In the process of a training I’m doing, I received the task to fast – not eat – for the day, with the story to imagine, that there’s not enough food for the whole community and you give up your part in service to the others.
It is a great exercise, and surely helpful training. However, in the situation I’m in at the moment, it creates dissonance. Right now, there is actually so much food at my place, that it would go bad if not eaten today. So what to do?
I see and value the importance of self-control, and to learn to step back and be of service. But that topic reminds me a lot about all sorts of trainings, or efforts to achieve something in general.
How to achieve anything
When we want to train and prepare ourselves for a specific situation, or when we want to achieve something – anything really – we need to have a real, tangible need to do so, a picture, a vision, where or how we want to be, and at least an idea, WHY that is important to achive, and how it can be done. If we simply have the vision, it is not enough. We need a force to start the motion, one to accelerate, one to keep the momentum, and one to make sure we’re not burning out.
The need is what gets us started. And the need can’t be something cognitive. It has to be a strong emotion, felt in your whole body. It can’t be an information, that eg. the world is dying. You need to feel it with every fibre of your being.
Your Why, your intrinsic motivation of why it can’t stay how it is but needs to change, is your fuel to accelerate. It’s your excitement, the thing that makes you jump for joy or drives you to intense emotional speeches.
Your Vision, the picture of the future you dream of, is what keeps you going (also in connection with your Why) in case you slow down. It helps you to keep the eyes on the prize. To know, where you’re going. What all the effort is for. To accept the not so fun parts of your journey, because you know what you’re working towards.
And your values are what keep you on track. That help you to figure out if what you’re doing right now is actually bringing you closer to your vision. Or if you have to course-correct. And also makes sure, that you have enough energy to sustain that marathon. Because your Vision is never a sprint.
Bringing it together
So, coming back to my task of fasting for a day. I have the vision of being a strong, empowered individual, always ready to serve my people. I have my Why, because I feel strongly about my role as a Guardian, for whom this training is designed for. I might even be able to interpret it in a way, that it is aligned with my values (needing courage and openness for the process), But my need is lacking. Without my need, I can use sheer will power to start the process, but the need is more than just the initiating flame. It’s the nurturing base that feeds and is strongly connected to the accelerator (Why) and Momentum (vision).
If the need is missing
And I observed it so many times, that if I simply use willpower, the acceleration won’t happen, and it’s definitely not picking up momentum.
So how do we create a need then?
It can be either a physical or emotional need – or both. Feeling lonely or unfulfilled can be an initiator. Or hitting rock bottom. Or you are physically forced to, if there is no food, no warmth, no shelter.
Two days ago, I fasted for a day. I did it easily, after struggling and giving up the day before. The same task.
One day seemingly unbearable (having had a strong. emotional need for nurturance). One day very easy, having the emotional need for cleansing and letting go. And one day somewhat indifferent (not having a strong need, but enough energy to do it with enough will power). I observed it so many times in any kinds of projects, that willpower is used to substitute any of the four vital aspects for a sustainable project or endeavor. We are even taught – by example – that this is what is needed. That we won’t achieve anything, if we don’t push ourselves.
How willpower plays into it
I’m not saying that willpower isn’t important. But it only works as a short-term solution. As a back-up, if one part of your system temporarily fails. It’s the emergency generator. Important, yes. But not something to use in your day-to-day doing.
One way of solving it
So as a conclusion to my challenge to fast, I need to look at something to substitute the task, so I can still learn something, while not wasting food. Something that is similarly aligned with my Why (accelerator), my vision (momentum), my values (what keeps me on track), and also where I feel a strong need.
And what I can see now, is that my writing can possibly be that substitute. It is an important part of my vision, and I have pushed it away for far too long. So today, I use this article to place a statement. To dedicate myself to my path, by fully expressing what wants to – needs to – be expressed.
Thank you for gifting me (and you) that time and attention.