To encourage – Week #6.4

This is it! My Dreamfuel crowdfunding campaign is now live! Click here and you’ll see how you can help me go on with this journey and keep on telling you crazy exciting inspiring stories. The target is to collect 1978 US$ before June 14th 2014.

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I am so touched because as you can see, I’ve already received a few donations. To feel encouraged is an incredible feeling. By the way, it taught me something. Now, when I receive a message from my Facebook friends asking me to “like” their page, I don’t even think anymore: I Like! I stopped thinking “Do I really like my friend’s project? Is it really worth one like?”. No, what’s important goes beyond this. Now, I receive the message and tell myself “I like…to encourage my friend”. Period.

When I am asked to donate, I usually have two different reactions:

  • either I am in a financially good time and I give 50-100 euros or even more.
  • either I am not and I don’t give anything at all.

Want my opinion? This screams “perfectionism”!! It says that somewhere inside I believe that 50 euros is a “perfect” donation but that 40, 30, 20, 10, 5, 1 euro is not perfect and therefore, not worth being “donated”.

My friend, I don’t want your perfectionism. It’s your encouragements I need. Imagine this campaign’s success, the future and the upcoming stories I will tell you if every body I know settles for being less perfect and donate just 1 euro…imagine.

Yesterday, I received an email from Dreamfuel saying:

“You’ve received a donation of__________$ from _______ .

Congratulations”. Dreams-005

When I saw that person’s name, I felt an incredible joy.

No, not the joy you feel when you receive a check for your birthday. Rather the joy you feel when your father or mother hugs you and tells you: “My son, this dream is yours. Go get it.

In advance, thanks to all of you. 

 

This week again, training is improving well (sigh of relief) with 6 more sessions. No speed work yet but gradual volume increase: 1.7k swim (1 swim), 90k bike (3 rides), 17k run (2 runs).

I am going to tell you about 2 important decisions I took this week. I will also tell you about a topic that apparently bugs a lot of people around me: how to prioritize things, without feeling depressed because you can’t do everything you want or feeling frustrated because results are not coming.

But first, first, first, here are my 2 decisions:

Number 1. It is about 2 weeks now that the weather in South France is gorgeous. After each training session, all I want to do is stay under the sun, still. Every time, I come back home driving or walking slowly, humming r’n’b songs. The sun has this amazing effect on me (When I was in Morocco I met a guy who told me he’s happy when it rains! So apparently we don’t all feel the same about the sun). It reminds me of when I felt like, last November, in Singapore. I was on cloud 9. Decision number 1: Winter 2013, you were the last winter of my life. I am leaving you without any regrets. The new plan is pretty simple: Live somewhere warm all year round or spend 6 months in the Northern hemisphere, 6 months in the Southern hemisphere (Japan and New-Zealand, yeah that’d be perfect!).

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Number 2. I read an article which stated that 20% of amateur triathletes actually use doping products! I always said to myself I never would but in all honesty, according to me, doping is one of those things you cannot judge from the outside. Everybody judges Lance Armstrong but if you had been in his shoes, what would you have done? Impossible to say. If you had been in his shoes, with his sickness, his family, his financial reality, his career options, what would you have done? Impossible to say. And if you can’t help but to give your opinion, I am sure Lance Armstrong (or someone else) would be happy to give his or her opinion about your life! 😉

It reminds me of that scene from the movie “Dodgeball” with Ben Stiller and Vince Vaughn. At one point, Vince Vaughn’s character is in an airport, depressed and doesn’t want to play in the Dodgeball tournament anymore. There, he meets Lance Armstrong in a coffee shop and says “Hey Lance, what’s up?”. Lance tells him he loves Dodgeball, that he follows every game on TV and that he’s rooting big time for Vince Vaughn’s team. But then, Vince admits that he’s actually about to give up this whole tournament.

Lance replies “Quit? You know once I was thinking about quitting when I was diagnosed with brain, lung and testicular cancer…all at the same time. But with the love and support of my friends and my family, I got back on the bike and won the Tour de France 5 times in a row. But I’m sure you have a good reason to quit…”

OK people, the goal here is not to discuss if I am a Lance Armstrong fan (I am) or hater. The goal here is to show that if you’re smart enough to judge someone else’s situation…I am sure someone somewhere is smart enough to judge yours.

Now back to doping, in my opinion, it’s only when you’re face to face with doping that something clicks inside of you, something that either tells you “YES” or “NO”.

panneau_controle_anti_dopageThis is how I met this week, for the the first time in my life, another athlete who told me “Yes, I do. I take some intra-muscular injections”. How are you supposed to react when hearing this? But there, something clicked inside of me and I spent the next 5 minutes asking him “Why? Why do you want this? Why do you want that? And what if you didn’t?…etc

But not even for a second did it arouse my curiosity. “Yeah…he’s right…what if…”. No, not for a second.

Decision number 2 : doping is not a part of my dream.

Now let’s jump back to today’s big file: How to prioritize things?

If you don’t rank your priorities, it’s as if you’re living on auto-pilot. Yes, short-term auto-pilot may be charming but to wake up after 10 years with a luggage full of regrets is not!

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If you know where you want to go but do not prioritize, you may give your time and energy to good things but not to what’s the most important to you or to your biggest current opportunity.

To prioritize is important because nowadays, it is easy for any of us to be disturbed by insignificant things, sucking our energy and time away.

This is why prioritizing is key. Give your time and energy to what’s the most important to you. Not to anything else.

I will share with you 2 methods on how to prioritize.

The first is not mine, it’s Warren Buffet’s. I find this method genius…because of its honesty!

  1. Take a paper and a pen.
  2. Write down your goals: 10, 25, 50…as many as you want.
  3. Rank them according to how important they are to you and what goal is going to have the greatest impact on your life, once achieved.
  4. Now, do you see goals #1, #2, #3, #4 and #5? Well that’s it. Here is your homework for 2014. 5 goals, not one more.

And that’s where genius strikes…

You know what to do with your 5 top goals but…what do you do with your goal #6?

” Well, it’s not as important as the 5 others but it’s still my #6, so I will give it a bit of time and bit of energy…”

NOOOOOOO !

The energy and time you give to your #6 is energy and time you’re not giving to what’s the most important to you aka your #1. It’s the opposite, you should completely ignore your goals #6, #7, #8…etc. You must run away from them. You will give some time to your #6 once one of your top 5 goals is achieved.

I do this exercice every year or every 6 months. But I know the trick! And believe me, I always spend a good amount of time selecting my #4, #5 and #6!!! 😉

Now let’s move to the method I recently made up. It’s ideal for those who never have enough time to do what they need/want to do. For the longest time, I used to tell myself while going to bed at night “Damn…didn’t do this” or “I could have done this today”. I would change my schedule the next day but still, the same frustration and insatisfaction would show up when going to bed.

So without further delay, here is my method:

  1. Take a paper and a pen.
  2. Write down every thing you would like to do, ideally, in one day. If one day lasted 40 hours, what would you do?

I did it and ended up with a list of 20 “things” I would like to do, ideally, every day. By the way, 20 things to do each day is huge! No wonder, I was feeling frustrated.

Among those 20 things were: to meditate, try new vegan recipes, study japanese, triathlon training, write on this blog, write speeches, interpreting practice, study a 4th language, interpreting preparation, read…etc

3. Now, write down the outcome of each activity. What will you become thanks to each activity?

For example : I meditate TO be a healthy triathlete. I train TO be a fast traithlete. I write on this blog TO inspire the world. I interpret TO make money. I study Japanese TO keep the love I have for this country alive…

You’ll see, it is very much possible to see different activities have the same outcome. For example, I had 20 activities at the beginning and 10 outcomes at the end.

4. Now with all your honesty, rank your outcomes (not the activities) according to their importance.

This is where something amazing happened to me. As I was ranking my outcomes, I was able to distinguish 3 types of outcomes:

  1. Outcomes which are related to my life purpose (professional triathlete, inspire the world)
  2. Outcomes which give me joy and pride (learn Japanese, read…)
  3. Outcomes which actually…I do not want!!!

Here are the 2 main learnings I took from this exercice:

First, I can forget everything that relates to the 3rd category! I tried to discipline myself with those things but it never worked. Now I can stop feeling guilty, forget them and move on. A good part of my schedule (and my brain) is now free!

Second, I can still smile and relax even if I don’t study Japanese one day. It’s in my 2nd category, not my 1st.

Now when I wake up in the morning, I know my most precious energy and time of the day must be devoted to activities belonging to the first category (essentially training, writing, speaking…). If I have some extra-time for something else, perfect. If not, it’s normal. My life just became more simple.

If you have any questions about this, leave a comment or use the contact form 🙂

This week, again and again, show the change around you…yeah I know it’s hard but results will show up one day.

A few days ago, my mother told me:

” You influence me. I was at the pool and one lady started swimming full speed towards me. I was getting ready to scream at her but I refrained and thought…no, you gotta be a kind person”.

You too, do what the highest version of yourself would do, nothing less. Write to a friend just to say “hi”. Be a bit more smiling than usual next time you say “hi” at work. Be brave. Believe in what you do. Change the world.

I am leaving for Paris in 2 days. One more conference to interpret and in 6 days, the French Nationals of public speaking. Bring it on boy!

Heiwa (“Peace” in Japanese)

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