but from my own experience, whenever I set the intention to remember this Truth about myself, I am carried to the point where I know of my perfect and things I desire are created seamlessly in my life.

xx,
Catt