What do you want? The SYMBOL of success or success?

Powerful Habits in 21 Days  – PH 21
Day #16

♫♫♫♫ Happy 16th day of your life-changing 21 days, to YOU! ♫♫♫♫

Just 5 more days to go!! ☺

I was away for a few days for some rest and relaxation.  It was wonderful! We went to our favorite local spot, Eddy Farm Retreat where there truly is a little bit of paradise right here on earth!

From the moment the car crossed over the railway track on Eddy Farm Road in Sparrowbush, NY, my lungs took in an extra breath of air and I was transported to another place of peace.

Ahhhhhh…..

Eddy Farm is situated in a magnificent setting, on a golf course and right on the Delaware River.

Internet access is limited there.  Though I was told when I arrived by Anthony Wright, the manager and steward of the retreat that computers are now available for guests, I chose not to avail myself of that “pleasure.”

Pleasure in quotes because I chose the real pleasure of complete disconnect from technology.  (Well, I did have to call my husband a few times as he came up a day later. ) I chose to not get on the computer to check emails, post blogs or see what was happening with my various social/business networks.

Instead we played games, took scenic walks and drives, rode bikes, learned about healthy eating and played lifeguard.  I actually witnessed my son’s bravery and courage as he saved a new friend from drowning. What a great life-lesson it was for those children around that pool!

The question here is: how does this fit into our theme of successfully creating a new habit in 21 days? Remember, I did make a commitment to create a new success habit of daily writing, specifically for my Success Habits in 21 Days blog.  And I have been pretty insistent that daily action with specific and deliberate focus was required in order to be successful.  So how does my decision to not blog for a few days remain consistent with the program’s requirements?

Well, for the first several days I had my blog updated by my virtual assistant with previously written material.  You see there’s a calendar on the blog site that turns each date into a link when something is posted.  I wanted to see that calendar literally lit up with 21 days of straight links… a powerful indication of my consistent blogging.

My thinking was that I could go ahead and have my total commitment to rest and relaxation, sans technology, as I needed, while at the same time have something posted to the blog, so the little calendar can light up.  Sounded like a good plan.

That worked until  the final day.  I had a breakthrough.  I had a revelation at the river.  What’s more important I finally reflected?  Was it the look of the calendar or my commitment to write something each day?  What good is it to have the calendar looking right? Meanwhile I haven’t done the writing (or even the posting?)   How does that serve me or this process of creating a new habit?  The answer was obvious: Not very much at all.

Symbolism and symbols are important.  That calendar as a symbol of my commitment and what it meant to me was important.  But what’s most important is the meaning and activity behind the symbols.

What good is a cross hanging around a person’s neck, supposedly honoring Jesus but yet they can’t stop to help a person in distress.  What does the cross symbolize, if not love and compassion for fellow living creatures and people?    Should we put our energies into the wedding or the marriage? The wedding band or the eternal love that it represents?

We have to take action with  what our symbols represent in order to live with integrity and in order to truly BE a living representation of the symbol.

I realized (again) that the shadow on the wall of the cave (Plato’s example) is NOT the thing causing the shadow.  The reflection like the symbol is a mere representation of the thing or the process that has actual significance, meaning and existence.   The Success Habits in 21 Days program is the process I was attempting to honor, but really wasn’t,  by being more concerned about the look of the calendar than the actual writing.

What I could have done was write in my book each morning, as was my original intention when the plans were made.  That would’ve satisfied my commitment to the program and to the process of successfully creating a new habit. Though the calendar would not have reflected the truth of my activity.   That should’ve been OK with me.

Instead, I opted for honoring the symbol!  But then I had a breakthrough on Eddy Farm!

So on the last day – yesterday – instead of making a quick post last night, upon my return, so that the calendar would be “right,” I elected to post nothing, letting that one day interrupt the 21 days of links.  Why?  Because it’s the truth, because a filled in calendar means nothing without the truthful activity behind the symbol.

When I decided to not make that post yesterday, it felt right.  I hadn’t thought out today’s blog yet but I’m glad this message flowed as it did.  Hopefully, you will ease up on yourself regarding your commitment to the symbols of success and get more serious with yourself  and your commitment to true and lasting success.  This is where you will find lasting joy, peace and prosperity; in the authenticity of living life instead of living for symbols.

BEING instead of mere DOING!  Lots of people ‘do’ many things every day.  Unfortunately, very few are BEING what they’re doing.

As you were involved in this 21 days program, did you get caught up in symbols of success, like me with my calendar?  Did you need to see the scale say a certain number because only that number would have meaning?  Or read a certain number of pages, get up at that precise time, walk for those precise minutes, clear the desk even if chaos exist underneath the stacks?

All of these number and action goals are fine IF they are backed by real and substantial activity, under-pinned by the appropriate mindset.

Are you spending your time walking, fussing with yourself, dreading doing it tomorrow or worrying about everything under the sun?

Are you committed to looking like you’re successful with your new habit or BEING successful?

Have you really changed/improved your relationship to food, sleep, exercise, organization, procrastination, creativity, follow-through or are you looking as if you have?

I want a new success habit of writing each morning, even if it’s a sentence.  I don’t want to look like I’m writing.

My decision to completely relax was a good one and a necessary one.  I could’ve resolved the issue of the conflict with this program (with its technology needs) and simply written in my book.  Or, I could’ve  decided that life and family was going to take precedence over my personal goals, which is what I did BUT I also tried to have the calendar (my symbol of success) tell a story that was not actually the truth.

Thank God I came to my senses.

I hope this experience helps you to ease up on the symbols and commit instead, to “BEING the change you’d like to see (in yourself )* in the world!” (Nelson Mandela)

To Your Success and Until Tomorrow,
Julette

*added by me to Mr. Mandela’s quote

(I know, the nerve of me! I don’t think he would mine :-))

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4 Responses

  1. Julette —

    Actually I am very glad to read this because I was concerned when I didn’t hear from you — but was away myself at Kevin Nation’s BTB marketing seminar.

    I had some challenges with my commitment this weekend to love myself NO MATTER WHAT — but in the end — I got there — mostly.

    It’s always comforting to know that I am “not the only one” — and I cherish your honesty in sharing your experience with all of us!

    With Blessings of Infinite Love & Gratitude my friend!

    Stephanie Bell the Spirit Coach
    http://twitter.com/SpiritCoach

  2. Thanks Stephanie!

    The challenges are inevitable aren’t they? They represent opportunities and the biggest challenge of ALL is seeing them as just that, opportunities, when life is happening.

    Thanks so much for stopping in and sharing some of your wisdom!

  3. actuly i had a topic in my english class and your notes were so useful
    thanks amilion

  4. `”‘ I am really thankful to this topic because it really gives up to date information ‘*’

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