Big Goal Prison
Big goals are like big crimes - you gotta do the time. Chasing a really BIG goal often requires unusual ways of thinking. One example is my favourite metaphor - big goal prison.
Let me tell you a quick story. So it’s a Monday afternoon about three months after making it onto the national rowing team. I’m sitting on a rowing ergometer, just finished the third training session of the day, every muscle in my body soaked in lactic acid.
Earlier that morning I had a meeting with our team physiologist, and she said “Jeremiah it takes most athletes 12 to 18 months to adapt to the level of training you’re now doing. But don’t worry, after that you’ll start to break through to higher levels of performance."
Well, at that point, I only had 16 months until the Olympics. So to reach my goal, my experience was going to have to be atypical.
The mental game was going to be about surviving - finding a way to hold on.
And sitting there with salty sweat stinging my eyes, I plead guilty to still wanting to try, and I sentenced myself to big goal prison.
Big goal prison is about forcing yourself to face your own reality.
At any given moment in life, you’re already a prisoner to something, whether you realize it or not, to your emotions, to other people’s expectations, so why not imprison yourself to your own commitment?
Real prison is designed to protect the outside world from the prisoner. Big goal prison is designed to protect your goal from the outside world, and at times, even you.
Why not give at least another 2 years to find out if your job is the right fit? Instead of second guessing yourself every waking hour?
Why not keep writing a little bit everyday for 5 years until that book you’re struggling with doesn’t suck anymore? Instead of reading about writing and wondering if you’ll ever begin?
Why not keep playing that saxophone for 3 years until it starts to sound good? Instead of comparing yourself to Pat, who started at the same time as you but seems to be progressing faster, and that’s making you sad?
Why not choose a chunk of your life, sentence yourself to big goal prison, and finally release yourself from the burden of your own potential.
I’m Jeremiah Brown, helping you reach your podium performance.