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  • Writer's picturePeter

If not now, then when? Motivation

Updated: Jun 4

Sunrise Palm Cove, Queensland, Australia

We meet again my old friend! It’s has been twenty eight years since we last greeted each other. I am here not to compete with you or anyone else, I’m here only to enjoy the experience and improve myself.

5.30am my toes gripping the ledge of the swimming pool as I roll forward and dive into the water.

These days my pool maybe surrounded by coconut palms, the water a comfortable twenty five degrees and the private competition pool less than fifty meters walk away from my home, however I still need to make a conscious decision to get in and swim!

Be it diving into a pool half asleep at 5.30am or wanting to achieve anything important to me in life. After committing myself I have always experienced an initial shock, then awareness and the reality of my decision followed by my acceptance and then simply getting on with the job or task at hand.

Regardless of how many books I read or courses I complete, for me success has required full immersion, simply doing the work and improving my technique and strengths along the way. Just like learning to swim; to become confident and competent required me to step out of my comfort zone and into the pool.

The danger is that success (earned or not) is highly euphoric as it releases natural dopamine’s within you.

The quest for this natural high can become all-consuming if gone unchecked.

An even greater risk to us is when the expectations of success are not realised. Increasing our risk of depression and/or seeking external gratifications in order to self-validate. I have experienced both in and out of the pool.

Swimming has taught me a lot about myself and life. And while we love to test ourselves against others and everyone loves a winner; the real winner is the individual participant.

Why? Because simply committing and following through on our own personal expectations is self-empowering i.e. getting out of a warm comfortable bed and into a cold wet pool is character building.

Appreciating that while others may be more naturally gifted, have the newest equipment or simply be better, in most cases everyone can enjoy the experience of self-improvement i.e. learning to swim.

Doing the work is both meditative and a proven path for improvement. Most advances in life often happen after a long plateau.

And finally as with anything in life, to be your best you need to be committed and have committed people around you. Both those who love you and those you pay to help you improve. Accountability is the motivation to action.

Here’s some Tips I apply in my own life:

  • Be good to those who support you. If not success would be even harder than it already is.

  • If not now, when? Followed by Do or Do Not. There is no Try (Yoda-Star Wars).

  • Commit to personal expectations that impress you vs. expectations to impress others or by others.

  • Remain committed to your passions and values. Doing so provides greater clarity, commitment and heightens the chance of success.

  • Money is a motivator. Paying a coach motivates you to turn up, implement advice and do the work to improve.

  • The past is dry cement. Don’t let success get to your head and let go of your failures.

  • Be happy with the plateau, knowing that doing the work (as opposed to not doing the work) brings you closer to a spike in improvement.

Whatever you want to be, become, or achieve in life, at some point you are going to have to get in the pool. I encourage you to ask yourself, “If not now, then when?”

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