There is a framed picture of John Lennon hanging in my bedroom containing the following quote of his:
Life is what happens to you while you are busy making other plans.
And I find this to be true. Regardless of what we do, life is happening for everyone. We don’t get to call a timeout in life so that we can consult the playbook and regroup before running a big play.
In life we have to run a no-huddle offense. We have to possess an ability to adapt the play after the snap and see the pass before we make it.
As I watched the NBA finals tonight, I saw Lebron James make an incredible no-look pass off a rebound to Dwayne Wade for an assist.
I was amazed at what I saw, and the announcer put it perfectly when he spoke about Lebron Jame’s ability to see the play before the play happens.
And I see that on many amazing plays in sports. An improvisational move that doesn’t miss a beat. The kind of play that makes you say how did he do that? That true athleticism and ability that a player who is in ‘the zone’ can channel to make plays that could virtually never have been called prior to the possession.
That’s the value of ‘the zone’. It’s the power of presence and awareness that allows us to be in the moment with the entirety of our being.
But we only experience those moments from within them and so often we find ourselves busy making other plans instead of moving at the speed of life.
So, too, I have found myself feeling that life has been happening (all too fast) while I have been busy making other plans.
Tonight I wanted to check myself and make sure my head is in the game. Because the danger of excessive planning is time wasted instead of action taken.
Perhaps it isn’t time wasted planning, it could be anything, but as long as it’s not action taken, we are not actively shaping our lives and living them to our full potential from within the moment.
So maybe you just feel like life has been happening and you haven’t been playing anywhere near your peak performance. Perhaps it’s just a tough game at the moment.
Regardless of what is stopping you right now, you understand that it has removed the ability for you to be in the zone or the moment and you don’t want to experience life as a passive witness, only seeing the plays in hindsight.
So, how do you get your head back in the game when nothing less will do?
Now that I’ve gone from John Lennon, to cliche sports/life metaphors, it’s time for a little new age psychology.
Having your head in the game is about living in the moment and getting in the zone. It’s about re-connecting and staying connected to your authentic self.
Your authentic self is the true you. The person connected to your passions, your purpose, your beliefs and your identity.
For me, a lot of that has changed in the past couple years and it’s been a struggle to keep up with – but it’s something we have to do if we want to live an authentic life that closes the gap between who we want to be and who we are as well as the gap between what we are living and what we are capable of creating in our lives.
If we aren’t connected to our true self, we aren’t living life from the level of thinking we should be.
What are some signs you aren’t living authentically?
Perhaps you just don’t feel like yourself, or are experiencing an excess of anxiety, worry, or doubt that is preventing you from feeling ‘like you’.
Maybe you aren’t excited to wake up in the morning and have been feeling in a slump or in a funk.
Whatever it is, you know it is preventing you from living up to your potential and you know it’s standing in the way of true happiness.
We all go through times like that. We all have our off days and sometimes even off months, but the key to overcoming those times is getting back on track by reconnecting to our authentic self.
I recall a yoga practice I did in Seattle, where the instructor read an excerpt aloud from a book by Baron Baptiste, called Journey Into Power: How to Sculpt Your Ideal Body, Free Your True Self, and Transform Your Life With Yoga.
Here is what she read:
So many of us are striving so hard to be better, to know more, do more, be more. We have been conditioned to believe that we are not good enough the way we are. We’re afraid that if we do less, we’ll be less, so we read all the latest self improvement books, take the seminars, follow the diets, go to the gym, but nothing seems to really get us where we want to go. We still weigh too much, worry to much, and race around searching for something that will soothe whatever it is that we see as our problem.
But I believe we all just have one problem. Yes, you read that right: Every single one of us is suffering from the same problem. Of course, your life looks different from mine, or your friend’s, or your neighbor’s. You might even think your problems are completely unique, but for those of us who feel dissatisfied with our bodies or our lives, there is only one explanation: We are not living from our authentic selves, from our truth. We are asleep to who and what we really are and can be.
We blame external factors for our woes – our parents, our careers, our hectic lives, our spouses, out thighs, our lack of time to exercise or eat right – but the only thing that is “wrong” with us or our lives is that we are disconnected from our core. We are programmed to believe that things like status, money, achievement, and a perfect body would make us happy, or better yet, a complete person. We were taught that these goals were more important than honoring our authentic nature; the timeless and universal truths within us, just waiting to be awakened. Our only task is to relinquish the luggage of life and accept what was there from the start: the light in our hearts and the power within.
Michelangelo used to say that God put a statue within every slab of marble, and his job was to remove all that was not part of the statue. He claimed he merely freed the statue from the stone….
…Journey into power is not about seeking the answers from some outside source. It’s not about piling on muscles, or gaining more knowledge, or finding a better relationship. You have been taught your whole life to look outside yourself, to parents, teachers, experts, maybe even gurus, but all you need is already within you. It’s time we wrap our arms around the truth! The goal here is not to go out and find yourself, for you were never really lost. Forgotten maybe, but not lost.
As Baron Baptiste says,
We are asleep to who and what we really are and can be.
So how do we connect to the authentic self and experience the inner peace that being who we truly are brings?
We have to create pathways within a framework that is congruent with our beliefs, values and goals.
These pathways to inner peace have to be based on authentic behavior that is congruent with our goals, values, and beliefs. Perhaps you have a firm set of these, or perhaps like me, your framework has been evolving and it’s time to revisit them.
Take some time today to list ten goals, ten beliefs and ten values.
By doing this you are creating pathways to guide your behavior so that you can live according to the true person and true potential within you.
Once you have these listed, I encourage you to prioritize your life so that your thoughts and behavior are congruent with your framework.
This will allow you to stay connected to your authentic self and live in the zone, rather than living from a place that isn’t empowering or congruent with your true self.
Hang them up. Take some time to reflect on them. Check yourself. Ask yourself if your behavior is aligned with your goals, beliefs and values.
You’ve got nothing to lose by being true to yourself. You’ll find that by living authentically, you will experience the inner peace that will put you in the zone, and you’ll start living in the moment rather than making plans as life happens.