Finding That Extra Gear

motivation, inspiration, self-improvement, self-confidence, fitness, relationships, philosophy, humor, Modern PhilosopherHappy Friday, Modern Philosophers!

Last week, I talked to you about Being Better At Life, and how adopting that philosophy had helped me to build self-confidence and start kicking more ass (metaphorically speaking, of course).

This week, my Deep Thoughts have been focused on finding the extra gear that I need to achieve something that had previous been unattainable.  Or maybe I just thought it was out of my reach, or too difficult for me to even attempt.

When you think about it, aren’t we stopped more often by the limits we put on ourselves, rather than by natural limits?

Maybe that’s not the case for you, Modern Philosophers, but very early in life, a paralyzing fear of failure was instilled in me, which I still cannot totally shake.  I don’t attempt certain things because I’m so afraid of failing or being rejected, and I seem to forget that the mere fact that I don’t even try is its own failure.

Over the past three months, I’ve not only thrown myself full force into a new fitness routine and diet, but I’ve also tried to work on weakening the power that my fears hold over me.  I haven’t done anything drastic, but I’m empowering myself to take chances and pushing myself harder to try new things.

The most obvious example of this is with my exercise routine.  Over the past three weeks, I’ve pushed myself to collect at least 20,000 steps a day and have lopped over a minute off the average pace of my runs.

Powering through over ten miles a day isn’t exactly easy, and there are days when I just want to collapse on the couch and let my legs rest.  But I always find that extra gear, shift into it, and get the job done.

When it comes to quickening my pace of my runs, I really have to dig deep.  I’m exhausted by the time I’m trying to finish that last mile, but something in me just clicks.  I actually marveled at it on this morning’s run because I thought to myself, “I need to pick up the pace“, and without even realizing it, I was zipping down my running route.

Jedi Mind Trick, Star Wars, Ben Kenobi, motivation, self improvement, humor, Modern PhilosopherI was like, “Holy $%^&, did I just Jedi Mind Trick myself?

I didn’t remember doing anything.  I just thought that I needed to go faster, and then I was.  It was like I’d mentally shifted gears.  It really was that easy.

So now I have to figure out how to just shift gears to blow past other roadblocks that my fear of failure and rejection have placed in front of me.

Since last night, I’ve been talking to Danny about taking on a new role that would increase my responsibilities on The Nite Show.  I’m really psyched about the idea, would love to do it, and totally shifted gears from worker drone to creative writer type the second the conversation began.

My self-confidence has risen to a level that I know I can take on this new assignment and totally crush it.  I’ve been waiting for an opportunity like this one to come my way, and now I am ready to prove that I am up to the task.

And I’m back.  Through the magic of the internet, you had no idea I’ve been gone for an hour.  Just returned from my after dinner walk, and something happened that I want to add to this post.

There is senior housing a few blocks from The House on the Hill, and I always pass the building on my walks.  The folks are often outside enjoying the weather, and they’ve taken to saying hi or teasing me about my Yankees cap when I pass.

Tonight, one of them stopped me and said, “We’re all so inspired by what you’ve been doing to improve your health.  We really think it’s great.”

I was touched, but I’m usually very shy around strangers.  I shifted gears, though, and not only thanked her for the kind words, but also announced that anyone who wanted was welcome to join me on my walks.

Look at me.  The Pied Piper of The Senior Village!

motivation, inspiration, self-improvement, self-confidence, fitness, relationships, philosophy, humor, Modern PhilosopherEarlier, as I was trying to write this post, I was also messaging a very attractive young lady.  So that would explain why my thoughts are all over the place.

Just me finding the extra gear.  I’m looking for someone special, so I reached out, opened up a dialogue, and it’s going well.

If we stick with this gears metaphor, I’d say my car is moving steadily down the road less traveled, and there are only better things ahead.

I feel like my life is in much better shape than it was only a few months ago.  Back then, I was constantly grinding my gears, and traveling mainly in first because slow and steady eventually got me home with the least amount of trouble.

This morning, after a four mile run that I totally crushed, I checked my weight and discovered I’d lost 36 lbs since April 1!

I’ve never been so fat and out of shape in my life, Modern Philosophers, but instead of wallowing in self-pity, I found the extra gear I needed to get my ass in motion.

Now, I feel like an entirely different person.

I certainly look like a different one.

motivation, inspiration, self-improvement, self-confidence, fitness, relationships, philosophy, humor, Modern PhilosopherAfterwards, I posted the following on Facebook: I just weighed myself and discovered I’m down 36 lbs in three months!  Even Rey can sense such a powerful change in the Force from a galaxy far, far away…

And posted this photo of my celebrity crush.

No word yet from Daisy Ridley, but I’m still trying to find the extra gear needed to get her attention.  After all, she is pretty busy filming the next Star Wars flick.

Keep in mind, Modern Philosophers, that none of this happened overnight.  It’s taken me three months to get to this point, and I still have so much more to accomplish.

But I know some of you reading this want to make a life change, but might be putting it off or talking yourself out of it by saying it’s just too much work.

You can do anything you set your mind to, Modern Philosophers.  You’ve just got to have the desire, the drive, and the patience to find that extra gear…


About Austin

Native New Yorker who's fled to the quiet life in Maine. I write movies, root for the Yankees, and shovel lots of snow.
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17 Responses to Finding That Extra Gear

  1. Phil Taylor says:

    You are right. 99% of the limits we face are self imposed. When you think of the famous, glamorous people who seem to live spectacular lives, ask yourself, what makes them different from me? They have the same size brain and all the same physical appendages. What makes them different is that they didn’t create a box around their life and goals. They didn’t tell themselves there was a limit to what they could do. It sounds like you’re getting that mind set. Congrats on the awesome new career opportunity! I’m looking forward to hearing more about all of it.

  2. Jennifer says:

    Wow. It sounds like you found a way to say Yes to life! I can just see you leading a group of seniors on your daily walks as you explain the Force to them.

  3. davidprosser says:

    Best of luck in your conversations with ‘New Lady’. Don’t be crushed if it goes nowhere as it’s early days in the new you and you may need to build slowly with the new found confidence. On the other hand maybe the new Jedi mind tricks may just be right this time.

  4. Well done Austin you are doing so well. I mean to lose a few pounds, tighten up the old abs but fail miserably to keep to my plans! Good luck with it all and with finding your lady love.

  5. wccunningham says:

    I did a road race once (Tour de Tucson – 113 mile cycling event) and a nursing home along the route had their residents out waving flags and cheering us on. I felt like a pro athlete at that moment.

    You’re kicking some butt up there!

    • Austin says:

      I am supposed to be taking it easy this weekend because I just finished a two week wellness challenge at work. Hit a wall this morning on my run, so all I plan to do today is watch the Yankees game. So wiped…

  6. If you never try, you’ll never know. I’m *wheely* happy for you and your progress, I hope that you get everything that you want and more. Keep us posted!

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