Monday 18 December 2017

My1000hours - Motivation, by Gerry Hussey

Gerry Hussey
Gerry Hussey

Gerry Hussey

Ask most people to describe themselves and they tell you their age, where they're from and what they work at. They speak easily for a minute or so and then the conversation goes the same way: after describing what they do their voices fades and silence arrives. It's this silence that intrigues me.

How old you are, what you work at, where you live - these are simply details and facts, they say nothing of who you are. Who you are, what makes you special, your dreams, your fears, your beliefs, this is where your voice should be most confident and assured. Saying how this world is going to be a better place because of your passion is where your voice should to be most alive.

The journey to being me: Awareness, Love, Action and Commitment

Discovering who you really are can be uncomfortable because to get there requires a deep and deliberate journey that can be terrifying. The journey to finding the real you is both the scariest and most important journey you will ever take. It's a journey to discover the four essential pillars of self-discovery and transformation: awareness, love, action and commitment.

Success and performance is built by carefully and deliberately building the following two critical aspects:

1. The Head: what we know - this is the technical, intellectual knowledge base

2. The Heart: who we are - this is the human capacity.

To develop one without the other is simply a fool's practice. Athletes need to be developed physically and technically - bigger muscles, faster legs - but more importantly, they need to be developed to become bigger, stronger people. The human capacity is where the most important characteristics lie. Resilience, passion, belief, loyalty and love exist and grow not in the head, but in the heart.

connection and Developing a strong internal self-image

The poet TS Eliot said that at the end of our life journeys, we arrive back at our beginning and know it for the first time.

I spent years wondering what Eliot meant by this, and I believe that it refers to the idea that we are born naked, without a single possession except the desire to be loved. This never changes.

All humans need to be and feel loved. To love is, of course, to love those close to us and, equally, to love ourselves. This includes loving our flaws and imperfections and not running from, or apologising for them. This allows us to become stronger. To be loved is to be valued, trusted, respected and connected. Feeling connected is an essential need of every the person, and we each have two important networks to connect to:

1. The external network: our family, our friends and external possessions

2. The internal network: our self-belief our self-awareness and our self-love.

People with a poor internal connection constantly look to their external network for justification and acceptance. The danger here is that if this external network becomes hostile or uncertain, we don't have the internal strength and self-belief to deal with it.

This generation has never been so "connected", however, this connection is all external. Social media encourages people to engage and exist more and more in this external network, and this only lessens our internal connection. Only when we learn to love who we are can we fully give ourselves to our loved ones and to the world. For every piece of us we hide, the world becomes a lesser place.

What did TS Eliot mean by "Know it for the first time"? At the end of our life, we will be laid out, we will be naked without a single possession. We end exactly as we started. The day we are born, our name is written on a piece of paper and placed above our head. As an infant, we know nothing about this name, who we are or what makes us special. At our end is where we should know exactly who we are - our passions, our beliefs, our integrity and our actions. What really matters in the end is the person we become. That is the only real measure of success.

When you see your name for the final time, you will either be filled with incredible pride and happiness or incredible regret and sadness. The good news is that you, and only you, get to decide this. And you get to decide it every day.

If you live to be 75 years old, you will have lived for 900 months. Take sleeping and working hours out of this and you're left with 300 months. Don't waste a single second of this; our time is incredibly precious, as are our dreams, fears and passions.

How many people would you trustfully give your car or your bank card to? Yet all these things are just stuff that can be replaced. Are we as selective about the people we invest our time and energy into? Invest only in people that will grow your humanity.

I am extremely lucky, not because I get to spend time with world and Olympic champions, but because I get to spend time with incredible humans who know the risk of chasing their dreams, but also recognise that their dreams are far too important and life is far too short not to chase them.

Starting out on a new journey can be frightening; starting a new career, falling in love or facing up to a mental health issue is frightening, but these are all opportunities to embrace a new you. Your happiness and your wellness is far too important not to.

Labelling yourself by your occupation, a professional rugby player or a teacher for example, says only what you do. It simply doesn't define you. It's part of your personality, but it's just one piece and it's important that you see yourself as something far more than this one piece.

A mental health issue is part of your humanity, it can be a big part, but it absolutely does not define you. What defines you is your response, your openness, your honesty and your bravery in sharing, naming and standing up to and fighting this issue.

Long after you have learned to manage and tame it, you will be left with the confidence and knowledge that you stood up to it - whether it was in big ways, in smalls ways, with tiny steps, you stood up and refused to let it define you.

Facing up to a mental health issue is like falling in love: it makes your heart race, fills you with fear and a million what-ifs. But I promise you this, it's like a bungee jump. Get yourself on the platform, then get the strap in place, stand up, one step at a time, and embrace the fear in the knowledge that the experience will bring you to a place of exhilaration and freedom. Summon your courage and your resolve and take that step. Take it today.

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