If you’re late to the party, you can read the rest of the series using the links in the sidebar. It will be updated as the series continues. As usual, any feedback you feel like tossing my way would be very much appreciated, as this will eventually all get refined into the first Love Life Practice book!
Now that we’ve worked out the pieces of the Defining Moment, there is one important factor left to work out. In some ways, it’s the most important factor. It’s the thing that is left out of far too many plans, schemes, goals, and more. Yet it’s simple enough a question; most people just don’t bother asking it.
How will you know when you’ve had your moment?
Depending on what your moment looks like, there could be several different ways you know that it’s enough. It may be a duration of time: I was able to endure this long. I was able to get it done this quickly. It may be a concrete goal: reaching the peak. Making it all the way down. It may be something more ethereal and abstract: This is now a part of my character.
Whatever it is, though, it’s important to know what the benchmark is that lets you know that you’ve had your defining moment. In some cases it may be simply the effort of achieving it that is enough. That’s a nice luxury to have, knowing that you tried, you gave it your all, and regardless of the consequences you have that experience to draw on.
Why Is That So Important?
There are two reasons why this is essential to achieving your Defining Moment. The first is simple: if you don’t know what it is, you might miss it as it goes by! Wouldn’t that be a shame? A big part of the whole process is not only experiencing it, but observing it, analyzing it, using it as a base to move on to bigger and better things (though that’s something we will get into much later).
The second reason is a matter of safety. You need to know when to stop so that you know that you can. This is something that I find out the hard way, over and over again. For some reason – whether it’s the work ethic instilled by my parents, or some left over “At all costs, accomplish the mission!” from the Marines – it’s a character flaw that leads to diminished returns at best and nervous breakdowns at worst. It’s part of why I find crossfit training to be a dangerous addiction – they promote an environment of “Just one more rep!” and “Play through the pain!”
That’s a great philosophy if you are smart enough to know what “just one more” really means. Me, I have this little voice inside my head that goes “Is that all? You really think that was enough? Come on, you know you have more. Keep going!”
No Pain, No Brain
This is why I have a brace that I’m wearing on my camping trip. While training for what I had hoped to be my first half-marathon – a dream of a Defining Moment that’s been with me for decades – I pushed myself too far, aggravated an old knee injury, and now I can’t walk without pain. It slowed me down – didn’t stop me, mind you, but slowed me down – and so the Defining Moment has changed from “Run a half marathon” to “Be my daughter’s support team while she runs a half marathon“.
All because I didn’t know when to stop.
Take the time. Envision your defining moment, and ask yourself How will I know when it’s done? With a little reflection, a little analysis, you should be able to work it out to a precise moment. You just have to take the time.
Target acquired? Excellent! Next week we will begin a plan of action…