On the weekends, please enjoy the Retro Throwback where I share my favorite posts from some time ago. The Goal is Not the Goal was originally published in September 2012.
I was thinking through what I said at the end of my last post:
Accept where you are today and embrace each and every difficulty. For it is our acceptance of these challenges, big and small, that enrich our lives.
It made me think about the goals I have for competition and look at them a bit more deeply. One of my goals is to stay up for at least a five count in mountain. There’s nothing wrong with that for a goal. The problem is lately my mountain posture has gone to crap. I get in lotus, I pop up on my knees, raise my arms over my head, and crash back down. I just can’t seem to get a grip and hold it.
It’s been frustrating. In the last week, I have been disappointed, angry, confused – you name it. I experienced a wide range of unhappy emotions when dealing with mountain. I am pretty sure every one of those emotions was pointless. My problem was not that I couldn’t hold mountain. My problem was that I had lost my way. I became so focused on my goal with mountain that I forgot the greater purpose of mountain which is to simply do the posture. I should be focusing on my breath and paying attention to my movements. I shouldn’t be obsessed with how long I can hold the posture once I get up into it. When my mountain goes to crap, I need to accept it and not fight it. Then I need to work through it. What I’ve been doing is yelling at myself to stay in mountain. How’s that working out? Hmmm….not so well. Here’s my big conclusion: It’s perfectly fine to start with a goal like being able to hold mountain for a five count. But I shouldn’t fool myself. That’s not really my goal. That’s a destination, and perhaps I’ll see it, but it’s not the point. The point is that I’ve decided I want to learn to do mountain well. The goal of holding it for five seconds? That’s a false goal. The real goal is to except that what I thought my goal and purpose was isn’t what it really is. My real purpose is to accept and engage with my posture in whatever form it looks like within every second I am doing it.