Part 5: Life-Long Benefits of “Undoing an Undone”
How does it feel to have the first few months of your Personal Renaissance behind you, and to be nearing the halfway point? You may be pumped, or the opposite of pumped. Remember, I’m about two months ahead of where you are now, and when I was where you are, I experienced a letdown. Yet, as I shared with you last month in Part 4, certain steps got me back on track.
Have you been able to keep your passion fire blazing, or reignited it, as discussed in Part 4? If not, I ask that you go back and spend a little more time with it before you move to today’s Part 5. Remember, TYT! You may certainly read on, but you’ll need more commitment, more focus, and more belief (not just passion) than ever to realize the life-long benefits of Undoing an Undone in your life.
If you’re new to this real-time endeavor, which we’ve been pursing together for the last 4 months, or if you want to review, you’ll find the first 4 installments below:
If you’re ready to move on to Part 5, let’s start by restating the definition of “Undo the Undone”: Finishing something significant that you started, began and failed at, thought you had pursued for the last time; or turning a longstanding dream into a reality. Undoing an initiative that is undone simply means reversing or altering an initial outcome and completing it beyond your initial expectations.
Inside this definition, you will certainly be able to identify an initiative in your life that will qualify. It will be in at least one of these four areas:
1) What have you started that you didn’t finish? If you had finished it, how do you think your life would be different today? This could be something you started years ago and never finished, like college. Or it could be something you started in 2013 and quit, like a new diet.
2) What did you start and fail at? This is quite different from starting and quitting. What initiative have you started in your life that you feel you gave your best effort at, but came up short? Could have been a business you started that failed. Could have been a relationship that failed. Could have been an athletic undertaking that you failed at.
3) What have you thought you’d pursued for the last time? Something where you’re pretty sure time and opportunity has passed you by, but if you could turn back the clock, or change the mind of fate itself, you’d like to pursue again? This could be getting married for the first time or remarried, having children or more children, starting your own business, running your first race, buying a home, continuing your education, etc.
4) What long-standing dream would you love to turn into a reality? This could be a blend of 1-3, but it goes even further, in that it could represent something you never started, quit, failed at, or did once and never again. This is the big dream!
As certain initiatives in your life come to mind, you’ll see they may cross over into more than one, or even all, of the four areas. Let’s take college, for example. Let’s say you quit college before you were finished (1), or didn’t have the grades to finish (2), or you think you’re too old to go back (3), yet you would really like to obtain that master’s degree (4).
As you inventory your life initiatives that have fallen into 1-4, take some time right now to identify certain behavioral patterns that you believe put them there. This is really the crux of Part 5, and even the entire Personal Renaissance process:
To identify what you’re realistically capable of attaining spiritually, mentally, physically, and professionally, and then break the circuitry of self-defeating behavioral patterns that create impediments to you arriving there, and replace them with new, aspirational DNA.
Your completion of undoing at least one undone in your life is crucial to re-establishing self-building behavioral patterns. Undoing at least one undone will have a bearing on the quality of the rest of your life. It’s just that important!
Wouldn’t it be nice to have others speak of your gift, your passion, your undoing of an undone using the following words? “These weren’t the normal patterns [he/she] had traditionally practiced to limber up; these were strange and exciting fragments, a voluptuous feast of ideas, operatic in scope but performed with a savage, erotic force.”
I don’t know about you, but I certainly would love to have my professional or spiritual highest calling described like that! (Guess what these words describe, and I’ll send the first person to post the right answer an autographed copy of one of my books—your choice! Post your answer on our Personal Renaissance page on Facebook under the post announcing this issue, Part 5.)
All you’re looking for is one, the one initiative that fits into any of 1-4 above and that you have or will commit to seeing through to a successful completion as part of your Personal Renaissance.
Let me share my own Undo the Undone, the Badwater 135-mile Death Valley ultramarathon. Last summer, after completing what the National Geographic calls “the toughest footrace in the world” six times before, I failed to finish it for the first time. I came in last place, 96 out of 96 entrants, and I’d made it only 27 miles.
That DNF (“did not finish”) broke my heart, but not my spirit.
They say everyone who runs this race more than once eventually DNFs, a thought that had terrified me until it finally came true for me. It turned out to be the best thing that could’ve happened to me, and it began this process of introspection that has led to the Personal Renaissance.
What began as a “post mortem” of my poor race performance turned into me looking at other areas of my life that had been falling short of expectations. And, ultimately, I came to the conclusion, or maybe the re-realization, that Badwater is part of who I am.
In pursuit of undoing the undone, I submitted my application on February 15 to the Badwater race selection committee and prayed that I’d receive an invitation. Typically 100 people are invited from a pool of close to 1,000 qualified applicants. There are often more than 20 countries represented by those 100 invitees.
I was humbled and honored to have received my acceptance into this year's race just last week. So I’ll return to Death Valley on July 15 this summer, ready to toe the line for 135 grueling miles in pursuit of my seventh finish there. I’d taken this part of my life for granted, but since committing to Undo the Undone, I’ve rededicated myself to all that is great about preparing for and participating in Badwater.
What would you consider your life’s Badwater? What one thing exemplifies the “rebuilding” part of your Personal Renaissance? What one thing, when you attempt it and possibly achieve it, will reconnect you with all that was, is and will be great about you, and exceed your known definition of greatness in the process?
This month, all you have to do is keep going on the initiatives you’ve already identified on your My Renaissance Priority Sheet, yet really focus on the Undo the Undone you’ve identified there. If you haven’t identified one yet, this Part 5 should help you do so, and also help you realize the critical importance in doing so!
See you soon for Part 6...
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